Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

July 1, 2011

Metal asylum

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 11:28 pm

July 01, 2011

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitley, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Demsey

Director: Michael Bay

If all you want from the new Transformers film is to watch robots fighting for two-and-a-half hours, you won’t be disappointed. As far as spectacle is concerned, director Michael Bay raises the bar considerably with Transformers: Dark of the Moon, delivering some jaw-dropping action sequences that are further enhanced by the remarkable use of 3D. Most stunning of these is one in which a python-like Decepticon strangles a skyscraper by wrapping itself around it, spraying glass everywhere, and prompting the humans trapped inside to leap out of windows and slide down the face of the rapidly tilting tower.

Unfortunately, Bay doesn’t know when to stop. He overwhelms our senses with a relentless and deafening battle sequence between the Autobots and the Decepticons that lasts close to 60 minutes, and ends with the city of Chicago resembling a post-apocalyptic ruin. It’s exhausting; at times it’s hard to distinguish the good robots from the bad ones, and midway through the crash-bang-boom my eyes glazed over. But like I said, if all you seek is non-stop carnage, you’ve come to the right place.

Dark of the Moon opens with the preposterous back-story that in 1961 the first Moon landing was fast-tracked not so much to make ‘giant leaps for mankind’, but to investigate the crash of an Autobot spacecraft into the dark side of the Moon. It all proves to be part of an elaborate Decepticon plan to take over the universe and enslave mankind. Expectedly it’s left to Shia LaBeouf and the Autobots to save the world again.

Now even if you were willing to overlook the rotten acting by Rosie Huntington-Whitley (who replaces Megan Fox as Shia LaBeouf’s girlfriend), and the cheesy dialogue that Josh Duhamel is saddled with, how do you bring yourself to forgive Michael Bay for wasting such fine actors as Frances McDormand and John Malkovich who appear as the director of national intelligence and LaBeouf’s new boss respectively? Also a newcomer to the series, Patrick Dempsey shows up as a slick businessman working both sides of the fence; while John Turturro, returning as former FBI agent Simmons, brings the only laughs in this otherwise grim film that’s missing that sense of daft fun that made the first Transformers movie so enjoyable. Of the robots, Bumblebee is back, as is Optimus Prime trusted friend of the humans who welcomes the return of his mentor Sentinel Prime.

Although an improvement on the last film Revenge of the Fallen, this third installment in the series has barely any humor or emotion to speak of. Because these films are based on a line of children’s toys, presumably they’re meant to appeal to the 7-year-old in each of us. If you’re expecting more than just explosions and loud action scenes, prepare to be disappointed.

I’m going with two out of five for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. At a running time of roughly 2 hours and 35 minutes, you’re going to need a lot of patience to survive this one!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. The Bumblebee-saving-Sam in road action sequence is awesome

    But Sir you are biased.You gave Tron:legacy 3 star
    Tron:Legacy-[Flat story,Very good 3D effects but not like transformers 3D,Only lights]
    Transformers 3-[Flat story, Finest 3D use like Avatar, Best robot action ever]

    Then why 2 star,I expected 3star.

    *Transformers 2 was worst reviewed by critics but we know the success and Transformers 3 will cross that just like spiderman 3

    By the way the kissing scene of Turturro and the Linkin park end credit music was awesome

    Comment by priyabrata — July 2, 2011 @ 1:12 am

  2. 1st of all this movie is a better one than the 2nd one…but that humor is that we experienced in the 1st one…family humor,school humor and other situational humor…..which led us to an emotional attraction 2 bumbulbee & co. ……the 3rd one lacks that obviously….and it’s very much surprising 4 me how an actor like Shia missed out this time… but still undeniably great 3d effects keeps u 2 the edge of the seat……2 me….its an opportunity missed by bay 2 make a better film……this film only delivers only action……very little character developmnt or plot twist…..it would have been a only 2 stars movie But amazing 3d sequences saves this one…..so my overall rating 3 Out of 5 stars….It may Have Many Shortcomings but we can overlook that 4 Our Friendly Autobots

    Comment by Soumya — July 2, 2011 @ 1:31 am

  3. Try making such films and get reviewe like this you’ll know what it is to be on the other side..

    And if your so good at what you critic why don’t you write a script and direct a movie?
    Even a critic like you won’t get a full review…
    Really your not open mined
    No offence..
    Why is it that a successfully grossed movie won’t be a good reviewed
    But a low and lost grossed movie will get a 5 out of 5?
    We are also humans ain’t we what is it that you hate when we millions loved it?
    Why are all critics negative?
    Or is it your job to be?

