Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Badly flawed

Content written by Tony Macklin. Originally published on July 3, 2011 on

Animator Chuck Jones was a brilliant master of comic destruction. It had wit, style, and grace.

Director Michael Bay is a master of destruction. It is witless, styleless, and graceless.

Jones's movies went "beep, beep." We laughed. Bay's go "thud, thud." We cringe.

Bay's latest foray into endless, vapid dissonance is Transformers: Dark of the Moon, his third trip into a racket (two meanings of the word).

This time out we sit through 2 1/2 hours of CGI -- complete godawful inanity. The last hour is not equal to what Jones did in a minute.

If one hears that a movie has a very talented cast of actors, he probably looks forward to it. Dark of the Moon has Shia LaBoeuf, Josh Duhamel, Frances McDormand, John Turturro, John Malkovich, et al. What a cast! What acting awaits us.

Except the actors are thrown off the screen by a hodgepodge of metal. Who wants acting, when you can have relentless metallic chaos?

The evil Decepticons are back fighting the good Autobots for control of the earth. Chicago is their battleground. Dark of the Moon stands in for Dark Side of the World Series, since Chicago hasn't seen such competition since the Black Sox.

And no matter how talented the cast is, if you give them dumb dialogue -- and writer Ehren Kruger gives them hapless lines to speak -- they can't do much with it, except to try to have fun while they are picking up their checks.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin makes a cameo appearance to try to give the film credibility. Buzz is next appearing in a commercial for using Depends on the moon.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon leaks.

You might be interested in reading my most recent reviews, all of my reviews from 2015, or all of my reviews from 2014.

For a change of pace, you might want to listen to interviews that I conducted in the 70s and 80s, some of which were published in my book Voices from the Set: The Film Heritage Interviews (2000).

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