Transformers Dark of the Moon is Unforgivable and I want to Pull Michael Bay’s Heart Out Through His Ass

"I'll show everyone I don't need Megan Fox! Then maybe I'll find love! Sob sob.

I have better things to do than write this litany of complaints against Michael Bay’s Transformers 3, but I can’t do any of them because all I can think about is how furious I am. I spent so much time arguing with my friends that they should come see it with me, that they shouldn’t hold onto the hate of Transformers 2 ’cause this one’ll be better, that now I’ve gotta eat crow without any condiments at all. There’s no reason that movie had to be THAT bad. To be THAT uninterested in its characters. To care THAT little about the fans and the movie-going audience. I have to assume that Michael Bay did not give a shit about this movie, since beyond his usual and much-ridiculed Bay-Drama-Action-Shots, Transformers 3 seemed to be giving the finger to the audience at every turn.

Yes, there was some stuff that was cool, but finding a chocolate chip in a bowl of shit doesn’t make you rave about the restaurant. It just makes you mad that the restaurant’s Special of the Day turned out to be a bowl of shit. What kind of restaurant would do that? What kind of director would make this Transformers movie?

I gotta just get into my individual rants already. Spoiler warning starts here, though you should thank me for “spoiling” the surprise of the mystery Special of the Day.

1. Firing Megan Fox ruined the movie.
That’s an exaggeration but maybe it’s not an exaggeration. Sam/Shia chases after that new blonde chick because she’s the love of his life, will die for her, etc. etc., and at one point even betrays Optimus Prime to keep her safe. Why? Because she’s super-hot? If that was still Fox’s character, you’d believe it all and feel for it because you know the history. But now it’s just “look how far Sam’ll go for a hot piece of ass.” We should have been rooting for love, instead we were rooting for the end of any scene with her in it.

2. Sam’s A Loser
First movie? Sam’s the unpopular kid on the adventure of a lifetime. Awesome. Second movie? Sam’s older and loved his adventure but now yearns to be his own man. I get it. Third movie? Sam can’t get a job and fights to get into the action only because the lady from Fargo told him he should butt out. He’s a big nothing, never has any meaningful interactions with the Autobots, just running through the big action finale only because he wants to be in the big action finale. Great, loser.

3. Sentinel Prime is wasted.
He’s a traitor. Retroactive spoiler alert! He was supposed to rendezvous with Megatron on Earth eons ago to use his spacebridge invention to bring Cybertron to Earth, using our resources to bring their ruined planet back to life. Interesting? Coulda been. He saw that an alliance with Megatron was the only way to save Cybertron, which isn’t an invalid idea the same way Magneto’s point of view in X-Men isn’t wrong. But…
• Why did the Decepticons shoot him down in the first place then? Megatron didn’t tell them to let him go? Oops!!
• Before Sentinel’s revealed as a traitor, there’s a scene where Optimus bows to him and offers him the Matrix of Leadership. Sentinel turns command of the Autobots down since, Optimus knows this world better than he does. Why? Dude, command the Autobots to go home and don’t watch the news, or lead them into a trap or something. At least try to convince Optimus that he should join you, since you were his mentor. Like in Star Wars, Palpatine spent so long laing the groundwork to convince Anakin to join the dark side, Sentinel shoulda done SOMETHING with this. Zero reason to turn down the Matrix except to have the audience believe he’s a good guy.
• When the good guys figure out that the Decepticons need Sentinel to run the spacebridge, lots of generic Decepticons attack! Why are the Decepticons trying to kidnap Sentinel when he’s already going to help them? It’s almost as if Megatron ordered the attack just to keep making the audience that Sentinel is a good guy. How meta is THAT?
• Oh my god, the reveal that he’s working with Megatron must’ve been awesome, right? Big twist, big moment? Nope, he just starts shooting at the other Autobots in a parking lot. It had less drama than when Palpatine told Anakin he’s a Sith Lord while they were walking down a hallway. Did Bay assume that twist would be leaked and just didn’t try to do anything with the reveal? Movies suck nowadys.
• Near the end of the flick, Sentinel laments that the Autobots didn’t see things from his point of view (even though he never tried to convince them) by uttering the phrase “The good of the many outweigh the good of the few.” Fuck Bay for having Nimoy quote Star Trek II like that. Fucking sacrilege. It doesn’t even make sense – he’s eager to have six billion human slaves, so clearly he’s fucking over the many for his few. It was a stunt line of dialogue and it was offensive.

