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Movie Review: Transformers – Dark of the Moon

by Trey Hock on June 29, 2011

in Print Reviews

I’ll begin with an analogy.

Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS) is a medical condition, which is marked by consistent unwanted sexual arousal and orgasm. Those of us who don’t have the disease may grin or chuckle and think that PSAS might not be so bad. Those with the disease often describe it as distracting to debilitating. Many say that it is embarrassing and often painful.

Michael Bay’s new movie “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is the cinematic equivalent to PSAS. Rarely is there a break in the passionless and often undesired action, and it leaves us embarrassed and in pain. It is like a two and a half hour fireworks show shot directly into our face, and comes with the resulting headache and scorched eyeballs.

The story (?) in “Dark of the Moon” focuses on the idea that the space race was in response to an incident that occurred in 1961. During the battle of Cybertron some fleeing Autobots escaped with a weapon that could have defeated the Decepticons, but their ship was damaged and crashed into the moon. The entire movie is spent getting to and then using this weapon.

Back in the present day, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), a recent college grad, hunts for a job. It seems that he is the only one of his friends or family that could not turn his involvement with the Autobots into heaps of cash. Former Secret Agent Simmons (John Turturro) lives large off of the revenue generated from his alien encounter book sales, and Sam’s own parents roll around D.C. in their mobile mansion. Sam instead feels sorry for himself, while lolling the day away in his enormous apartment with his super model girlfriend.

That’s really all I can tell you of the plot. The rest is just a mixture of unmotivated action sequences that are as offensive as they are bloodless. Multiple people are disposed of, disintegrated, blown up, squashed, and all in cleanly video game style, without the clutter of blood or bodies.

Bay continues his trend of ridiculous stereotypes with his creation of Fat Bastard-esque Scottish Autobots. These unruly automotive highlanders have been put in charge of a shuttle that will exile Optimus (Peter Cullen) and his team from Earth. In one sequence, Bay also gives us disposable black SUV Decipticons complete with dreadlocks. I find it none-too ironic that Megan Fox was canned from the Transformers movie franchise for saying, “He wants to be like Hitler on his sets,” in regards to Bay, and yet Bay can fill up the screen with ridiculous, offensive and downright hateful prejudicial reductions. Would someone please fire, Mr. Bay already?

Bay’s production must pay incredibly well, because it was able to not only buy off John Turturro, but this time around John Malkovich, and Frances McDormand turn in any credibility they once had to play supporting roles in this cinematic turd.

Remember when Frances McDormand made that awesome speech about the importance of independent films and filmmakers at the Academy Awards in 1997?

Yeah neither does she.

Ultimately “Dark of the Moon” is a study in terrible filmmaking. It is not only too violent, too loud, too offensive, but it also stupid and fake. Not a single thing in this film has even the slightest aroma of truth. The actions of Sam, his friends, his coworkers are bizarre and are not the actions of real or rational people. The worst are his parents. His mom at one point, confused by Sam’s ability to bed babes, speculates that he must have a huge penis. What?

If you want to see a film where nothing is ever emotionally at stake, where characters never once behave in a manner that is recognizable as human, and Michael Bay aesthetically rapes your brain for two plus hours, then by all means give Bay more money. If on the other hand there is anyway I can convince you not to support this heaping pile of cinematic trash, then please do not see “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

If I can save just one person from having to endure this crapfest, then it will be worth the time I spent in the theater.

In addition to contributing to Scene-Stealers, Trey makes short films and teaches at the Kansas City Art Institute. Follow him here:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cody June 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

So you didn’t like it?


2 Rosie July 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Hi-larious review, Trey, one of my favourites so far. Having said that, I have no sympathy for Megan Fox getting kicked off the franchise.


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