Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Chris Stuckmann

Chris Stuckmann reviews Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

About ChrisStuckmann

Quick, funny reviews of movies and games, new and old.

12 comments

  1. TragicGuineaPig

    I agree with you about the whole mundane life thing with Sam. This kid has fought alongside the Autobots against the Decepticons; if they’re going to feature him in the film at all, why have him just be some mundane kid still? Why not have him working with the Autobots on a regular basis? Or with the government trying to track down Decepticons?

    From a narrative perspective, this character has already been through too much of the action to simply slink off to the sidelines and try to live a typical mundane life. You just know – as he should – that sooner or later he’s going to be pulled back into it anyway.

    And from a production/writing perspective, who wants to see some dumb kid with job problems and girlfriend problems? We want to see giant fighting robots!

    Again, I don’t mind if Sam were just along for the ride with the Autobots, but he shouldn’t be the main character; by this point, Optimus should be. And the emphasis should never be on his job/girlfriend problems; it should be on the battle between good and evil.

    • Sam in these movies is an audience avatar/wish fulfillment for the 8-14 year old demographic these movies are aimed at. That’s why he’s written the way he is.

      Also, these films must assume much of their audience is new to the franchise based on target audience age, and they have to be simple for the foreign market that may not have seen previous entries, so they hit a “reset” button on Sam every time.

      It’s also easier and lazier just to repeat his same character arc in every film:

      1) he’s a teenage derp with problems
      2) he tries to win the sexy prize female
      3) he meets robots
      4) he helps save the world
      5) he is awarded the fantasy female object

      Rinse and repeat for maximum profit.

  2. Okay, your picture made me laugh so much. Anyways, this is my second favorite Transformers movie. Plus, I like the addition of Rosie Huntington-Whitley. Her corny acting adds to the corny fun. The humor was better in this movie than the second movie. The action scenes were awesome. That’s all I ask from these movies. Just entertain me and only make me roll my eyes a few times.

  3. I think this movie nearly broke Chris Stuckmann’s mind.

  4. Why does it sound like even when Chris wants to say these movies are okay, it comes piled on top of a ton of apologies and conditions? None of these have been good.

    They’re expensive, glossy, empty, kids movies with sexy adult women playing the role of “teenage girlfriend” to audience avatar Sam…even if Sam is supposed to be an adult in this film, he’s still written as a fantasy fulfillment stand-in for young teen males.

    Once you understand how manipulative and crass these are, it’s hard to even look at them critically as art.

    • TragicGuineaPig

      And yet, that’s how a reviewer is supposed to look at things: critically as art.

      I will admit: Chris tends to rate things higher than I do. But in an internet environment where the dominant style is the negative review – where everybody seems to hate everything – it’s nice to have a balancing opinion. Someone to highlight the good, even when we all know it’s terrible.

      Me, I decided not to watch any of the Bayformers films after 2; 2 was so nausiatingly irritating to me, that I essentially swore not to give the franchise another dime of my hard-earned money. So if there’s anyone out there who would fill the role of trying to put a positive light on the Bayformers, it most certainly isn’t going to be me!

  5. Now I’m imagining you going one-on-one with Brad Jones about this film given how…let’s say evisceration is too light a word to describe his take on Dark of the Moon.

  6. I don’t understand why everyone shits on Transformers 3. Transformers 1 had way too much shaky cam and took way to long to introduce Optimus Prime. Transformers 2 had Skids & Mudflap.

    But #3? #3 has actions scenes where you can actually see what the hell is going on. And I actually like that there’s an evil Sam. he *claims* to be a slave, but in fact the Decepticons respect him enough that some of them actually obey his orders and he fights Sam even when there’s no robots immediately present.

    And Lazerbeak is greepy as hell.

    Is it gonna win an oscar? No. But by live action Transformers movie standards it’s actually fairly good.

    I honestly think this is why Michael Bay stopped giving a fuck. in THIS one he actually tried, and people STILL shat on it, yet ge still got money.

    • TragicGuineaPig

      I can understand why the first film took as long as it did to introduce the other Transformers: the film has to take us – the audience – from the mundane world and bring us into the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons. Sam serves as the audience surrogate for that, and so we learn about the Transformers as he learns about them.

      But by the second film, we no longer really need him to serve as audience surrogate anymore. We’re already on board with the conflict and don’t need to be convinced. In truth, I personally feel like Sam’s role from the second film onward should have been as an ally and coworker to the Autobots, and as something of a liaison between them and the humans. The nonsense of sending him to college to experience stereotypical college shenanigans was entirely pointless, as was sending him into the business world to get a regular job. By that point, either he’s working with the Autobots to help them from the start, or we aren’t going to care. So shoehorning Sam’s attempts at a mundane life come across as entirely pointless, and in the case of 2, downright irritating.

      Bay stopped giving a fuck when he realized that what we the audience want from these movies did not match what he was trying to put into them. Make no mistake: Skids and Mudflap, gay dog sex, mom pot brownie trips, John Turturro’s butt, and Devastator’s “balls” – these are things Bay finds immensely entertaining, whereas the rest of us think they are frustratingly idiotic.

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