OK, But It's A Let-Down That There's No Megan Fox
The first two Transformers movies, which starred Shia LaBeouf as Sam and Megan Fox and Megan Fox as Mikaela, made a ton of money. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), directed by Michael Bay for Paramount, is the third in the series. Of course, it made a ton of money, too. In fact, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was the second-highest grossing film of 2011 and one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Obviously, someone knew what they were doing.
Either you are a fan of Transformers-style action film or you aren't. Basically, the story involves two different alien races fighting for dominion. Earth happens to be their battleground. One side is good, the other isn't. The good guys are led by Optimus Prime, the bad guys by Megatron. The aliens are giant robots that can change shape ("transform") and have a lot of power to blow things up.
A lot of things get blown up in these films. That is why people go to see them. The makers of these films are very good at blowing things up. They know that is what people want to see, and that it will bring in a ton of money. There is little downside to the explosions because generally the victims aren't people, they are robots, which removes any vestige of human sympathy or empathy. Given the extraordinary excellence of the pyrotechnics, which is the sole point of the film, one could say this is an outstanding film, in fact, it is the high art of the 21st Century.
On the down side, there are actors involved. Megan Fox made a comment early in production that was deemed not politically correct, so she was unceremoniously dumped by the Director, Michael Bay, and producer Steven Spielberg. Let's just say there are certain things you don't speak of lightly in certain company. Anyway, They knew that the film's audience came to see robots, destruction and explosions, not actors, so they couldn't have cared less what bodies walked around in between the fireworks. A simple slur was enough for them to deprive Megan and her fans of her presence in this film. The Borgias of medieval Italy exercised power off-handedly in a similar fashion. You know, "she offends me, so off with her head," that sort of thing.
They found a British model with almost no acting experience, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and stuck her in the Megan Fox slot under the character name of "Carly." She is strikingly beautiful and amazingly inept as an "actress," but she is as adept at grabbing Shia as they wander through the fake smoking ruins as anyone else. The quality of the explosions did not suffer, and she was almost as pleasant for the mostly teenage-boy audience to look at as Megan, in fact maybe more so for some, so the substitution made little difference.
I could go on and on about how silly the script is, how much of it makes no sense, how trashy the whole concept seems when placed in the same category of works that examine the human condition, and how the acting (especially of Rosie) is atrocious. That's kind of like saying that water is wet. The point of the film is not the acting, or the dialog, or the witty insights - it is creating infernos of burning combustibles. The people are there to look pretty. They do that. Problem solved.
I don't want to sound condescending or anything like that, so I will let a true authority sum this up. Orson Welles played a version of Unicron in one of his final films, "Transformers: The Movie (1986)." He is quoted as famously saying, "I play a planet. I menace somebody called something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen." He added that Transformers in general is a show where "two groups of toys do awful things to each other."
That's Transformers. Below is the trailer.
|Click to Purchase|