4. Megatron’s a pussy.
In the first movie, everyone was terrified of this guy. Badass central. Ripped Jazz apart with his bare hands. This movie, he just keeps thanking Sentinel Prime for doing his thing and stands there with his still-gaping head wound. You can bring this guy back to life on the ocean floor, but you can’t fix a head wound. When it looks like Sentinel’s plan is working, Megatron first sighs that he’s so happy that Cybertron will be saved (an interesting emotion from him that could have been explored further), but then the new blonde model girl runs up to him and yells that he’s a pussy and he’s gonna be Sentinel’s bitch. Literally. That literally happens. So of course Megatron is convinced and runs to shoot Sentinel, just before Sentinel’s gonna kill Optimus. That’s some sad, shitty shit, Megatron, you fucking idiot.

5. Fuck the Transformers
The way Megatron was turned stupid is indicative of the lack of effort made to make these transformers coo. There’s zillions of new Decepticons on the scene but aside from Laserbeak they’re all generic nobodies. Shockwave is new, he’s barely used, we learn nothing about him and he’s killed by a falling parachute. Ironhide is killed by Sentinel Prime (with a weapon that disintegrates him into rust, which he never uses again for some reason) and nobody even mentions it – Not even an “Aw, Jazz.” Starscream, instead of betraying Megatron like we all expected he someday would, is removed of all menace and is killed by SAM in an alley. In order to save Optimus Prime’s heroics until the end of the big action scene, he’s caught up in some cables and has to be cut down by other Autobots. Christ. Hasbro should be pissed.

