Dark of the Moon is better than Revenge of the Fallen, I’ll give it that. Unfortunately that is not saying much, and many of Bay’s usual problems crop up in this threequel. It is clear from the speed in which Bay whips through his dialogue and comedy moments that he is uncomfortable with actors and scripts. He doesn’t linger with the characters for long and gives us some cheap laughs as quickly as he can so he can to the part he really likes – CGI hunks of metal beating the crap out of each other whilst soldiers fire, buildings collapse and other things blow up… a lot.
It is in these moments that the imbalance is felt even more because the action scenes, the last one especially, are far too long and drawn out. I appreciated his inclusion of Linkin Park’s ‘Iridescent’ theme throughout the film and I like what he tried to do when he brought it in during the aftermath of the invasion. I don’t think he quite got to grips with the potential of combining such a great song with the haunting images of desolation, but he tried.
It was great to see Shia again, back in his signature role, but I think he would agree that it is now time for him to spread his wings, and use his talent in other roles. He has done enough quirky, everyman performances for now and he needs to branch out before the typecasting sets in. He can always return to this type of character down the line.
The other characters all seem to get rushed on screen time. John Malkovich is always good value, and it is clear that Megan Fox’s replacement, Rosie Huntington-Whitely is purely cast because of her looks. Her opening shot is simply the camera tracking behind her pantie clad butt for twenty seconds.
This film is however, as Shia LaBeouf promised, the craziest action film ever made. The effects are phenomenal. One scene that especially impressed me was when the characters are inside a collapsing skyscraper and decide to jump out the window and slide down the exterior of the building. Well down to ILM for continuing to push the envelope but now, please, move on… we’ve seen enough robots fighting each other. In fact the only thing in my head when I left the film was the mechanical sounds of motors, levers, switches, and metal scraping and smashing against itself. Clang bang whrrr zzzzz zip brsshhh! You’ll know what I mean.
Lastly, I just felt the coda at the end was extremely short, especially when ending off a trilogy. I’m not asking for Return of the King’s twelve endings, but after a gigantic one hour action scene at the end of eight hours of Transforming, the three minute tag on doesn’t carry any weight.