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Transformers:Dark Side Of The Moon (2011) *** January 16, 2012

Posted by ghostof82 in : Film General , trackback

I feel like I’ve been assaulted- the blitzkrieg of action that comprises the last half of this film is so dizzyingly, mindbogglingly impressive , so utterly insane…  I only saw it on DVD rental, God only knows how audiences felt at the cinema… was this film at Imax screens? I cannot imagine what that was like.

Of course, it’s all completely stupid. It’s a videogame/cartoon/comic brought to blistering cinematic life but it has all the drama and realism of… well, its just nuts, frankly. I kept watching the female love-interest, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Megan-Fox mode) throughout the apocalyptic bedlam, incase she might just bust a nail, smear her lipstick, get a bruise or scratch, dirty her designer outfit, maybe even even tear her clothes up a little… she gets to the end so untouched its actually funny, the films best joke, unintentional as it is. But then again, the same is true of all the human stars in the film, they are, in a way, more indestructible than the robots, as the robots get violently ripped apart numerous times but the human stars come through unscathed. It’s hard to actually ‘feel’ anything watching graphic cartoon violence like this, it’s so divorced from reality. As Chicago is laid to waste by the Decepticons we see crowds of humans being obliterated by their death-rays but we feel nothing. We should, surely?

But its bubblegum blockbuster movie-making here, and I’m not going to pretend there isn’t room for this nonsense alongside more artistic cinema like Tree Of Life. As is usual for the work of director Michael Bay, it’s just all too fast. The camera never stops, it spins, it races by. I may be missing something obvious, but very often I watched some of the battles between the robots and I just couldn’t tell who was the good robot, who was the bad, or where the one robot ended and the other began. I sat back and enjoyed the cg spectacle but it didn’t mean anything, and it confused me to the point that, visually, I couldn’t tell what was going on sometimes. Yes it’s pretty and impressive technically but what just happened? Is that me or bad movie-making? I quite enjoyed Bay’s earlier films, even though they have always been more style over content, but these Transformers films are just so madly, wildly, kinetic.

But whatever next from here? How do they try to top this one? I cannot imagine, but I’m sure they will try.


1. badblokebob - January 16, 2012

“I watched some of the battles between the robots and I just couldn’t tell who was the good robot, who was the bad, or where the one robot ended and the other began.”

I’ve felt this about both the previous Transformers films, and when I heard Bay was taking the lessons of 3D filmmaking on board — meaning longer, more stable shots to allow the brain to orientate itself and process the 3D-ness — I was slightly optimistic that the third would be less frantic and more comprehensible. Shame it was all just talk.

Despite that, I know I’ll still see this thing at some point.

2. oldboy - January 16, 2012

I fear they will bring Bay back to top this one. Oh Primus no!

I too share your complaint about the action being too fast and the camera racing by. Even on the big screen sitting further back it moves too fast and fills too much of the screen. You’d think Bay would pull the camera back a little to give some perspective and see how big these robots are. Instead we get all these bits of the Transformer moving and changing and it’s a highly detailed mess. Are we getting old? It spoils the action when you don’t have time to see it.

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