Review of Transformers 3: Dark side of the Moon (Spoiler Alert TF3)


My first words to people at work after seeing the midnight showing of Transformers 3, “I’m so glad that Chicago is not totally destroyed in real life.”

My review of TF3 is broken up into several parts.

  • The bad
  • The good
  • The sad
  • The weird
  • What I wish the movie had
  • Summary

The bad:

You would be better off skipping the first half of the movie and show up an hour late. Seriously. I plan on doing that with my next viewing of the movie. The first half of the movie is mostly establishing the relationship between Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Yawn.

They had to mention several times throughout the movie that Megan Fox broke up with Sam. Ok. We get it. Ok. Sam has a new girlfriend. We get it. But no, they have to drag it on how about Sam realizes that he loves Carly.

They had too many scenes where they overhyped the hotness of Carly. To show that a woman is beautiful, just show that she is beautiful and let her stand on her own. You don’t need to do the cheesy lines that say, “oh look at those curves.” But judging on the other males reactions in the crowd, they really enjoyed those parts. It was just overdone in my opinion (i like women without the sleaze).

This movie had so many things mashed together, there wasn’t a coherent whole. Here’s all the mashed-up plots:

  • Sam has a new girlfriend, Carly, who is kinda bitchy
  • Sam needs to find a job to prove himself
  • Carly leaves Sam, cuz he wants to fight with the Autobots
  • Conspiracy theory that our missions to the moon was to investigate the alien ship that crashed there in 1962
  • Conspiracy theory that Chernobyl was humans discovering some alien transformer machine part
  • Sam realizes he loves Carly and chases after her
  • U.S. Director of Defense makes life difficult for the Autobots
  • Sentinel Prime escaped Cybertron with space-travel gate
  • Car museum mogul is mastermind behind human spies for the Decepticons
  • Megatron unveiling master plan to fool the Autobots
  • Autobots banished from planet earth
  • Sentinel Prime plans to bring Cybertron to Earth

All that mashed up into one movie. The conspiracy theory stuff was kinda cool, but it seemed a bit convoluted. Maybe I’ll enjoy it more as I see the movie a few more times.

The main part that was bad with the movie was a lack of a true villain. For the first half of the movie we don’t really see any villains at work. It’s all uncovering these conspiracy theories. The only true villain in the first half is the U.S. Director of Defense. Everyone hates her because of all her red tape.The villain for half of the movie is simply red tape. Lame. Then the second half of the movie the main villain is Sentinel Prime. And he’s kind of a weird villain to root against, mostly because he’s kind of a lovable old looking Transformer.

Many times people totally overacted to the stereotype of their role. It’s almost like Michael Bay was saying, “now take your role and make it ten times more dramatic! Dramatic! I want you to be dramatic!” But sometimes it works. Look, I’m not going to this movie for fine acting. I’m going to be entertained. So I can see how there was all this dramatic acting. Oh, let me put the fun dramatic acting under the good…

The good:

Ken Jeong (the teacher from the tv show Community) was hilarious! Jerry worked with Sam and revealed some of the conspiracy theories. John Turturro played his funny conspiracy theory guy. John Malkovich also did a funny character of the crazy obsessed boss. NO RED CUPS!!!

And even though I say that there was a lack of a true villain in this movie, we still have an interesting character in Sentinel Prime. The original leader of the Autobots before Optimus Prime. The inventor of the space bridge. Dude has some history. And then how he turns on the Autobots, because he truly sees a vision to bringing Cybertron to earth. It makes sense. It’s a great turn in character. I just kinda wish he was more villainy when he was a villain. Heh. Funny I should say that. As if killing Ironhide wasn’t enough.

The Chicago destruction was very cool. They really destroyed the city. I got to experience a lot of it first hand as I work in the Tribune Tower facing a lot of the scenes. I almost feel like I FELT more of the destruction by seeing it in person rather than on screen. In the movie it felt more like a painting. Lots of interesting paintings.