6. Random Shit that Kept me Pissed
• Everyone that isn’t a soldier, Shia or Blonde Girl, is acting like a circus clown. Agent Simmons, Sam’s parents, et al, you think they were annoying in past movies? Nope, that was all warm up. New people like Alan Tudyk plays a gay assistant with unexplained super-training, the Chinese guy from Community is about to rape Sam in a bathroom stall and Sam just pleads for him to stop (not an exaggeration, that really happens), John Malkovitch goes from hardass to giggling kid play-punching bumblebee…. Shame on all of them!
• The big battle at the end has the Decepticons take over Chicago (to be honest, there’s a lot of awesomeness of Decepticons blatantly killing people in the streets here, very Terminator-like coolness, but it’s just a chocolate chip in the shit), then destroying all the ways the military can see what they’re doing IN Chicago. That way, they can set up the spacebridge in peace and nobody will stop them. But if they had just gotten the spacebridge ready someplace quiet where nobody goes, like Michael Bay’s therapist’s office, then nobody would have known to stop them and they would have won. Yep, there’s NO REASON the big end battle takes place.
• Decepticons and Autobots always kill each other, unless someone thinks of a “cool” scene where they don’t! There’s a scene where Decepticons take prisoners for no reason until they realize that they don’t take prisoners. There’s a scene where Ironhide tells two Decepticons to “drop their guns” even though Transformers can make guns out of their own bodies. Every other scene they’re ripping each other’s heads off. Suck, suck, suck.
• The Decepticons are going to turn Earth into the new Cybertron. They put hundreds of spacebridge pylons into Earth orbit, so it seems the outer shell of Cyberton is going to cover Earth and then you got a living Cybertron again, with human slaves to run it. Gotcha, cool. Then… Sentinel uses the main spacebridge pylon to teleport Cybertron NEXT to Earth. Huh? Did he change the plan last-second and not tell anyone? How could putting Cybertron NEXT to Earth gonna save anything? And shouldn’t the Earth instantly rip apart from all this new gravity a few feet away? ARGH!
• Sam’s not allowed to be a part of NEST and the Autobot/US Military goings on. But he does have the responsibility, which he doesn’t want, of keeping Wheelie and a new second loser Wheelie-esque bot as secret pets. Why? Tell me Michael Bay, WHY? At least the twins weren’t back.
• Optimus Prime talks of honor pretty big. We love him because he’s noble like that. He respects individual freedom and the rights of all things, that he’d even leave Earth if we asked him to go. Except in this flick, we do ask them to go, and he doesn’t. Later, Megatron, completely defeated, tells Prime it’s time for a truce. In response, Prime tears his head off. So much for that reluctant “Sorry brother, but you left me no choice” in the first film. Oh, and then Sentinel Prime, also defeated, laments all that’s happened. So Prime blows his head off. Why, Prime? You were my hero!! Sob sob.
• So the spacebridge is first opened to bring lots and lots of Decepticons to Earth. You saw it all in the trailer. They’re all buried in the moon and jump into the spacebridge to land in Washington DC. Yep, they were all buried in the moon. Buried in the moon. Why the fuck are there hundreds of Decepticons buried on the moon?? And even if you had a reasonable answer for that, why didn’t they just come to Earth without the spacebridge in the first place??
• The movie ends like 5 minutes after Prime wins the big battle. No epilogue, nothing learned here. Action scene is over, cut to credits. Bay turned his back this flick as soon as he could.
• The autobots can’t get off Earth without a ship. Why? Decepticons fly away from and to Earth all the time. Hell, when the autobots first got here, they didn’t use a ship. Why the hell can’t any of the autobots transform into something that can fly? They can change how they look and what they transform into whenever they want! I know in the cartoon, the autobots were cars and the decepticons were jets, and that’s that, but if you’re going to have plot points around it in a big movie, you gotta say something about it.
7. And now I nitpick.
• That soldier guy, Epps, retired from soldiering and now walks behind that giant NASA treaded platform for a job. Whatever, fine. We see him again as the giant platform, with nothing on it, is rolling towards a shuttle/autobot ship hybrid on a launch pad. The job of that big treaded thing is to move shuttles to the launch pad. So what the fuck were they doing with it if the shuttle was already there?
• Laserbeak is secretly, stealthily, taking out all the humans that helped the Decepticons with their plans. But when Sam is helped by one of those humans, Laserbeak goes nuts and shoots up an entire office to get at him. Dumbass.
• Half of the Autobots are apparently Scottish now.
• Speaking of Scottish Transformers, didn’t Jetfire create a spacebridge all on his own in the 2nd film? Then why is it a special something only Sentinel can make happen in this film?
• In the beginning of the movie, the Autobots take out an Iranian nuclear site so that the humans “don’t make the same mistakes we did.” This just felt weird. Why aren’t they hunting Decepticons? They’re really doing missions for the USA like that? Just weird.
• Did I mention Megan Fox needed to be in this movie already?

I could keep going on and on but I can’t believe I’ve even written this much. In the end I’ll say that even in the 2nd film, which was stupid and numbing, they put a lot of effort into the characters, their motivations, creating interesting new Transformers (Devestator, even with his balls, was neat)… it was a bad film but clearly they were at least trying. Here, they didn’t even try. I don’t mind going to see a big spectacle where the script isn’t as great as it COULD have been (loved the new Tron), but this complete lack of effort is inexcusable.
I gotta go pee.

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8 responses to “Transformers Dark of the Moon is Unforgivable and I want to Pull Michael Bay’s Heart Out Through His Ass

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I’m pissed about the “don’t add up” details of this movie too.

  2. Thank the Matrix I’m not alone….

  3. [[[[My good friend Hugh Sterbakov replied to my post in a series of Facebook comments, which is far too crazy a venue to have a debate in. So I’ve cut and pasted his disagreements here so I can explain further. My thoughts are in the brackets.]]]]

