I still remember entering a theatre in Qatar, way back in 2007, my heart going thump-thump-thump, waiting for the opening credits to finish rolling so that I could feast my eyes on some mean, lean, fighting machines filling the screen in all their majestic splendor.
Needless to say, I was happy the movie ran to about 140 minutes, as it was pure value for money. But two years later, when its sequel came out, I forced myself to sit through 150 minutes of pure agony. The second movie was so bad that I actually felt good I didn't spend my own hard-earned cash to watch it (it was part of a friend's treat).
Another two years, another sequel. And this time, I'm glad I didn't lose hope in the franchisee when I stepped out of the theatre last time. Make no mistakes, The Transformers, and its director Michael Bay, are back with an almighty bang!
Bay, mindful of the negative word of mouth his last offering gave him, went back to the drawing boards. And the result is there for everyone to see. If the Revenge of the Fallen (Part II) was a riot of colours, fast movements and mind-numbing action, the Dark of the Moon (Part III) is all that plus a solid story line.
The film starts with the war between Autobots and Decepticons which ultimately destroy their planet — Cybertron. A lone battleship called 'The Arc', piloted by Sentinel Prime, escapes with a secret cargo (The Pillars) which has the power to end the war. It is struck by missiles and crash lands on the dark side of the moon. The Americans, who detect the disturbance, race with the Russians to send their men to moon.
The Russians, who in 1986 get hold of a Pillar and try to draw power from it, unwittingly activate the Chernobyl disaster. Years later, when similar activity is once again detected there, the Autobots go there to check it out. Optimus Prime understands the importance of the Pillars, as it can be used as a means to establish a mobile space bridge between two points and transport matter through. American Secretary of Defense Charlotte Mearing fears it can be used to bring an invading alien army to earth. And such an army does invade earth.
After endless twists and 'friends turning foes' later, the film enters the climactic finale, which takes up almost a third of the movie.At the end of the day, a true Transformers fan will be pleased that everything they loved about the franchisee has come so perfectly well together.A whole lot of new villains and heroes are introduced and Shockwave is the most sinister among new villains. He is a treat to watch. The action sequences are better and more over-the-top than ever before (if that's possible).
The transformers themselves are shown in far greater detail. One complaint I had in Part II, was that not a single close-up shot of the robots were visible during the entire movie seems to have caught Bay's attention. He lovingly takes extreme close ups of the robotic faces, which look seriously cool.
Bay has already announced his retirement from the series, but I can bet that he returns at some point of time. Full marks to him for picking himself up from among the ruins that was Part II and coming up with a convincing film on celluloid. It is enough to make fans wait for the next installment with bated breath.
Rating: Four out of five stars for originality, action, storyline, well fleshed out characters and above all, gobsmacking great fun!
– Taita S