MOVIE REVIEW One small step for man, one giant leap for … wait, is that an alien ship?

Michael Bay once again proves that Transformers can be brought to great heights


Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Directed by: Michael Bay

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Tyrese Gibson

Rated PG-13

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Michael Bay’s newest installment of the Transformers movies, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starts with a sequence explaining the “true” motivations behind NASA’s Apollo program: In 1961, scientists witness an alien spaceship crash on Earth’s moon. To explore the wrecked vessel, the Apollo program is initiated. President Kennedy makes his famous statement to bring a man on the moon within a decade, and when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin finally land on the moon in 1969 with Apollo 11, their true mission is to investigate that wrecked vessel on the dark side of the moon.

The alien ship is an “arch” sent by the Autobots at the end of the war with their evil Decepticon counterparts when it becomes clear to them that the war on Cybertron will be lost. Out of desperation they send the arch, which contains some advanced technology that would allow them to still save their kind and home planet. But during the attempt to escape a battle on Cybertron, the arch gets hit by a Decepticon attack and crashes on the moon.

After this general introduction to the background of Transformers 3, the storyline shifts to the life of main character Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) as it did in the last Transformers movie (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). It does so by showing a close-up of the backside of his new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whitele) as she slowly walks up stairs into their bedroom — she is, of course, barely wearing anything. The scene is just one of the many humorous references to the former Transformers movies and triggered laughs and even applause from the audience. This case references scenes in which Megan Fox posed in front of cars or motorbikes as Sam’s former girlfriend. Fox was replaced after criticizing the former Transformers movies, and director Michael Bay in particular. To be honest, it’s hard to notice that she is not part of the current movie; Megan Fox once described her role as “running away and screaming.” Huntington-Whiteley demonstrates that she is very capable of doing this, too.

Nevertheless, not only does Sam Witwicky have a new girlfriend, but he is also stepping into real life. He has been out of college for a couple of months and is looking for a job. Finding one turns out to be hard for him; since he has had the experience of saving the world twice, he “wants to do something that matters.” At some point he gets frustrated and gives in, finally accepting the next best offer from eccentric entrepreneur Bruce Brazos (John Malkovich). Fortunately, the movie doesn’t delve too deeply into the serious topic of Sam’s finding a job. Instead, Transformers 3 stays rather shallow, focusing on its main purpose — the entertainment that made epic blockbusters out of the previous Transformers movie.

Transfomers offers popcorn cinema entertainment at its very best. The story evolves rapidly; breathtaking, well-choreographed action sequences alternate with humorous scenes and references to the former movies. Furthermore, the film features a great cast including not only Patrick Dempsey, Alan Tudyk, and Frances McDormand, but also many of the unique and colorful characters from the previous movies. U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel), master of all conspiracy theories Agent Seymour Simmons (John Turturro), USAF Chief Robert Epps (Tyrese Gibson), and Sam’s parents (Julie White and Kevin Dunn) all make appearances. Transformers even features legendary spaceman Buzz Aldrin and a scene with President Obama handing over a medal of honor to Sam for his help in the first two encounters with the Decepticons. Shia LaBeouf shows a convincing performance again, resembling the early Harrison Ford.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the most epic part of the Transformers trilogy and more than just a moneymaking sequel for DreamWorks Studios. As Autobots and Decepticons race for hidden technology, Sam tries to help the Autobots and their leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), not knowing that the whole situation is a trap. Without giving away too much, Transformers is blockbuster cinema at its best, and you will enjoy the full 157 minutes of the movie.