I was on the fence about whether to see this movie. On the one hand, the first two, while enjoyable in a brain-dead kind of way, were an all-out assault on every tenet of good film-making, and I wasn’t sure my brain could withstand any more. (Teh stoopid! It burns!) But on the other hand, BIG ROBOTS SMASH!! LAZERZ GO PEW PEW!!1!! In the end, LAZERZ GO PEW PEW!!1!! won.
But to my great surprise, Dark of the Moon was remarkably non-awful. It is easily the best of the trilogy. I mean, it’s still a very dumb movie. Very dumb. But it’s actually a movie, as opposed to what happens when a SFX demo reel becomes violently ill mixed in with a bunch of dumbass humour and random T&A in a halfhearted attempt to give the illusion of plot and character development.
There were still enough dumb moments and flaws to keep me here all day if I tried to list them all, so instead I’ll just mention what impressed me.
It actually had a plot, and it was not a complete carbon copy of the past two movies’. It also had pacing and continuity, and the action and non-action scenes were interspersed evenly, as opposed to it being one long chunk of one and then one long chunk of the other.
There were twists to the plot, some of which genuinely surprised me (if only because I was expecting this to be as utterly predictable as the last two “films”).
It actually had the epic feel one would expect from an intergalactic war, as opposed to feeling like a street fight between transforming robotic gangs.
There were brief moments in which I did not experience the desire to stomp on Shia Labouf’s throat.
The new eye candy girl (Whatever Hernameis) is not going to be winning the Oscar for best actress anytime soon, but she is a definite step up from Megan Fox. Which is to say she can act. A little. I did not have to swallow my disgust with her as an actress and a person before I could appreciate her physical perfection.
Also, Spock as a giant robot. Original Spock. In what universe is that not awesome?
This is still a long way from what you would call an actual good film, but it’s not so guilty of a pleasure. One doesn’t risk permanent brain damage by viewing the Dark of the Moon.
And, why, you ask, has this franchise undergone such a remarkable transformation (no pun intended)? I ask the very same question up until the credits rolled, and I saw that it was not written by Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman–the writers of the first two movies and their hideous mirror image, the 2009 Star Trek movie. This solidifies my conviction that they need to be sealed in a vault and never let near a movie script again.
Only one complaint really sticks with me, and that’s that the movie needed more Optimus and Megatron. Because what other reason is there to see these movies? Optimus especially almost felt like an afterthought most of the time. I was also hoping we’d get to see him pissed off more, considering this movie is basically about humanity repeatedly and viciously stabbing him in the back. But I suppose that doesn’t fit his saintly image.
Overall rating: 7.1/10. Amazingly, I actually recommend it.