Film review: TRANSFORMERS, DARK OF THE MOON from Built For Speed

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third in the highly dubious Michael Bay-directed Transformers series, a franchise best known for eye-boggling special effects, frenetic editing, incoherent plots, loopy comedy and a fixation with female bottoms. You might think that after the critical savaging Transformers 2 endured, the film-makers might have tried to break with the formula for number 3 but no such luck, the 14 year-old boys lapped it up last time so let’s give ‘em more of the same. Consequently, we’re treated to two and a half hours of cartoon acting, ludicrous dialogue and eyeball and eardrum pulverising robot smack downs.

The only discernible plot shreds involve the nasty robots (the conveniently titled Decepticons) plotting world domination via technology from their home planet that crashed on the moon in the 1960’s. For some reason humanity once again needs Shia Le Boef to save it from destruction and he, in conjunction with a large, pointless and seemingly indestructible cast of supports that includes Josh Duhamel bumble their way into a massive Chicago robot war zone. The only thing less believable than giant mutating robots is the idea that the repulsive brat played by Le Boef could be a hero, the fact that he also woos yet another supermodel type (the stunning but stilted Rosie Huntington-Whitely) propels this film into the farthest reaches of fantasy.

Performing in this type of film is a thankless task and you have to wonder what credible actors like John Tuturro, Frances McDormand and John Malkovich were thinking when they signed on for their demeaning roles here. Tuturro’s conspiracy theorist nut job shtick was wearing thin in Transformers 2 and now it’s almost redundant.

Some may argue that the whole thing’s meant to be stupid and fun but two plus hours of silly-ass performances, videogame destruction, military fetishism, billowing American flags and product placement gets a bit tedious.

The film isn’t completely devoid of entertainment, though, the photorealism of the robot transformation effects is still impressive, the odd line is funny, the prologue that plonks the transformers mythology Forest Gump-style into early 60’s newsreel footage is fun and some decent voice performances from the likes of Leonard Nimoy gives the robots either nobility or menace. These small consolations are not enough, however, to salve the brain throbbing and nausea this endless sensory assault induces.

Transformers 3 will, despite any critic’s whining, do huge business so if you must see it or you’re a parent chaperoning a child to this film, don’t forget to bring earplugs and panadol.

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