Better than the last one but still pretty shit

Wednesday June 29th 2011

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon hits cinemas around the world today and like it or not, it’s going to make dollar. It’s a shame because the film’s essentially terrible, but then again there are certainly titles out there less worthy of financial success, namely the last Transformers movie.

The formula is basically the same: 2.5 hour runtime, awful script, dislikable protagonist and at least an hour of robot-based carnage — fifteen minutes of which might be worth waking up for. Luckily for Michael Bay, Dark Of The Moon‘s fifteen minutes are SO MINDFUCKINGLY SPECTACULAR that they almost justify the price of admission in one fell swoop. At least until Shia LaBoeuf sticks his big arrogant face in again and makes you want to murder whoever wrote such a hateful, solemn bastard of a character for an actor whose greatest skill remains bumbling physical comedy.

It might be a little premature to judge Megan Fox’s replacement, British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, given how little she has to work with here — STICK YOUR BUM OUT, LOOK SCARED, POUT YOUR LIPS IN SUCH A WAY AS TO SUGGEST THAT YOU MIGHT BE PROFICIENT AT ADMINISTERING A BLOWJOB — but even with just a handful of lines she’s a firm lock for worst performance of 2011. I’m not even sure she can do a British accent properly. And those facial expressions! It’s hardly surprising that Shia LaBeouf chooses to physically manipulate her cheek muscles rather than trust her to do all that difficult emoting work by herself…

OTHER THINGS THAT ARE EQUALLY HATEABLE: the reliance on painfully sincere indie music to convey emotion, the nasty streak of homophobia that runs throughout, the fact that the title is blatantly missing the word ‘side’, and last but not least the veritable avalanche of product placement. At one point Shia actually Googles a specific Mercedes to find out how much it’s worth and then the camera lingers on the screen for a good five seconds while the car’s features are illustrated by the website’s sales page. It makes you want to spread anti-Mercedes propaganda just to redress the balance a little bit.

So surprise surprise, it’s not very good. But what were you expecting? Part 3 of the franchise to end all franchises is at least a significant improvement on the last entry, and if 155 minutes of soul-destroying materialistic bullshit is all we have to put up with for a couple of decent action sequences, then I’m 100% on board.

I am of course being ironic. Or not, I’ve lost track.