    ‎1. I dunno. I found the new girl a lot more likeable than Megan. Just my 2 cents. I think I would’ve just been tired of it if it was the same girl. Can’t you buy each new Bond or Indy girl?

    [[[[Bond and Indy are spies and adventurers, and it’s part of those archtypes’ mystiques to have the floozy of the week. That’s why they don’t scream “I love you! She’s the one!!” about every girl they meet. Sam, however, did scream that about blondie and it came off as bullshit, since you never see any reason why they’re into each other at all. If that character was Mikeala, it would have meant something, because you know the history. I would have preferred that they simply recast Mikeala instead of having her dump him (with no explanation). At least then I would have understood why Sam ran into a warzone to save her.]]]]

    ‎2. Felt to me like Sam was just a product of today’s tough job market. It grounded the character a bit, and put him in his place. And it was even a commentary on how veterans are treated in today’s world.

    [[[[ What did it do for that character’s story? What did he learn and how did he grow? It was all a waste of time. Filler. In the first movie, he was an outcast who rose to the challenge. In the second movie, he wanted to split off from his family and the bots to be his own man, but he learned that you gotta stick together. In this film… um… he was a joke.]]]]

    I thought Sentinel wasn’t accepting the matrix out of guilt, and that he hoped to turn the Autobots to see things his way. But then yeah, in a couple scenes he just goes over the top into generic bad guy.

    [[[[ His first act after revealing himself to be a traitor was to kill Ironhide — where’s the guilt in that? He NEVER tired to convince anyone to see his way. I wish you were right, it would have been a better movie if those elements were in there. ]]]]

    I thought the Decepticons were attacking to weaken the humans and scare them into submission.

    [[[[ Nope. Sam calls the woman from Fargo and shouts “They tricked you! The decepticons wanted you to get Sentinel Prime from the Moon, because they need him for their plans!!” I’m paraphrasing. But in the next scene the decepticons attack the group of bots that included Sentinel Prime and they fight. Sentinel reveals himself to be a villain after all of those decepticons were stopped. Such a dick. ]]]]

    And, uh, in the Star Trek quote he was referring to entire world of Cybertron outweighing these few Autobots. He doesn’t care about the humans. The quote just made me laugh. /shrug.

    [[[[ That’s not correct, but instead of just saying ‘believe me’ I’ll do some research and post again soon. ]]]]

    You didn’t mention it, but I thought Megatron–and especially Starscream–died with too little fanfare. In the first movie, everyone was terrified when Starscream was approaching. In the third, he dies without anyone even referring to him by name.

    [[[[[ I mentioned this in passing when I said Starscream was removed of all menace. Overall, they did nothing to make the bots cool, which they did work hard to do in the other two films. Lazy asses. ]]]]

    Shockwave was pretty bad ass. That octopus thing he had was NUTS. I have no idea what it was.

    [[[[ Yeah, pity that they never bothered to explain that. It wasn’t a part of Shockwave, clearly. Shockwave himself did nothing and died like a punk. If my little sister was the one commanding that octopus thing, I wouldn’t say my little sister was badass. ]]]]

    Well, considering that the Decepticons dropped into Washington, I’m not sure that they would have been able to disappear on planet Earth, not with all of the humans searching for them.

    [[[ But that’s what they did. You saw at least one become a garbage truck, and they commented later that there were now tons of decepticons hiding all over the place. ]]]]

    And taking the time for intercontinental travel might not be necessary, considering that they clearly had the arsenal required to commandeer Chicago. Right?

    [[[[[ You’re forgetting that they talked about putting pillars all over the earth, and there was a montage of decepticons setting up pillars in different jungles and locales around the world. If they conquered Chicago because they thought nobody could stop them, then they wouldn’t have taken the time to knock out all the satellites and drones and such so the military couldn’t see them. ]]]]

    In regard to Optimus Prime growing some balls, I’m stunned that you didn’t like that. Definitely the “We’re going to kill them all” line when he first re-appears was out of character, but seeing what happened to Earth–how many people must have died–I totally get him killing Megatron and Sentinel. They could not be trusted. They’d taken too many lives. He didn’t revel in their deaths, he simply executed them.

