While it is true that Transformers: Dark of the Moon exceeded my expectations, to be honest, I was not expecting much after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Never let it be said that Michael Bay does not learn from his mistakes, as the majority of the things I hate about Transformers 2 are corrected this time around. First and foremost the “bot on bot” fight movements are slowed down and include liberal use of slow-motion camera action so that we can tell who is fighting who and what kind of super-cool-robot-fighting move they are using; both Bumblebee and Optimus Prime really get to show their stuff, and this time we can see it!
Second, we actually get a chance to learn the names and faces of a few of the new key Autobots and Decepticons. While better, this still needs some work. As a child of the 80s I grew up knowing the names of all of the original Transformers; I want to be able walk out of the movie and know all nine Autobots from the movie on sight. How else am I supposed to go buy my favorite new Autobot action figure if I don’t know the name?
I am grateful that the story is not dragged down with “stereo typed” Autobots. I know a few people found the “Autobot Twins” funny in the last movie; I found them distracting and annoying and was rooting for Devastator to eat them. That is not to say all autobots are created the same, we meet our first over-weight Autobot for example.
As for the story, the third installment picks up some amount of time after we last saw Sam, Optimus, and the Autobots kicking ass in Egypt. Sam is now out of College and looking for a job in Washington D.C. He has also traded up in the girlfriend department as the highly publicized exit of Megan Fox (Mikaela) left room for a new leading lady, and Sam did very well for himself in attracting the sexy (and British) Carly (played by Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).
I will say that the overall pacing for the story is fairly well done; however, the story line has a lot going on in it and early on there are a few plot-lines that could have been edited way down as some of them actually go nowhere. On the flipside, this movie does pay homage to the sci-fi fans out there. While I won’t give any of them away; I will say that the sci-fi geeks will a few treats out of it.
Lastly, I saw the movie in 3D and I really enjoyed the 3D. As the movie was filmed in 3D and not just added in post-production it felt seamlessly part of the movie. There were not any “point something at the camera to show off 3D” scenes; but, the flying, falling, launching, swinging, etc. scenes did not let you forget you were watching in in 3D.
Overall, I would recommend it. If you are a fan of the 80s cartoon movie, listening to Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime will have you reflecting on the voice of Galvatron in no time!