Thursday, April 28, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon gets a dynamite second trailer, full of long, fluid takes. Although it will make you miss Megan Fox.

Although it's not surprising, it's still impressive just how massive the third (and final?) Transformers picture seems to be. Granted, I'm betting most of the action footage in this trailer is from the last act of the film, but it still is a truly eye-popping piece of marketing. Bay swears up and down that this latest installment is (pick one or all) better, darker, less campy, better written, etc than Revenge of the Fallen, and at this point we have no reason to doubt him. This does appear to be the full-on alien invasion/monster movie epic that many of us thought we were getting with the first sequel, and there is nary a hint of camp or even much humor of any kind in this 150 second clip. One promising thing, which Bay has hinted at, is that shooting in 3D has forced Michael Bay to use longer and more fluid takes, and the results are readily apparent. The best part of the trailer is how long Bay seems to be holding his takes, so we really get a sense of geography and can actually appreciate his full-scale destruction.

A few demerits: most of the dialogue is pretty mediocre, including the Optimus Prime 'don't stop believin'!" speech that I'm guessing is the very last scene in the film (I'm presuming that the film ends with the earth saved and the Autobots leaving the planet for good). And must every action trailer now use some variation on the Inception theme? I did cringe every time the film flashed to Shia Labeouf's 'insert a chick' love interest, as the marketing seems to be almost advertising how little personality/charm/humanity Rosie Huntington-Whiteley possesses (the term 'doll's eyes' comes to mind). Megan Fox may too have been cast for her looks and she may not be the world's best actress, but she at least has a face that moves, a genuine personality, and the presence of a soul. Still, no one is seeing this for the humans or even the allegedly improved acting and/or writing. Bay is second-to-few when it comes to grand-scale action spectacle, and this looks like his best attempt at telling James Cameron (and Justin Lin by the weekend's end) to get the hell off of his lawn. This one debuts on July 1st and as always, we'll see...

Scott Mendelson

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