When I arrived at the theater at 9:30 this morning I did not expect to see – well – anyone else. I was wrong and also pleasantly surprised. While I typically get stuck in the theater with a bunch of chatterboxes, this crowd was delightful. I went into Transformers 3 expecting it to be awful. The first Transformers was so fantastic. Full of the explosive action that occurs when Autobots and Decepticons engage in battle. The second one almost made me walk out of the theater. It was… abhorrent. Transfomers 3: Dark of the Moon starts strong and only gains power and speed as it zips right through the 2.5 hour running time.
In the beginning of the film we are witness to the first moon landing. Buzz Aldrin follows in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong when they are the first men in history to set foot on the moon. The film uses real footage from the event including presidents Kennedy and Nixon and some original news coverage. The moon landing in the film explains why two men were really sent up there. An alien craft had crash landed there and NASA along with government officials wanted to know what was going on way out there in space. The mission is a successful one and the men return to earth safely along with a souvenir.
After we are introduced to the story and what happened in the past, we are introduced to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s derriere. She plays Carly in the film in place of another gorgeous woman who shall remain nameless. The nameless woman isn’t spoken of in the film and is only referenced a couple of times as the girl who dumped Sam. Back to Carly. The woman is perfect. Michael Bay said in an interview that out of 500 women all over the world there was something about Rosie. Gee, I wonder what that something was. She is quite fetching indeed. Tan, blonde, and legs from here to ya-ya. Yeah, I’m sure there was “something” about her. She is dating Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) after meeting him when President Obama presented him with a medal. He is jobless and dreading a visit from his wacky parents who will surely give him guff for his joblessness.
Earth has been safe from the decepticons for some time now, but things are about to change dramatically. Sam finally lands a job in a mail room. He goes to tell Carly the good news and meets her boss, Dylan (Dempsey). Dylan runs his father’s business collecting some of the most expensive cars in the world. He and Carly work closely and Sam is naturally threatened. Especially when Dylan gives Carly a $200,000 car as a gift. In a hilarious incident at work involving Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong) Sam learns that the decepticons have returned. He grabs Carly and goes to find out what is happening. He arrives to find that the government has been hiding a vital piece of information from the autobots. Prime also learns some vital information: Sentinal Prime (voiced by he legendary Leonard Nimoy) – the original leader of the autobots – was in the spacecraft that crashed on the moon all of those years ago. Optimus retrieves Sentinal Prime from the moon and brings him back to life.
The story quickly unravels and we learn that the humans have trusted their information with the wrong people. Oh and Dylan is working with the decepticons as well. In a surprising turn of events, Sentinal reveals that the autobots were never going to win the war and that he has made a deal with Megatron. He then goes postal and blows everything to smithereens. Meanwhile, Dylan has run off to Chicago with Carly. That sweet whip he gave her as a gift? Total decepticon. The government decides that the best plan of action is to send all of the Autobots back to space to rid the planet of the chaos they have caused. Sam has a tearful goodbye with Optimus and Bumblebee and goes off to find Carly in Chicago.
I was nearly jumping out of my seat when the scenes of Chicago started. I could see where I had been standing watching them film the Chicago footage and a few stray tears made their way down my cheeks. It was an exciting moment. Give me a break. Anyway, the arrival in Chicago proves to be a depressing one as the city has been – excuse my language – blown to shit. Everything is on fire. The building my friends live in was jacked up. It was a hot mess. The government had been sending drones in to get a look at what was happening, but each drone was shot down before they could see anything. Sam was escorted by Epps (Tyrese – who I almost got to meet while they were filming) and his friends. Epps had a personal vendetta to solve with those damned decepticons. When the condition of the city was revealed, Epps and company decided not to go in. But Sam – and I can’t say I blame him – wanted to go in anyway to save his smokin’ hottie of a girlfriend.
Epps and Sam argue until a decepticon finds them and starts shooting everything. The situation looks hopeless until the decepticon is blown away by… drumroll please… Optimus Prime! There was applause in the theater behind me and I got chills. That’s how you do it, Bay! Lennox (Duhamel) brings the troops to defuse the situation. There are explosions galore, people jumping off buildings and gliding to the ground, and tons of great shots of Chicago. I don’t care what a certain Chicago film critic says, I thought the footage was top-notch. Sam does not ride in on a white horse to save Carly. He flies in on an autobot instead which was actually much cooler. Dylan has told Carly all of the plans the decepticons have and once she is rescued she is able to tell everyone else as well.
The rest of the film is packed with awesome CGI and lots of great one-liners. Also, lots of running and screaming. All is going according to plan until Carly and Sam get separated from the group somehow. A decepticon who finds them hiding in the street has a Kill Bill moment when Sam uses a grappling hook to take his eye.
Everything about this movie was better than the second one. Everything. The action, the humor, the characters, the plot. The Chicago scenes were just the cherry on top. It was a perfect summer film and one that I will most likely be seeing again before it leaves theaters. See it in the theater. I implore you. It is so much better than watching it at home. The visual effects are fantastic and it is more fun that way. Huge, fat props to Michael Bay for not blowing this one!
The entire second half of this film was made right down the street from me. My love of movies is enough to bring a tear to my eye and watching this one while it was shooting was an experience I will never forget. I am so pleased to say that it was really excellent. On behalf of the people of Chicago who were woken up at 8 am by helicopters, and the people who were late to work due to explosions or being detoured because the street was all blown up – thank you for making this movie worth while.