Chicago's LaSalle Street Bridge where Megatron and Sentinel Prime die in Transformers 3.

The best part of the movie is at the very very very end. On the LaSalle Street Bridge (pictured above in a photo I shot) is where Megatron and Sentinel Prime both die. It was an awesome fighting scene. Most of the movie is quickie action stuff with all this destruction around. But Michael Bay picked a great spot for this final battle. The strong curing metal arches of this bridge provided a great backdrop for Optimus Prime and Sentinel Prime’s fight. And then Megatron comes in and kills Sentinel Prime from behind. So much like Megatron. But then Optimus Prime rips Megatron’s head off! Fffrrzzzp! Seriously! He just ripped that thing off like a dandelion.

It was cool how those little Autobots transformed into computers. And how Laserbeak transformed into a monitor. Also Laserbeak being a Japanese copy machine was hilarious. Laserbeak was a cool character. It’s too bad he had more personality than Soundwave.

Bumblebee reaching up into that Decepticons chest and blowing him away was cool.

I was totally geeked when the soldiers used Tribune Tower as a sniper location to shoot off Decepticons. Great use of the architectural arches.

It was totally cool walking downtown this morning seeing all the buildings from the movie. It was also a delight to see them not destroyed in real life.

The sad:

I was kinda sad to see Starscream go (killed by Sam Witwicky!). And i was sad to see Ironhide die. But at least Ironhide’s death was to underscore the drama of Sentinel Prime’s turn to the Decepticons. SHOCKER! Seriously. We were like, WHAT!

The weird:

In Transformers 3, The Milwaukee Art Museum is a museum for cars. The incredible atrium is the office of the leader of the museum, Patrick Dempsey. An office? That was just weird. But whatevs. I kinda wish they showed some of the actual art in the museum. But instead it was all classic cars. But I suppose that’s fitting. Him being a Decepticon spy leader. That his cards were Decepticons. That makes sense.

The trailer has one of the most incredible scenes ever in movie history. Optimus Prime flies into Wacker Drive, transforms, and then totally kicks ass with his sword. But in the movie, they only showed his legs moving along. It was like they cut off the top half of the scene.

What I wish the movie had:

A breakdance dance-off between Soundwave and Blaster.

Less humans more robots. As my brother said in IM, “you know how they edit out all the swear words for movies on TV? I wish they sold DVDs of movies that are edited like that. TF3 is the perfect example. I think there’s really no place for it in a movie that sells an enormous amount of toys related to the movie. I think it’s highly inappropriate to do both.”

Sentinel Prime needed a sidekick. He looked alone on top of the Jeweler’s Building.


Skip the first half and just enjoy the Chicago scenes. Don’t try to over-think what’s happening. Just enjoy the wonderful aesthetics.

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Tom Saaristo
12 years ago

Good review spud!

12 years ago

overall its a good movie better then 2 and more action then 1 but what the hell happend to soundwave, I read somewhere that hes up there in the top 5 G1 transformers but what a waist of a great bot!! was really looking fwd in see him in action and saw him twice very disappointing and your right about there not being a real villian and dont remember magatron and shockwave in the same shot together.. sad but as an action film I give it on 8/10 as a true transformer film 5/10 Peace

12 years ago

Yeah I totaly agree on your view on starscream, he was the opposite in the cartoon to the movie and the facted the decepicons got wiped out so easily was ridicules!!! I mean shockwave having a parachute over his eye, come on!!!! hes just taken down a whole building 5min before. I was a massive fan of the g1 decepicon and not so much the Autobots so that why I have probably givin it a low true transformer rating, just think that in genural the bots as a team didnt get much screen time and you never had with the decepicons as a hole team ploting there next move with scarscreen debating if that was the right way to go and soundwave at megatrons side and as he was so injured why wasn’t he!!!? but as Im happy that there are transformer movies just wished there was a lot mor bot time in them!!! I wasnt disappointed with the move just would like to tweek it a lot, could of been much much much worse!!!

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