Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The first 30 minutes are fascinating; using archive footage to frame the story around real moments in contemporary history an idea that proved quite successful for X-Men: First Class and creating a mystery around what`s waiting in the dark side of the moon. Unfortunately, the film soon becomes more of the same, with never-ending explosions and a one-hour climax that could be described as Transformers meets Independence Day meets Skyline.

The fact that Dark of the Moon boasts the most perfect CGI ever created – particularly the sequences involving the worm-like Shockwave rampaging in Chernobyl and Chicago – is almost irrelevant in this day and age, particularly when Bay doesn`t know what to do with such fantastic visual tools other than to destroy skyscrapers and blow up our robotic protagonists.

The human hero, Sam Witwicky, is unfunnily struggling with unemployment, his visiting parents, his impossibly hot girlfriend and a potential rival: her obnoxious millionaire boss. LaBeouf is his usual clown self and Megan Fox is not missed at all. However, the introduction of a new love interest (the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, whose hair is flawless even after surviving a collapsing building) so late in the series is absolutely unnecessary, except as a futile attempt to provide a storyline for the female audience, and to drag the film`s duration to 2.5 hours.

Director Michael Bay tries to lift the game by introducing A-list actors something that, with the exception of returning Transformers veteran John Turturro, the previous films didn`t have such as John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey and Frances McDormand. The first is little more than an unsuccessful cameo; the second tries to break away from his heartthrob comfort zone only to create a cardboard villain; and only the third manages to get cash her paycheque without making a complete fool of herself.

Perhaps a ‘serious` director will rescue the Transformers brand in a darker, less explosive reboot in the second half of the decade, but in the meantime, Autobots and Decepticons have outstayed their welcome. Dark of the Moon will make a lot of money, but it is ultimately incapable of redeeming the franchise. For now, it`s time to go.

So many explosions, yet running out of fuel.

  Miguel Gonzalez