I went to the cinema today. It’s not an unusual thing. I do it most weeks. I have one of those Cineworld cards that gives you unlimited access to all of the films for £14 a month. It’s really good value so I take advantage of it by going as much as I can to see everything, whether it’s good or bad.
So, as I was saying, I went to the cinema today and this time I went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon. First things first, I want to talk about the title. What is that about? I get what it’s on about, especially after the first couple of minutes of the movie when it’s explaining about a spacecraft crash on the shadowed side of the moon. What I don’t get is why the title is grammatically incorrect. Why is it the dark of the moon and not the dark side of the moon? Did they think it would make more of an impact if it was shorter? Punchier? Simpler? In essence it just gave the audience a sense of dumbed down entertainment, already with their guard up for media simplicity at it’s finest.
They won’t be disappointed if they wrongly choose to see this film.
The beginning is truly upsetting. They literally re-write American, and in fact World, history for their own gain. And not only do they do it in a silly way, they undermine their ‘true story’ by using terrible CGI when making mock-ups of President Kennedy. I knew I was in for a rough 2.5 hour ride when this was one of the first things they had to offer.
Granted, I’d only ever watched the first Transformers movie, so can’t say where it went THIS wrong, but I do remember the first being pretty passable. It had a decent balance between comical one-liners, a great display of talent and beleiveable / unbeleivable balance that hits pretty well. One thing I do remember is that the decepticons all spoke in a foreign tongue. When did that change?
Anyway, I digress. The third, relatively disappointing installment had a few things that picked it up from the cutting room floor in my mind. For example, the incredible choice of hiring The Hangover’s Ken Jeong for both comic releif and mass-media links. The first introduction to his character is through a photograph. I’m not that familiar with his work, but I recognised him straight away and must say it pricked my ears up a bit more, just as I was starting to get bored after the post-introduction stage of the movie. His short-lived role, however awesome, wasn’t enough to save the movie. After this there was another 2 hours to go.
Something that annoys me about this movie are the figth scenes. I understand the colours and shapes are meant to help you identify the different characters and which are good and bad, but it isn’t enough for me. Maybe I’m just a bit dense. I found it really difficult to decipher the difference between the good robots and the bad robots in some of the fight scenes, despite the small clues. With all the non-stop action in those big scenes, I didn’t really have anough time to recognise the differences until it slowed down a bit. So because of that I found I wasn’t sure who was winning sometimes. It was a bit of a shame as it lost me. And I must say that I don’t think the 3D helped it either. It didn’t particularly add anything to it, the film didn’t use it to it’s full advantage and no special features relied on 3D even a small fraction as it did the CGI. Not that I’m having a go at the CGI. Sometimes, it was pretty good. The large scenes that were obviously CGI were pretty well mapped out, but the small CGI intricacies sometimes got lost in the budget and seemed hashed (see earlier Kennedy comment).
And boy was this film long. I went in expecting a short-ish standard film, having not been bothered to read reviews before I went (big mistake), and instead sat for at least two and a half hours. I mean, some of the action was good, sometimes it was very funny, but it certainly wasn’t necessary to have it running for that long. 2 hours should have really been a maximum running time.
Moving on to my final few words, as I’ve bored you almost as much as the movie might have done… Try it. I know I might have slated it a bit, but it certainly didn’t rate anywhere near the worst films I’ve ever seen. Yes it was long, sometimes boring and sometimes ridiculous, but it was also entertaining at times. I had a good laugh at Jeong, the cliches were amusing and some silly bits made me laugh too. However, if you’re into your history, don’t see it – it’ll drive you mad. I’m not a history buff but it annoyed me that they just changed history to suit their film ideas.
Star rating? 3 at the best, and that’s only because I found the funny side to it all.