Terrible acting worsens an incoherent plot

Updated: 2011-07-20 07:56

By Eric Jou (China Daily)

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Terrible acting worsens an incoherent plot

Fast cars, big explosions and hot girls - director Michael Bay's final Transformers movie has it all.

It seems like the perfect recipe for a summer blockbuster, despite being riddled with a shaky camera, bad acting and an incoherent plot - not to mention the fidgety Shia LaBeouf.

I enjoy Michael Bay films. He is a master at shutting down the brain and producing marvelous eye candy. But even with all those gorgeous techno wonders, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a terrible movie.

The plot continues from where Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen left off - with Sam Witwicky (played by LaBeouf) having graduated from college and entering the job market.

But he faces difficulties finding work because of an arrogance acquired after saving the world from the Decepticons, evil shape-shifting robots that look like metallic bugs. Sound like anyone's recent Details Magazine interview?

Witwicky's trusty 2009 Chevy convertible is absent from the picture early on, and we are told that the Autobots, the good robots that protect humans, are policing the world tracking down evil-doing Decepticons. Also barely addressed is the change of female leads, with Megan Fox's Mikaela replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Carly.

As the film progresses, one learns that the whole point of NASA's voyage to the moon and the Cold-War era space race was based on the fact that a Transformers ship crash-landed on the moon. This brings together a bevy of characters - Ken Jeong, Patrick Dempsey and John Malkovich.

Returning to Earth, the plot turns to action, with the Transformers changing shape and beating up other giant robots. However, the effects are as poorly executed as the shaky camera work, and the scenes are covered in too much smoke.

It is ultimately the human side of the movie that weighs it down. Huntington-Whiteley's acting is even worse than Megan Fox's, and Shia LaBeouf does the whole child-with-attention-deficit routine again. It made me wish one of the giant robots would just squish him out of his misery.

Director Michael Bay admitted that Transformers 2 was a poorly executed film, but he placed partial blame on the Hollywood writers' strike. Who will he blame this time around?

Halfway through the film, my girlfriend said, "This movie is boring. I don't want to watch it anymore", and proceeded to play on my phone for the rest of the time. The movie made me want to see Junkyard Dog again, and the only thing going for that movie was Vivica A Fox. But Transformers: Dark of the Moon is perfect for those wishing to shut their brains off for a few hours. It will also definitely wow children. For those seeking something more intelligible, look elsewhere.

China Daily

(China Daily 07/20/2011 page18)


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