So I finally got around to watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon last night and with one very important caveat, I really enjoyed it!

Specifically, that caveat was as follows:
I went into this movie with almost zero expectations.

Giant robots fighting, lots of explosions – that’s what I wanted to see from Transformers 3 and if nothing else, it was certainly fun to watch gigantic things shoot at each other and blow up for 2.5 hours. We saw it on the IMAX giant screen downtown and specifically addressing those two movie-going expectations, Transformers did quite well.

Outside of that, I mean, sure – the movie was horrible. The story was ridiculous, even considering that it was a movie about giant robots trying to invade the planet, Megan Fox’s replacement was essentially a cardboard cut-out of a lingerie model, and not for nothing, but why was Megatron wearing a cape?! Was that supposed to tell us that he’s only a fractured pauper of the king that he used to be??? Because at the end of the day despite missing half of his head, he’s still a 40-foot tall robot with guns on every conceivable part of his body!

In particular, I wasn’t too crazy about the opening scenes where they doctored the footage from Kennedy talking about the original moon landing, just because it didn’t seem like it was very well done; same with the Obama scene where Sam gets his medal. Buzz Aldrin’s cameo was kind of cool, except that it seemed silly when Optimus said in return that it was an “honor” to meet him as well, which seemed a bit too humble even for Optimus Prime…

“You’ve been to the moon? Congratulations – I could go there right now if I wanted to … should I bring you back something?!”

I guess it says something where the most obnoxious character in the last movies – Agent Simmons (the Sector 7 guy) – was now one of the most entertaining. I mean, John Malkovich was weird, but really, John Malkovich is just a weird guy, so no surprises there. I still have no idea why Sam’s parents were there, except maybe the writers needed to fill 5 minutes and were running out of explosions or something. Honestly, the best character interaction was probably during the last fight scene (i.e. the last hour of the movie) where the only dialog was variations of “Holy shit – that’s a big fucking robot!” and “Holy shit – this is fucking insane!”

I did really enjoy the robot fighting and the explosions, though – I suspect that roughly 95% of the budget went into the special effects, and it shows. The giant worm robot that eats entire buildings was pretty cool, and both Bumblebee and Optimus got to show off their general badass-ed-ness in one form or another. The twist at the very end was a little unexpected, however the last movies have basically proven dying to not be that big of a deal among Autobots and Decepticons alike, so I don’t really expect the outcome to have much of an impact on future sequels to come.

Honestly, at this point if they wanted to just give up on the whole “script” thing and toss that money into even more explosions and CGI robots, I think I’d be fine with that, too.

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