Transformers 3: A Franchise Redeemed.

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Movies
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Transformers 3 achieves something possibly unprecedented in the history of film. It is the third entry in the series, and it is better than the first two. Often the third entry of a series begins the decline in quality, but thankfully not in this case, as the first two Transformers movies were so infamously scorned.

I hated the first Transformers movie (from the infamous 2007 where I hated almost every movie). I almost walked out of that scene where the Autobots were at Spike’s house (who was completely unlikeable), because I didn’t pay 8000 won to see a dog pee on Optimus Prime. I refused to see the second one in the theater, and only rented it because a friend was an extra, and I wanted to see that part where they walk out of the Smithsonian Institute and into the Nevada desert.

So I had no plans to see the this movie, but then I saw the ads. Wait, this looks good! How could this be? On to the review.

Transformers 3 opens with the only film sequence I’ve seen worthy of being in 3D (I saw Avatar in 2D). It is a battle on Cybertron and it looks fantastic.

Cut 1961, when the US discovers an alien ship has crashed on the moon. JFK (who is shown on screen but looks a little off, we also see Nixon and Obama) then orders a moon mission, hence we have a secret reason for the space race. Cut 1969 with actual news footage of Walter Cronkite as the moon mission is underway. What is not televised is the secret recon mission to investigate the alien space ship on the moon (Later revealed to be the Ark, which was in the cartoon).  So far the first two scenes of this movie are better than the entire first two movies put together.

Then we get to Sam, who is frustrated as no one knows he’s saved the world twice, and is struggling to find a job and feels the pressure from his parents. He has a new girlfriend, the impossibly hot Carly, who was his girlfriend in the cartoon. However, she’s not an M.I.T. student as in the cartoon and sounds British for some reason. Spike’s dealings with the Transformers put a strain on their relationship, as she has lost a brother who served in the military and is worried for him. Spike is also jealous of her hot shot car collecting boss. Now this relationship is hardly one of the silver screen’s great romances, but it has a tiny bit of dept to it, which is much more than what he and Megan Fox had.

Next we get the real reason behind the Chernobyl incident, as the villains unveil their plot. It involves growing a rift between the humans and the Autobots, hence the villains live up to their name of Decepticons. There’s a betrayal part way in, but that left me wondering why said plot didn’t happen sooner.

Leonard Nimoy does a voice of a Transformer, and there’s a few Star Trek jokes, and a clip of he old show, apparently it’s the one where Spock “goes nuts.” There’s also a neat scene where Megatron takes the giant Lincoln statue in Washington off its seat, and sits in the seat himself. Megatron did that in one episode of the old cartoon.

Thankfully there’s not jokes about pot and masturbation like the first two. Spike’s mom makes a joke about his manhood, but it’s real fast and subtle. Also one of the Autobots almost says clusterf&*k.

The problem this one has, is a similar problem for the whole series. We don’t get much of the Transformers personalities. Shockwave appears and has no personality, he’s just another grunt, not the cold logical warrior. (Maybe Nimoy should have played him instead) He also has this big tentacle thing, I couldn’t tell if this was a Decepticon being or just some weapon. Bumblebee still hasn’t had his voice repaired yet, how long has it been now?

Finally the big action scene at the end mostly has the humans fighting the Decepticons. Now I like seeing some of this, and I  like knowing humans can take them down, but we’re paying to see robots fight.  For instance we get told that a bunch of Autobots got captured, but we don’t see that happen at all (And one part where Optimus fights actually looks like it’s framed wrong). It’s strange because most fx movies that fail do so because they focus on the fx and not the characters, but with this franchise the fx are the characters.

Still it is an incredible improvement over previous entries. It leaves us with a sense that the series could end here. Looking back, it’s so disappointing how the series turned out. There’s such a rich mythology to this franchise. To me it always made perfect sense to have the first movie on earth, the second on Cybertron, and the third have Unicron, the giant robot planet. I don’t know what the future holds for this series. Maybe in 5 years it will be rebooted into something greater. (Personally I’m hoping for a Hasbro Cinematic Universe similar to Marvel’s, with Transformers, G. I. Joe, M.A.S.K. and Inhumanoids, but that probably won’t happen.)

No matter what happens, we’ll at least have this one. 8/10

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Comments
  1. Good review. DOTM is easily the best entry into this series. Bay has redeemed himself. One thing I would have loved to have seen was the Dinobots, but Grimlock would need to be voiced by the original voice actor or someone who could copy him. I can just hear him now-“Me Grimlock want role in next movie”. Speaking of Hasbro, go to http://www.youtube.com and watch the “trailer” for the live action My Little Pony movie. It looks awesome. Good call on Sam and Carly. I think Rosie brought some grace to the film as a love interest. Megan Fox acted too much like a ho in the last film.

    • jemurr says:

      Thanks Darren. I think Transformers 2 can almost be forgiven because it was rushed into production due to the writers strike. As much as people hated that one I personally thought 1 was worse, but they’re both lousy so it’s not worth arguing about. I think you showed me that My Little Pony trailer before. I can’t wait for that to come out. That will be the greatest movie ever LOL.

  2. Transformers 2 had possibilities, but as you said, due to the writers strike, there were some problems and even Bay has admitted to this. I would love a Hasbro Cinematic Universe. It would not surprise me to at least see a Transformers/Gi Joe movie. I would love to see the creators of the My Little Pony Trailer due a full film (or at least a short film). I would imagine they could make some serious money doing this and it would be fun to watch.

  3. jemurr says:

    Oh before I forget. I know there was some Spock joke the little robots said when watching Star Trek on TV, but I didn’t catch it.

    Yeah I think we could see a G. I. Joe/Transformers movie within ten years. It practically was G. I. Joe fighting the Decepticons anyway right? Inhumanoids and M.A.S.K. are probably too obscure except for people like us. I could see it in spin-offs, like M.A.S.K. being a division of G. I. Joe (maybe using Transformer technology), or the Autobots fighting the Inhumanoids, something like that. Oh, and it should have Geraldo Rivera as Hector Rimeraz, hahaha.

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