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Movie Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3D/ English) 132

Live-action Transformers movies make great business sense not just at the box office but also for Hasbro’s merchandise. With the action getting bigger in every version, ‘Dark of the Moon’ aka Transformers-3 is a typical Micheal Bay movie, which promises loads of action which, as usual is scantily clad with a semblance of a story.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), the central character in the first two films has now finished schooling and looking for a job. He has also moved cities and also to a new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whitley). Sam and the Autobots dive into the thick of the plot when the truth behind moon explorations is apparently revealed as an investigation into a crashed Cybertronian spacecraft on the dark side of the moon.

Sentinel Prime is a key character inlusion as Optimus’ mentor and Cybertronian genius who his keen on using advanced technology to revive his planet and also brings a twist in the story. The one-eyed serpertine cannon bot Shockwave is TF3’s most formidable antagonist. Old enemy Megatron has lost his edge but not his ambitions and moves around as a rusty old truck with a cowl covering the injury inflicted by Optimus in TF2.

The film’s selling point is its special effects, largely shot in stereoscopic 3D which deserves unreserved applause for the resultant spectacle. Intricate action sequences are slowed down for detail and camera angles are simply great. The freeway chase that features in most of Bay’s movies is seen again though. With more bots and the threat of imminent global danger make the climax worthwhile.

Nevertheless, there is a lot missing with the script and acting. The flow is also affected by poor transitions between action and storytelling. Sudden cuts in some action sequences and the lucky bunny romance scene that suddenly pops up from nowhere are just a few examples. Also, some of its humor is downright silly.

Sam’s character that was central to the story in the earlier movies as he held maps or clues that either group was chasing. Here, the battle has nothing to do with him and all that LaBeouf has to do is to play his usual scared hero. Megan Fox’s replacement, Rosie brings in her charm, but none too comparable to Fox. Both something in common though; they’re both equally awful at acting.

And, nearly everyone else is just a caricature. Be it those reprising their roles such as Josh Duhamel as the army commander or John Torturro as the former Agent turned author who aren’t critical to the story or new new faces such as the largely wasted John Malkovich or a nervous Ken Jeong of Hangover fame. A significant exception is, Patrick Dempsey as Carly’s moneyed boss with a deeper secret to his role.

Clearly, it’s a case of special effects donning the role of a back-seat driver. But, full marks for special effects, the lone pillar on which the Transormers edifice stands.

Rating 6/10: Scores for action and special effects alone
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