Transformers as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothDoes Transformers: Dark of the Moon have the goods to be the top grossing, mega blockbuster film of the summer? Possibly.

Does Transformers: Dark of the Moon have the goods to be the top grossing, mega blockbuster film of the summer? Possibly. With its jaw dropping visual effects and action sequences to rival the previous film you almost have to forgive the parts that fall short. The 2nd film in the series was so incredibly horrific that there really was no where to go but up for director Michael Bay and crew. So this one had to deliver a power punch; and did.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is out of work, can't tell anyone about how he saved the world, and is not allowed to hang out with his autobot friends. He has a girlfriend named Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and little else. But when a Cybertronian spacecraft is discovered on the Moon, it is all hands on deck as they try and reach it before those dreaded Decepticons. Getting there first is only half the battle as they soon learn that bad things are hidden in there regardless of who gets the cargo.

It goes without saying that this film has to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. The only thing, basically, it has going for it are the action scenes and the visuals. If you wait for Blu-ray you might as well not even bother. This is what makes summer movies fun. Sure, Michael Bay continues to include gratuitous scenes that would fit better in a low budget commercial for a generic aftershave, and yes the writers still include the small, sophomoric, idiotic bots that ruined the second film; but at least there is enough of Prime, Megatron, and a nice supporting cast to distract us from those moments.

Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Ken Jeong all have solid character roles and each deliver the goods you come to expect from them. John Turturro returns as Simmons and brings along with him a very funny aide played by the always fantastic Alan Tudyk. In a film like this you need some down time between the autobot antics and to have the cast they did makes those moments work. In spite of the horrible script. But I guess solid dialogue is the last thing you want in a film like this; and from the cheers echoing from the theater it seems no one noticed.

Where the writers failed on person to person chit chat they made up for in creating a tale that included the 1960's moon voyage and other well known world history moments; all woven into the fictional world of Transformers. These moment shine nicely and the cameos that grace the screen are nice surprises. I would have liked to have had more of these and less of Sam's parents (who could have been completely written out of the film), and lots less of the pouty Carly. The film is two and a half hours long. Though it moved quickly with the action it still could have been trimmed up and lost the dead wait of non needed characters.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is rated PG-13 for intense prolonged sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo. If your kids saw the second one when they were 14 they can certainly handle this one at 16. If you are just now introducing your younger audiences to the world of sci-fi blockbusters I am not sure this is the place to start. Thought the carnage is 80% robot there are some humans who fall prey to the decepticons in violent fashion. Due to the length and the fact that robots in disguise aren't everyone's cup of tea I can't recommend this for a date night film. But those who love the franchise and have been waiting for a face melting film of special effects and mega action; this is your baby. So go and enjoy. I give it 4 out of 5 spare tires. It isn't my sort of film but I appreciate what the filmmakers did for the fans of the genre.

Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.