So, here we are with the third installment in the Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg/Paramount/Hasbro Transformers franchise, specifically Transformers : Dark Of The Moon, and the question I have at this point is — does any of this shit really matter?

I mean, honestly — do us folks out here in ticket-buying land even expect these films to be good at this point, or for that matter even remotely entertaining, or have we all been so thoroughly-trained, Pavlov-style, to just file into the theater to see these things that whatever they throw up on the screen will pretty much just do for us? Because truth be told, although my wife and I went to see this film on opening weekend, I couldn’t really tell you why. We just did it.

And the same, apparently, can be said for everyone involved in front of and behind the camera. Much like the hotheaded young actor who plays him, Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky character gets less likable with each succeeding movie. It’s impossible, quite literally, to even remotely give a good goddamn about him or anything that happens to him. The interchangeable Hollywood-version-of-“hot” female lead has gone from Megan Fox to Brit Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, but it’s not like it really matters — she’s just there for eye candy. Second-tier supporting players Tyrese Gibon, Josh Duhamel, Frances McDormand, and John Turturro are back, their ranks swelled by the likes of  scenery-chewer extraordinaire John Malkovich,  as well as Patrick Dempsey, Ken Jeong, Alan Tudyk (for all you Joss Whedon fans out there) and even Buzz fucking Aldrin for Christ’s sake, but they’re just all collecting their paychecks and going home like everyone else.

This is well and truly a franchise on autopilot. I don’t know if bay really even shows up for work at this point, and Spielberg certainly doesn’t. There’s not even a thin attempt at disguising the fact that these things are just a celluloid license to print money. The screenplay, by one-time Hollywood wunderkind Ehren Kruger, is as by-the-numbers as you’re ever likely to find, and really the whole thing’s just an exercise in spreading out big, bad CGI fight sequences over the space of two-plus hours.

Even though the theater was packed when we saw it, there was no clapping, cheering, whooping, hollering, or sounds of indrawn breath — not even from the numerous kids in the audience. We just watched it all play out. We were just there. It’s like we were all products of some dystopian future reporting for our mandatory designated “entertainment” period. there’s nothing inolving or even particularly interesting happening on screen. It’s big, brash, loud, spectacular — and hopelessly dull.

Hell, you can’t even summon up enough energy to find yourself bored by these things at this point. Like shit, Transformers movies just happen. They make ’em, and we show up and watch ’em. We don’t know why. we don’t care why. It probably doesn’t even matter why. We’re trained. We’re compliant. We do as we’re fucking told.

It’s not like it’s even a painfully dull viewing experience — hell, I’d take that over this. At least there’s be some memory attached to it. It just is. A couple hours of our life are gone and we can never get them back, but we really can’t even remember where they went. And honestly, I can’t claim to be any better than the other sheep who filed in to watch this flick — after all, I was there, too. I’ve become another interchangeable cog in Hollywood’s biggest money-making machine. If I died tomorrow, it wouldn’t matter. Somebody else would be there to fork over five-to-ten bucks and fill my seat. But at least I’m not as far-gone as the guy I heard coming out of the theater who said to his kid “Can’t wait to see that one again” — with no excitement or emotion in his voice whatsoever. He just sees these things twice. That’s what he does.

As of yesterday morning, Transformers : Dark Of The Moon had grossed over $325 million in domestic box-office receipts and over half a billion worldwide.

  1. I loved this movie. I cannot wait until it comes out on DVD so I can have another movie marathon.

  2. Yeah, I am actually glad they aren’t making anymore of the films.

  3. Shia said he didn’t want to do anymore films and I’m happy with that, if they keep on changing characters I really won’t watch it. I didn’t even like that they switched the Victorias Secret model in for Megan Fox.

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