A Good Close For Bay's Vision Of Transformers
The Transformers films (excluding the original animated feature), a franchise that many thought could never come to the silver screen, has graced it twice now thanks to action (see: EXPLOSIVES) extraordinaire director Michael Bay.
These 2 films have been commercially successful, and while the first was a great introduction to audiences, especially Transformers fans as it showed that these "Robots In Disguise" could be transferred to the big screen, the second film left a sour taste as it introduced cliche's, some questionable robots and a somewhat convoluted storyline that took all the magic and simplicity of part 1 away.
With part 3, "Dark Of The Moon", generating the same amount of hype as the first 2 installments, many hope (as confirmed by the studio and director) that Bay's swan song returns some of this to the current trilogy.
"Dark Of The Moon" does do so, with Bay closing his saga in his typical style that would have us return for the next.
Story wise, the formula is still very much the same, along with the pacing. Yet, with some minor changes to certain pieces of it, the experience is somewhat different and makes for a better outing than that of the first sequel.
Sure, in many ways it's still the same with the addition of 10 more minutes on already long films (The first 2 both came in around the 2 hour 20 minute mark), the improvement in visual effects (With the robots looking better than ever) along with changes to the cast and the addition of 3D make it manageable.
Let's talk about the cast then. Though it hasn't changed too drastically with an addition or 2 here and a subtraction there, this of course pointing out the farewell of Megan Fox from the franchise.
Her replacement Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, is a fair replacement and one that I personally found more likable than Fox's "Mikaela Banes". With Patrick Dempsey bringing a certain greasiness to the film along with Frances McDormand playing the new "person who is in charge" and the return of all the core cast (LeBeouf, Turtorro, Duhamel, Gibson along with voice actors Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving as Megatron), it does well enough. And of course the crowd favourite Witwicky parents return once more with their hilarious parental offerings (Played again by Kevin Dunn and Julie White.)
Along with all these core characters and the addition of some new humans, there's a large number of new bots on display with some fan favourites finally jumping into the fray (Though they may have different names and different forms).
The only flaws that I could see with this large cast are the additions of John Malkovich, Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk all playing minor support characters. Though I enjoyed Tudyk in his role, getting one of the best scenes in the film, Ken Jeong felt out of place and Malkovich seems beyond this film.
This film, through and through is typically Bay, with large explosions happening frequently, slow motion thrown in constantly (Though this is appreciated at times so we can see the detail of the robot battles) and more army men than you could shake a stick at, it's with hope that whoever picks this franchise up next can inject it with a bit more substance and a cleaner continuity that borrows more from the mythos already set by the animated series.
Though this is not a film that is better than the first, it is most definitely better than the second and will easily insure that this franchise continues.