    Comment by Rohith — July 2, 2011 @ 2:29 am

  4. Well, i completely agree with the review of Rajeev sir…….. Its a complete “METAL ASYLUM”
    Lack of a gud story and a gud p[lot made the movie worse. The only thing Michael Bay displayed is the total carnage, metallic robots and spectacular action sequances in 3D. Most memorable of all is the one where Bumblebee saves sam in a car accident scene and the climatic battle of the disrupting of the skyscrapper by a python like Deceptican. Though a close to 1 hour of climatic action makes u bored at times, so it needs to hold our nerves. But still, with the best 3D experiance after Avatar. This film wil earn a lot coz of jaw dropping action sequances and some(though less) humour from John Turturro, returning as former FBI agent Simmons…. I wil giv this 1.5 stars for the whole movie plus an extra 1 star for the 3D experiance. So in total 2.5 stars is my ratings for this movie.

    Comment by Shubhajit — July 2, 2011 @ 11:39 am

  5. sir,
    i get what u mean.this a pure fan movie.if you are a true transformers fan like i am,then only would you like it.but it is still not worth the thrashing it is getting.it is more mature and emotional than both 1 and 2.and the story is not that flat.the thing is,that the story is a solid action movie story but the disjointed feel to it makes it look flat.and as i said,only a transformers fan can admire the movie,who know every inch of what is happening,thus,not making the movie disjointed for them.

    Comment by dipanjan dey — July 2, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

  6. @dipanjan dey @shubhajit
    Look guys it’s not just about making a high grossing movie.it is about making a good movie that’s what important.If a low budget movie is made and its script,acting,screenplay is good u hav 2 admit it. But if a movie (salman flicks,akshay flicks) has lame story,acting that doesnt make it a good film. As example chris nolan didnt try 2 make dark knight or inception a masala movie.but still these films won oscars and the are also the toppers of highest grossing movies and they are far ahead of transformers series. I’m also a fan of the first tranrformes mv bt good films r gd films and bad films r bad even if they wins public votes.just like not every public vote winning politician is good person .

    Comment by Soumya — July 3, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  7. I completely agree with Rohit. If you are some “Mr. I Know It All” then why don’t you go out there in Hollywood and try to make a movie like this…..for god sake why can’t you critics just see an entertaining movie without a thinking cap on your head, why just you can’t ENJOY a movie and not being a little skeptical? yes the run time is a bit long but go through the storyline….it’s a well define planned military operation man, you just can’t go up to the enemy who is ready with an army to kick your butt without any proper planning. And to all those who has an issue with the storyline go write one yourself.

    Comment by Niladri Mandal — July 4, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  8. Totally agree with you.. This was by far the best 3D experience of the year.. But in terms of pure cinematic value it offered little..
    Even in terms of action the first 1 and 1/2 hours was sparse.. The pace picks up only when the story shifts to Chicago.
    Rosie Huntington-Whitley can’t act for nuts but at least she is pleasing to the eye! Shia LaBeouf is impossible. There is only so much of his gut wrenching screams that you can take and the same thing repeated for 2 and 1/2 hours leaves your ears sore.
    It’s a movie you should watch for the same reasons we watched “Dabaang”.. To have a good time and not expect anything more.
    I hope this is the last Transformer movie or else Mr Bay please sort out your differences and bring back Megan Fox.. She is better eye-candy.. Plus she can scream better..And Mr LaBeouf seems to be in check with her around (read less screaming in the first two installments of Transformers)..
    Thumbs up to the review Mr Masand.

    Comment by Riddhi Mukherjee — July 4, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

  9. Metallic Junkyard!

    Comment by anand — July 6, 2011 @ 8:57 am

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