    [[[[[ Difference of opinion. I think it’s in those extreme circumstances that the hero is even more heroic when he sticks to his principles. He showed that kind of character in the first 2 films, but here it’s like they just went for the cheering crowd lines no matter how out of character he was. At the end of the 2nd film, he killed The Fallen but Fallen was fighting back. Sentinel Prime wasn’t even fighting back. ]]]]

    And also–he didn’t leave because he knew the humans were making a mistake, and couldn’t handle the Decepticons on their own. He knew the planet would be enslaved, and he knew we’d been duped into surrendering.

    [[[[[ Again, difference of opinion about sticking to your word. And if Prime was really out to make a point to show the human leaders that the decepticons couldn’t be trusted, he was a total asshole in waiting until the decepticons slaughtered all those humans. ]]]]]

    I have no idea what happened in part 2, even though I saw it, so I can’t compare what Jetfire did to here.

    [[[[ Thanks for playing. ]]]]

    But at the beginning of this movie, they say they’re always hunting Decepticons, they’ve even created energon detectors. But in the meantime, the Autobots are running peacekeeping missions. What’s wrong with that? What else would they be doing, moving into a retirement community?

    [[[[[ No, I’d like to see them hunt decepticons. Why say it and not show it. Instead they’re doing favors for the US military? They’re always talking about defending humans as a race, but really they just meant defending americans? It’s just weird. ]]]]]

    And this was the best action by far out of the three–the fact that the 3D forced Bay to go slow-motion and actually articulate the movement was a HUGE improvement. Way, way better than two piles of metal rolling around together.

    [[[[ Agreed. Though I didn’t care about the action because all of the decepticons were just silvery nobodies. Lazy! They could have had so many named bots in there, but no. There was one big four-legged decepticon in Chicago that was always off in the distance. Why couldn’t all of them have been that cool? Because Bay didn’t give a shit about this movie, that’s why. ]]]]]

  4. Hugh said…
    And, uh, in the Star Trek quote he was referring to entire world of Cybertron outweighing these few Autobots. He doesn’t care about the humans. The quote just made me laugh. /shrug.

    [[[[ And I say…
    I downloaded the novelization to get the full text of Sentinel’s speech, but it’s not in there. I guess it was written before Nimoy was cast. Anyway, his rant at the time was about rationalizing and sadness, that the Autobots never understood that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few, referring to the needs of the transformers over the humans. He wasn’t doing an evil rant about how the needs of the decepticons outweigh the needs of the autobots. Gonna have to trust me on that.

    And I get the desire to throw in a stunt line that that, since you got Nimoy to do the voice. You want to do a stunt line to make the fans laugh? You can at least work it in correctly. And I gotta say, stunt references like that are often eye-rollers that fall flat, and I wish they’d stop doing them. For example:
    1. Charlton Heston played an ape in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake, and he said the line “Damn them… damn them all to hell!” about the humans. UGH that was terrible.
    2. In the Clash of the Titans remake, Perseus finds the original Bubo in a chest and gives a big WTF and throws it back into the trash. Fuck you, Sam Worthington.
    3. When Obi-Wan tells Anakin “You’ll be the death of me” in Attack of the Clones, I almost threw up.

    and so on and so on. I just don’t appreciate them using one of the biggest geek moments, the death of Spock in Trek 2, as a cheap laugh. ]]]]

  5. K.

    I’m not well-informed enough to debate much further, because I can’t for the life of me remember anything from Part 2 other than them stomping on the ground and appearing in Egypt. Oh, and that Decepticon who transformed into the hot chick, which had to be the biggest WTF moment in this or almost any trilogy, except when they replaced Robert Duvall with the suntan dude. And I clearly have only a vague recollection of Part 3, despite having seen it less than 100 hours ago. At one point my companion sighed, and I told him there was still an hour left, and he forced me to produce my phone to prove that I was right. That might have been during this alleged montage with the Decepticons placing those jimmyjams all over the jimmyjauns, which I absolutely do not recall.

