It’s hard to come into the Transformers movies without an opinion anymore. It’s a film series that has much publically emphasized constant action over any discernible story. This is never more apparent in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Robots duel. Soldiers run around shooting at things. Shia LaBeof is made to look like a fool for 95% of the movie and then a hero in the last 5%. And women are objectified. There is no sense to it anymore. These things happen randomly and frequently without explanation. There aren’t even any characters in this film anymore, just props that move around, and that applies equally to the human actors as it does the Transformers themselves.
Let’s try to break this down. Way back during the Cybertronian civil war, the “Ark” was sent out into space and presumed to be destroyed. What actually happened is that it crashed on the moon in 1961. It was detected and launched the space race on Earth. Once enough of it had been harvested and brought back to Earth, we buried the evidence and promptly forgot about it. (This movie features a pointless cameo by Buzz Aldrin, who tarnishes his own name by appearing.) Now, however, the Decepticons are aware of it and Optimus Prime wants to get it before his enemies do.
BUT! The Ark is a decoy – as we are almost IMMEDIATELY informed of by Megatron – so we know it’ll eventually turn out to be trouble. Except, specifically how it’s a decoy, isn’t quite clear. Also, why it took so long for Megatron to start this scam isn’t quite clear, as several years have passed since Transformers 2 where the necessary MacGuffin was acquired to start the Ark.
Also, apparently Megatron – or Starscream actually — has been hiding an army on the Moon laying in dormancy for when the Ark could be started. Why this army wasn’t called during Transformers 1 and 2 when it was… you know, REALLY ESSENTIAL, isn’t clear at all.
Neither, actually, is it ever clear which Transformer we’re actually looking at in a given shot. I could spot Optimus (most of the time) and Bumblebee (almost all the time) but every other Transformer, including all the villains, were indecipherable to me. They’re just a jumble of jagged grey metal most of the time and they move so fast that it’s impossible to track the action until the robots break apart and we see who is “bleeding” (which all the Transformers do for no clear reason… several even drool and spit, for gods sake).
Finally, the human props are no less indecipherable. Shia’s character, Sam Witwicky, has apparently been shut out of the US government run program that … I dunno, I guess “owns” the Autobots right now, and he’s kinda tacked off about it. His girlfriend from the previous two movies – Megan Fox – has dumped him and he’s picked up a new leggy British girlfriend that is in the film for ONLY TWO REASONS: to persistently look “sexy” (bleh) and to be a hostage for Sam to rescue. In fact, there are only three female characters in the whole film, one of which is Sam’s insane mother who is laughably out of touch, and the other is the chairman of the security council whose only job is to be comically stern with everyone and screw over the main characters. There are NO positive female characters in this film! At all!
I cannot understand how this film series persists. There is nothing redeemable about it. Very not recommended.