When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon July 1969, he and his crew were given a top-secret mission to find out what the mysterious item that seemingly had crashed on the moon was.
In present day America, the Autobots assist the US army in secret missions around the globe. While investigating suspected alien technology in Chernobyl, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) discovers a part of The Ark, a vessel from Cybertron equipped with what thought to have helped the Autobots win the war against the Decepticons. Thus the Autobots head for the moon, and discovers the former Autobot leader Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy). Considered the Einstein of the Autobots, Sentinel Prime created The Pillars; parts when brought together could create a Space Bridge whose function is best described as a teleport. By reviving Sentinel Prime, the Autobots as well as humans, hope for a better explanation to the events that caused the space race to the moon during the 60’s. However nothing is as it seems, and the Autobots’ actions are unsuspectingly tossing the safety of Earth into a black hole.
Once again Earth is facing threats from the Decepticons, and once again the Autobots must roll out.
Meanwhile, Sam (Shia LeBeouf) struggles with daily life and newfound love interest Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Separated from Bumblebee and unable to find a job in the right path for his future career, Sam feels the frustration increase as his parents come to visit. His luck turns when Carly’s boss Dylan (Patrick Dempsey) seems willing to help Sam find a suiting job, but everything has a catch…
Thrown into another alien conflict, Sam struggles to get in touch with the Autobots while without luck, trying to convince Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand) that he might be of help.
Best in its series, it is obvious Bay took in the advice regarding the use of the latest 3D filming device. While the movie itself is visually stunning, leaving even artists in awe; the 3D effects seem uncomfortable the first hour. Having seen Avatar, it is obvious what Bay had used as a source of inspiration as humans and burning pieces of debris flickers in the foreground while the viewer’s focus is still on what matters on each screen. Yet these 3D effects take a turn when into the second half of the movie. Instead of giving the impression of uncomfortably used effects, they soon grow into something very natural. Much well played by Bay, and nothing less expected.
The story offers several unexpected and very interesting twists. Unlike its predecessors, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is much less predictable. Normally, there are the good guys, the bad guys and the ones that come in between the good-bad conflict. The biggest difference must be how balanced the proportions of the interaction and storyline is laid between humans and robots. Instead of entirely focusing on the drama around the humans and their everyday life conflicts, we are more thoroughly introduced to the battles and history of Cybertron. Although the story is much deeper than before, the conversations between characters seem strained and rarely much convincing to the scene. The only highlights of the conversations are the memorable quotes expected from both Optimus Prime and former agent Simmons, again well portrayed by John Turturro.
The cast offers the audience familiar faces as LeBeouf, Duhamel and Turturro reprise their roles previously introduced in the first two Transformers-movies. As LeBeouf has improved his acting skills as his gutsy character has grown more mature and convincing. Obviously, acting among high rollers like Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, did LeBeouf good. Despite toning down the arrogance and somewhat obsessive agent Simmons, Turturro still manages to become one of the most memorable characters ever portrayed in Transformers.
With Dempsey cast as a villain, higher anticipations were set when it was announced Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was being cast as Sam Whitwicky’s new love interest. Also, Leonard Nimoy was to be cast as the voicing actor of Sentinel Prime. Much credit is to be given both these newcomers in the franchise, despite that nothing less is expected from Mr. Spock himself. However, extra credit and attention should be given Huntington-Whiteley as she portrays her character splendidly. Instead of being just another pretty face in an otherwise very manly world, she manages to build a stronger and classier impact with her character than Fox ever did. And, she actually runs around in high heels instead of sneakers.
The soundtrack is incredibly well composed when heard outside the motion picture. In the movie, the music seems to only consist of the piano piece of lead theme Iridiscence by Linkin Park, and what sounds like the same two notes played repeatedly on a bass. A shame, considering Transformers: Dark of the Moon – The Album brings together new songs from Paramore, Mastodon, and even Serj Tankian.
All in all, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is definitely worth those 157 minutes it offers. It offers action, stunning animation, and the man of many faces Ken Jeong. It don’t matter if one has not seen the previous movies, all you need is this one. So don’t wait, go for it!