    Other than that, it seems like a difference of opinion. I think in most sequels, Megan Fox would have been dropped anyway. She was only kept around because she became a breakout star–like Sandra Bullock in Speed 2. “After happily ever after” never works in action sequels. Either the stakes are blown or the situation feels too repetitive (see Die Harder). I did like the sitch in Mummy II, however, where the girl became possessed and evil. And they even replaced HER in Mummy 3, and she’d had a kid with the dude, for Mummy’s sake. But for the most part, the ladies need to go the way of Vicki Vale, unless they’re the true focal point or they can serve some valid purpose other than being in distress again. Or if they’re going to legitimately die, like in the Dark Knight, in which case their death does have more gravity than it normally would. Also like in the case of Newt, but in reverse geek outrage. None of the chicks from Star Trek ever hung around, either.

    If this seems sexist, it’s not–I imagine most actresses would prefer the writer create a reasonable meaning for their existence, or they’d prefer to move on themselves, assuming the work is there.

    Who wrote the novel for Transformers 3? Please tell me it wasn’t Peter David. Did you legally download it? Are you going to read it? Would you please, please, please do a book report on it?

    In regard to the job situation, Sam probably didn’t properly question himself and then find personal validation at the end. Too much was left to fill in the gaps, and hand grenades don’t work in this horseshoe-required scenario. But, like I said about something else, they were *thisclose*, whereas in Part 2 they were always T H A T F A R.

    Speaking of which, was Mikaela even remotely likeable in Part 2? Didn’t she give Sam shit for leaving for college, and even break up with him at one point? Wait–wasn’t Godzilla in Part 2?

    Maybe I just don’t like Megan Fox. Maybe it’s because she loves Diablo Cody. Wait–YOU love Diablo Cody!!! Everybody get you!!! Anyway, good riddance to Mikaela. I’ve already seen plenty of her sweaty body. The real crime here continues to be that Rosie Hsomething Wsomething wore too many things that I couldn’t see through.

    The Autobots weren’t hunting Decepticons because there weren’t any, and that was the point. Remember when the Enterprise hadn’t seen Romulans for 50 years, and then encountered them again? Why weren’t they hunting Romulans prior to that? Man, I am stretching my geek muscles here, and this is a contest I’m quite certain I can’t win.

    Everything about the Burton POTA was bad. And yes, fuck Worthington for dissing Bubo. Fuck that movie for not having Bubo, and for everything it did have. But the Obi-Wan to Anakin line was fine for me. It didn’t seem stretched, and it made the audience smile. Unlike anything else in Attack of the Clones. Although, that situation does illustrate the inherent problem of prequels–lack of necessity.

    I will stand firm on this, though:

    {{{If my little sister was the one commanding that octopus thing, I wouldn’t say my little sister was badass. ]]]]

    Then you, sir, are a moron. I would kneel the fuck before your little sister like she was Zod with his banjo out. Playing the theme to Deliverance. And yes, banjo was a euphemism. And yes, I still mean he’d be playing the theme to Deliverance on it. That’s how much I’d kneel the fuck before your little sister, if she were commanding that octopus thing.

  6. Good lord, it was Peter David. The fuck kind of caffeine is that dude on?

    And what, exactly, are his standards?

    And why did he have to break my heart by ignoring my heartfelt compliments in favor of giving Seth a colostomy with his shnozz, thereby rendering all of his excellent work moot and pitiful in my eyes?

    But seriously–what kind of caffeine?

  7. In the original animated series, Megatron and Starscream {using Dr. Archeville} teleported Cybertron near Earth so they could collect the energy resulting from the planet’s destruction by Cybertron’s gravity pull. Watch the original series episode, “Countdown to Extinction” and you’ll see what Michael Bay was trying to do but it just wasn’t clear in ‘DotM’.

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