Written by / 7/03/2011 / No comments / , , ,

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

title: TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
year: 2011
cast: Shia LaBeouf, John Turturro, Rosie Huntington-Whitely
rating: ***

After two world wars (the first two movies) it makes sense for a Cold War Thriller, and that's what most of the film is, the first half replacing action with espionage. History be damned; the real story of Neil Armstrong's landing on the Moon is altered with a secret no one knew about: there was a Transformer crashed on its dark side. This discovery has, with a few clashing robot battles in-between, Shia LaBeouf and his trophy girlfriend rolling to various locations, unlocking clues with the help of, or perhaps the bulwark of, the military: keeping good old Optimus Prime safe and sound while Sentinel Prime, the moon Transformer moved to Earth, changes sides when his hidden power is revealed: which can save his planet but ruin ours. The problem is the last half. Although there's plenty of action and cool shape-shifting effects, much of the battle repeats itself; the good guys seem defeated and then make a last minute comeback twice within an epic running time thirty minutes too long. Newcomers John Malkovich is amusing as an eccentric corporate head, while Patrick Dempsey takes the charmingly shady capitalist role. And many of the prior alumnus return, including John Tuturro and Tyrese Gibson, aiding underdog turned tough guy Shia in the big ground battle where Optimus Prime is only used sporadically, yet strategically, throughout an overlong, but ultimately satisfying, blockbuster.
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