“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”: sequel to the sequel


I got a really shocking number of comments on yesterday’s blog about “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”



A lot of people asked the same couple of questions, to which I’ll reply here.



But let me just say that I was really heartened by the response to this, and to the movie in general.  (It made over $100 million in the US this weekend!  Why can’t I make that much in a single weekend?)



I’m a great movie-lover, and some of my favorites movies are as artsy and la-di-da as you please: “The Red Shoes,” “Dodsworth,” “Holiday.”



But right up there with the others on my list are “Dune” and “King Kong” and “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.” I do not apologize for the fact that I also like movies in which there’s action, and suspense, and drama, and maybe a little meshugana fantasy.



And who doesn’t like those things, really?



But it can’t just be any old action. It has to be done right. Noisy car-crashes aren’t really enough, or spaceship collisions, or even exploding human heads. I need to feel engaged in the action; I need to feel that I’m right in there, with the monsters and the robots, with a personal stake in the outcome.



“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” gets it just about right. The human characters are us, really; we’re the tiny people in the streets of Chicago, yelling up at Optimus and Ironhide and Bumblebee. We are completely engaged in the action.



There is also a wonderful sense of playfulness in the movie. I mentioned before the bizarre little wrestling-match between John Malkovich and the sixteen-foot-tall robot, with Malkovich giggling like an idiot the whole time. It occurred to me suddenly this evening that – oh my god! – he’s playing with the robot, the way a kid plays with a Transformers action figure!



(In this case, of course, the toy is pretty large, and seems a little uncertain of what’s going on, but – hey, that’s part of the fun!)






  • Was “Dark of the Moon” better than the first two Transformers movies? I can’t say. I saw the first one, which is also jolly fun, and if you haven’t already seen it, go see it already. I’d say, however, that it spent too much time on Shia LaBeouf’s backstory, and not enough time on robot mayhem. The second one, “Revenge of the Fallen,” I haven’t seen, as most of the critics said it was pretty dreadful, and I trusted them. “Dark of the Moon” alludes to it a lot – scenes in Egypt, characters that were introduced in “Revenge.” Also, John Turturro was a not-nice guy in Number One, and he’s on the side of the good guys in Number Three, so something must have happened in-between. So: evidently I’ve gotta invest two hours in seeing “Revenge of the Fallen.”

  • Is it worthwhile to see “Dark of the Moon” in 3-D? It’s not essential, but it’s good for a couple of thrills. I don’t like the glasses; they’re usually dirty, and I already wear glasses, so I look and feel like Nerd Supreme when I’m wearing them. Also, it’s gonna cost you probably three bucks more per ticket. But when that creepy Decepticon starts snaking its way up the side of the skyscraper, straight for you, and the building’s collapsing, and the roof is falling in on you . . (David Edelstein in New York Magazine agrees with me, by the way, saying: “Why not pop an Advil and pony up the extra bucks for the Full Michael Bay?”)



And the last and saddest question of all:


  • Oh, come on! You can’t be serious! This movie looks idiotic! It’s based on a bunch of Hasbro action figures!



To which I say: Oh, snap out of it. Worlds have been built on less.



I know I’ll never look at my clock-radio the same way again.



It might start shooting at me.





About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

3 Responses to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”: sequel to the sequel

  1. I was wondering if the movie was worth seeing, but I’m convinced that I’m seeing it!!!

  2. CMrok93 says:

    It’s an improvement over the second one, which isn’t saying much, but still is a very fun blockbuster filled with action, destruction, romance, robots, and Michael Bay once again letting loose on all the special effects and action there is to let loose. Good Review!

  3. KP says:

    i like ur blog! 🙂 please check out mine! i would luv feedback, good or bad 🙂

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