May 29, 2018
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) (part 7 of 11)
Now we’ve had our quota of violence for a bit, so it’s time to go asinine comic relief in the form of Sam’s parents. In this case, it features Sam apparently running back to his place from the NEST base to find out that Carly isn’t there. He goes out to his parents’ RV, and the following happens.
- He says he had a fight with his girlfriend.
- His mother overacts.
- She starts talking to her son about how large his penis is.
- She offers him the following book.
Seriously, does this woman have Tourette’s or something? Everything that comes out of her mouth seems wildly inappropriate when in front of her son. This is the kind of stuff that makes a Norman Bates, that’s all I’m saying.
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And again, this is a great example of the problem with these movies. What started out as a pair of interesting, likeable, if really stupid characters in the first movie, has now become two insufferably obnoxious characters who really need to go away. They don’t even need to be in the film at all! I mean, was anyone anywhere queuing up for this movie thinking to themselves, “Forget the fucking robots, I wanna see Sam’s parents!”? I sincerely hope not.
This means of course that this entire scene adds nothing to the plot, and can be removed. One minute and 34 seconds gone. Really? That’s it? It seemed like it went on forever. Anyhow, this leaves us a total of 15 minutes and 54 seconds trimmed out. Hooray!
So that bit of horribleness done, we move on to Sentinel stomping around the Lincoln Memorial with the Decepticons, who, as in the last movie when they knocked down the American flag, continue to show how unpatriotic they are by blowing up the Lincoln statue and turning the chair into a throne! Well, that’s it. I was completely behind the Decepticon cause before, but this just goes beyond the pale.
In addition to showing how eeeeeeevil Megatron is, this segment also features a bit of exposition where we learn that Sentinel had planned to meet up with ol’ Megs on Earth, but both were waylaid. We also learn that the Autobot Matrix was needed to revive Sentinel, for reasons not made terribly clear.
As Sentinel is about to activate the gateway he’s been setting up, Prime turns up and starts shooting pillars left and right before shooting Sentinel. Oh, wait, I tell a lie. He says, “Sentinel, no!” and does nothing else as an entire army of Decepticons beam down from the moon, where they’ve been hiding.
Now, hang on a sec. By the time this movie has finished, there’s been probably about a hundred Decepticons who have come to Earth. All of them were apparently hiding out under the ground on the moon. So, what, Megatron was never able to get them off the moon and down to Earth? Why not? We saw the Autobots in the first movie show up in meteors, for frak’s sake, and we’re supposed to believe the Decepticons can’t do the same? Even if they can’t, some of them are clearly large enough to serve as spaceships, so why didn’t they come down to Earth that way? We learn later in the film that there are only nine Autobots on Earth, so ten before Ironhide was killed. Couldn’t Megatron have brought his entire army down at some point and beat the Autobots? It would have been ten to one odds.
This is a sign of a truly bad movie: when I can’t even accept it on its own terms because under the rules it established in previous films, none of what I’m seeing makes sense. I really hate Michael Bay. The man has no talent.
The various Decepticons who have arrived celebrate by killing a bunch of cops and then turning into things like cop cars and fire trucks so they can zoom off. I’ll give the film credit there, because it does show how the “robots in disguise” concept can be useful.
Then we have a fight between Optimus and Sentinel. They fight, they talk, Sentinel beats Optimus and walks away. Optimus blasts Sentinel and then starts shooting pillars until finally taken down by the Decepti—oh, no, wait, once again, the sensible thing doesn’t happen. Instead Sentinel walks off and Optimus… also walks off. Well, that was a dramatic ending. I guess they couldn’t kill Sentinel, since there’s still *checks run time*… AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES LEFT?! Jesus Christ! I’m only at the halfway point! Someone, please shoot me in the head!
*curls into a small, sobbing ball*
Okay, I’m told by my therapist that the best route at this point is for me to just suck it up and continue, so I guess I shall.
Sam heads off to find Carly, who he knows is hanging out with Dylan. You remember him, right? From like, an hour ago? Anyhow, as Sam and Carly leave, Dylan makes some comment about how his dad used to work for accounting for NASA, and, shock and surprise, it turns out he’s working with the Decepticons. You know, just like Deep Wang was, and so were a bunch of other guys who were, as you may remember, killed. Why Gould was spared is beyond me, especially since we see Laserbeak is hanging around, and it’s never explained in the movie.
Dylan then starts expositing, explaining that his father did some “creative accounting” in order to make it too expensive for NASA to go back to the moon. So… NASA apparently hires a private firm to do its books, and then doesn’t ever have that backed up by an independent audit? Come, folks, that’s a kind of mistake I can’t imagine even a government agency doing. It’s not rocket sci—oh, never mind.
Anyhow, Dylan then grabs Sam’s wrist as a Decepticon watch/snake thingy crawls over to Sam’s arm and settles in. Dylan explains that it will kill Sam unless he goes to Optimus Prime and finds out what the Autobots’ plans are. This creates a nice bit of tension, especially because the watchticon also controls Sam’s nervous system, so it will know if he tries to signal Optimus that something is wrong.
We then go to a set of scenes where Sentinel Prime tells the people of Earth that the Decepticons have come to steal our natural resources and will then leave in peace. But before that can happen, they want all the Autobots sent away.
This is a nice set up for some good drama, with Sam torn between keeping himself alive, keeping alive Carly, who’s being held hostage, and trying to help the Autobots, all while saving the planet of his birth. There’s also the despair created by the notion that the Autobots might have to leave Earth. It’s a very unpleasant dilemma, so you know what we need now?
(cues up “Yakity Sax”)
Yes, the Watchticon has decided that keeping a low profile is the worst thing possible, so it starts making Sam twitch, sweat, roll around on a tabletop and run his forearm along another guy’s hair. This is all played for laughs. It is indeed quite funny, but in that sort of “That’s funny. I wonder who thought this was a good idea?” kind of way.
So we then find out that the Autobots are indeed going to be exiled. Presumably the nations of the Earth completely trust the DECEPTIcONs when they say they will just do their thing and leave. Smart bunch.