Wednesday, 31 August 2011



Bay transforms the franchise back to prime-time.

12A, 154 Minutes. Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Malkovich & Ken Jeong. Voices: Peter Cullen, Leonard Nimoy & Hugo Weaving. Director: Michael Bay. Screenplay: Ehren Kruger

If Michael Bay does anything, you know he does it BIG! From creating an 'Armageddon' to hanging out with 'Bad Boys' his big hits come with a bang. Still his loudest exclamation point on Hollywood, popcorn, blockbuster movies has got to be the 'Transformers' franchise. When he first took the cartoon to the big-screen in 2007 he gave the geeks and sci-fi nuts a wet-dream with a classic explosion in cinemas. 'Transformers' was just too good, the sequel 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen' was a little too much however. Good but a little grandiose, even for this director. So with this third part of this trilogy, Bay decided to tone things down a little and grow things up. With a darker, yet cooler film we see less robots and Megan Fox but more awesome action and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (replacing Fox as Shia LaBeouf's lead love interest).

In this movie the 'Autobots' and humans war with the 'Decepticons' really steps up to an 'Apocalypse Now' pace as the fate of the world once again is in the metal hands of either the good or bad alien robots. From Washington D.C. to Chicago and the rest of the world the invasion looks epic and as for fighting the good fight, these tin-cans really get it on. 'Transformers-Dark Of The Moon' cranks it up a notch, re-charging the series with exhilarating excitement and amazing action set-pieces. From mid-air transformations to tense, gripping moments, you'll drop your popcorn and maybe even shed a tear (can you believe that?).

The Speilberg overseen piece takes a leaf out of other film scripts and pays homage to everything from 'The Dark Knight' to 'Star Trek'(just listen out with Spock ears). It's also got a first-person shooting angle of respect to gaming and a rear-view reference to the executive producer's 'Jurassic Park', just look. Most of all thought this film pays the right homage, justice and respect, to itself, saving the legacy of the young and olds favourite cartoon by giving us a more adult-favoured movie that is still suitable for children's excitement levels.

This right balance is maintained despite there yet again being more action and robots then you could shake a metal stick at. Sure the throwing everything at the wall philosophy is applied again, but this time more sticks. Sure you've still got regional robots with annoying accents and crazy going on, but it makes up for the cool comic-relief from all the high-octane action that really makes the most of imax, 3D and movie escapism. Throwing everything on us again, all in all this time it works. Plus from Bee's buzzing makeover to Optimus Prime's, 'take no mess' dominance this movie is the sequel that 'Revenge Of The Fallen' should have been.

Everytime this film looks like it's going to fall short it picks itself back up. So there's some crazy CGI of JFK (they should have just got Greg Kinnear) but there's a legendary 'how did they get him' cameo from Buzz Aldrin, now that's cool. Plus even though there's a few subtle, unnecessary jabs at departed Megan Fox, and a desecration to the legendary Lincoln Memorial in D.C.-which is just plain wrong-this can be forgiven. With horrendously hilarious cast additions of John Malkovich and 'Mr. Chow' himself Ken Jeong and a strong consistent return from magnificent mainstays Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Tyrese Gibson, all the parts come together perfectly. Even with a complicated blueprint, this just fits.

LaBeouf has the mettle to lead and his steel and iron based friends really do give this huge movie it's weight. Plus with a top scoring soundtrack featuring Linkin Park yet again and their epic latest hit, 'Iridescent', everything sounds, looks and feels as great and exciting as it should. This massive hit is really wrapped up however by the addition of 'Decepticon', 'Shockwave' and his 'Driller' pet making for some of the most jaw, people and building dropping scenes in the whole movie. This dumb-fun film has all the smarts to make it extravagant yet engaging. Kicking the a** of the slumping-sequel. 'Dark Of The Moon' stands tall and prime in a series that could still hit it's optimal peak if it looks to improve even more. Down-grading the faff and up-grading the action this franchise goes from a fail right back to A-star territory. Top marks. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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