A vast improvement over its predecessor and probably the best entry in the series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a fun and entertaining summer blockbuster that serves as a satisfying conclusion to the Transformers trilogy. With some welcome additions to the cast and a plot that actually makes sense, this last chapter is everything Revenge of the Fallen should have been.
This time around, college graduate Sam Witwicky struggles to find a job in Washington D.C., where he lives with his new girlfriend, Carly. Optimus Prime and the Autobots are off fighting Decepticons, leaving Sam feeling alone and overwhelmed. Sam is thrust back into the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons when a plot is uncovered that, if successfully executed, could allow the Decepticons to enslave the entire human race.
Overall, the acting here isn’t great, but luckily a film like Transformers does not require superb acting ability. Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, and his performance is on par with his acting in the first two movies. John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, and Tyrese Gibson deliver passable performances as Agent Simmons, William Lennox, and Robert Epps, respectively. The newcomers to the franchise deliver the best performances, especially Patrick Dempsey as the villainous Dylan Gould. As the main human antagonist, he has a fairly demanding role, which he pulls off brilliantly. John Malkovich does a solid job as Sam’s boss, Bruce Brazos, but he doesn’t have nearly enough screen time to show off his incredible acting ability. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who plays Carly, does not serve much of a purpose here, other than being a damsel in distress. However, she proves to be a more capable actress than Megan Fox, who can’t act to save her life.
Unlike Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon boasts an interesting plot that makes sense. And, for the first time, a human antagonist makes an appearance. This strengthens the story because it adds to the significance of the humans who are fighting in this war. Now, instead of the robots stealing all of the awesome moments, there are scenes where the human characters really prove their worth in this final battle for Earth.
Dark of the Moon boasts some of the best action sequences in the trilogy. The final battle in Chicago is breathtaking, complete with the destruction and the many explosions we have come to expect from a Michael Bay film. Action movie fans and Transformers fans alike will not be disappointed.
Despite its many strengths, the film does have its flaws. The movie drags quite a bit leading into the second half, which might bore viewers who are itching to see giant robots blowing each other to bits. It takes its time getting to the good stuff, but once it does, it is totally worth it. Audiences are rewarded for their patience, because the last thirty minutes of the movie contain the best action scenes in the series. Another weakness of Dark of the Moon is its ending. We get an exciting battle, then the film abruptly ends less than three minutes afterwards. There is no explanation of what happens next and no indication of what the characters are going to do afterwards, which is somewhat of a letdown.
Overall, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an exciting movie that puts the franchise back on its feet and ends it on a high note. 3.5/5 stars