18 September 2012 | bh_tafe3
Back to something resembling form.
The Transformers series recovers slightly after an horrendous second instalment with a decent final act, providing of course that it is the final act.
The story (yep, unlike No.2 this one has a story) is that the autobots sent a ship out into the galaxy nearing the end of the Cybertronian War which crash landed on the Earth's moon. The Yanks found out about this, which is why they were so eager to land there in the late sixties, their real mission being to investigate this alien vessel. Turns out have the dormant former autobot leader Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy, the voice of Galvatron in the original animated film) on board, and he has a cargo that could hand the Decepticons final victory in the Cybertronian war and grant them dominion throughout the universe.
So the stakes are huge, so is the budget. So are the nods to older characters. Uber badass Shockwave finally makes an appearance, the autobots treating him with suitable fear and trembling. The rebel autobot Wreckers make an appearance, though as particularly vulgar characters. The autobots have the odds stacked against them, beaten and exiled, and yet triumph in the end after much sacrifice.
I won't say too much about the plot. Though there aren't many surprises, you're better off seeing them in the film than reading them in this review.
THis is easily the best characterisation of Optimus Prime, and also Megatron in the film series. Sentinel is an excellent addition, and I must admit to chuckling at the various Spock references throughout the film.
So with the human actors. LeBeouf, who I quite liked in the first and found tolerable in the second, is here just annoying. We swap the brunette Barbie Doll Megan Fox, for an actual Barbie Doll in Rosie Huntington Whitely. Though to compensate not being able to see Megan draped over a motor bike in short shorts, we are shown a close up from behind of Rosie walking up a flight of stairs in her underwear. As a matter of fact, that is her introductory scene which tells you all you need to know about her character. Frances McDormand and John Malkovich are both welcome additions and their characters both appear to have walked in off the same film John Turtorro's had in the first movie. Patrick Dempsey is perfect in his role as an oily business man conductor of mass enmity.
Spike's parents were so funny in the first film, and so vulgar in the second, hear they have improved to being merely banal.
Some of the set pieces are astonishing, the highlight being some humans trapped in a sky scraper leaning on another sky scraper, trying desperately to make their way across the fallen building into the still intact one as Shockwave tears the building apart, but the whole battle sequence in Chicago is breathtaking. The ending is suitably dramatic and feels final.
What can I say? Loved the transformer characterisations in this one. Had a couple of decent human characters added and actually had a story, even if it was pretty thin. Better than the second, not as good as the first. Loved it!