Wednesday, 20 July 2011

183: Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Second Pass)

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Transformers Dark of the Moon poster

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3D) - WITH Spoilers.
19 July 2011. Location: Cinema

The third Transformers film is also the third movie this year to get me back in the cinema for a second run. You can read my first, spoiler-free, review here. It pretty much sums up what I thought of the film, and another viewing didn't alter how much I loved it.

As I said in my previous post:

"There are also a couple of '…that wouldn't happen' moments, but then I remembered I was watching a film featuring 40ft high robots knocking the shit out of each other…"

With that in mind, here some some of those moments...

John F Kennedy: The recycled vintage-footage is a nice touch, only completely spoiled by the one or two 'real' shots they've put in, featuring an actor (possibly CGI enhanced?) who looks roughly nothing like the JFK that was on screen only seconds earlier. Nice going.

The war on Cybertron: I have no problem believing that a civilisation of sentient robots has developed elsewhere in the universe, that they can transform at will and have developed interplanetary travel. But when you see the battle raging on Cybertron, they're all firing projectile weapons at each other. Are you telling me, Bay, that they're in such an advanced state that they're still relying on slugthrowers? If anything, you'd think they'd be using EMP grenades or similar. But I'll take your word for it...

The crashed Ark on the moon: When the astronaut puts his hand on the moon-sand at the crash site, it crumbles away to reveal the Autobot's face. Surely in the much weaker gravity, something as light as sand/dust wouldn't react in that way? The gravity barely holds the astronauts down with their weighted suits on. Shouldn't his actions should cause a mini dust-cloud?

'Gentlemen, you are dark on the rock': NASA control says these words to the Apollo 11 crew, and I understood the implication was that the Ark had crashed on the 'dark side' of the moon, namely the side that is never seen from the Earth? But when we see a wide-shot of the Ark, the Earth is visible in the sky above it. If this was the case, then wouldn't even amateur astronomers have been able to see the ship for the last fifty years, completely negating the conspiracy theory that was built around it?

Illegal nuclear sites: Leaving aside the fact that in protecting humanity from themselves, the Autobots seem to have taken sides with the USA, is it wise for anybody to be firing missiles and tearing shit up, in what is going to be a even-more-fragile-than-normal nuclear environment?

Ken Jeong rules: That is all.

Robots in Disguise: I know that Laserbeak was about to turn into a photocopier and trash the main office, but was it entirely "low key" to be fighting with Jerry Wang in his glass-walled office? I guess the Decepticons were tired of dicking around by then, eh?

Leave no droid behind: The Autobots said that only Sentinel Prime had a faint signal when they rescued him from the Ark, but then it's explained that the Matrix of Leadership can re-animate the Transformers. Does that mean the ones left behind on the moon were saveable? Seems a bit harsh to just leave them there. Still, Prime still hasn't brought Jazz back, so I suppose not.

Hiding in plain sight: You know how the motorbike-Autobots have those holographic riders? So they don't freak people the hell out when they're riding around? Why don't the open-top cars have them, too?

Ironhide! You killed Ironhide! You absolute bastard!

Accentuated language: Again, why would the Autobots have different accents? Once I got past the varying accents/dialects of our heroes, I was genuinely puzzled to be reminded, once again, that there seem to be certain phrases that our American cousins just don't 'get'. The Autobot Roadbuster not only says "wankers" in this 12A movie, but exclaims the phrase: "Nazi Wankers!" for some (largely unexplained) reason. Not even Inglourious Basterds had that. I'll be honest, I'm impressed.

Wardrobe Malfunction: Carly. Not only is she wearing the most impractical heels for the last hour of the film, which seem to be made of sturdier material than most of the buildings in Chicago, but she also has a suit-jacket with almost God-like "stay white" powers. She survives the destruction of the city looking absolutely immaculate, when everyone else is essentially wearing rags by the end. Well done, her.

Made to measure: Speaking of Carly, when she and Sam escape the building in a Decepticon gunship (made for robots to pilot), why does she climb out of a human-sized hatch on the top, afterwards? Why was that there?

Target acquired: The Decepticons can destroy un-manned jet-powered armoured drones as soon as they enter the local airspace, so your plan is to drop 16 troops into the area in lightweight wingsuits? Relying on the easily calculable staples of gravity and airflow? Still, they got through, so what does that tell you?

Hide and seek: In the tilting skyscraper, when the Decepticon enters through the lower window and is searching for our keepy-still heroes? Can't they see heat signatures, then? If I was going to build a 40ft high war machine, I'd make sure it could function in the dark, and therefore be able to see sweaty people behind walls six feet away.

The gravity of the situation: I know not all of Cybertron is teleported to Earth at the end of the film, but given the larger-than-Earth size of the section that is, and given that it's close enough to see through the Earth's daylight atmosphere (and yet doesn't block out the sun, somehow, even though it's not sunrise or sunset), surely the gravitational mass of such an object would fuck the Earth right up? Look at what something the density of the moon does to the seas. If you pull something the size of the Cybertron segment that close to our planet, bad things will happen at both ends. But in the movie, it didn't. So I guess it wouldn't. Because Mr Bay's writers would have thought of that.


But like I said, those points don't change the fact that TF3 is thoroughly entertaining. Bravo!


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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