Transformers: Dark of the Moon
|Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 American science fiction-action film based on the Transformers toy line. It is the third installment of the live-action Transformers film series, being the sequel to Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg, the film was released on June 29, 2011, in both, 2D and 3D formats, including IMAX 3D, and featured Dolby Surround 7.1 sound. Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro have reprised their starring roles, with Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving returning as the voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron. English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaces Megan Fox as the lead female character, and the cast saw the additions of Patrick Dempsey, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand.
The script was written by Ehren Kruger, who collaborated in the writing of the second film. The film’s story is set three years after the events of the last film. As the Autobots continue to work for the NEST military force, they discover a hidden alien technology in possession of humans, which is the fuel cell for a crash landed ship, which was found by the Apollo 11 in the Moon. As the Autobots go to the Moon to the find the crash landed ship called the Ark, they unveil a Decepticon plan to enslave humanity in order to save the home planet of the Transformers, Cybertron. Bay has stated this would be his last installment in the series. Dark of the Moon was shot with both regular 35mm film cameras and specially developed 3D cameras, with filming locations including Indiana, Washington, D.C., Moscow, Florida and Chicago. The visual effects involved more complex robots which took longer to render due to the film being released in 3D.
In May 2011, it was announced that Paramount Pictures bumped Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s release date of July 1, 2011, to two days earlier, June 29, 2011, in order to receive an early response to footage. The film was then released one day earlier, June 28, 2011 in selected 3D and IMAX theatres, nationwide. Dark of the Moon grossed $1.085 billion worldwide, being the the 10th film in cinematic history to cross the $1 billion mark, the second highest grossing film of 2011 (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2), and the fifth highest-grossing film of all-time. Critical reception was mixed to negative, praising the visuals but criticizing the writing and acting.
In 1961, The Ark, a Cybertronian spacecraft carrying an invention capable of ending the war between the Autobots and Decepticons, crash lands on the far side of Earth’s Moon. The crash is detected on Earth by NASA, and President John F. Kennedy authorizes a mission to put a man on the Moon as a cover for investigating the craft. In 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 lands on the Moon to explore the craft.
In the present, the Autobots assist the United States military in preventing conflicts around the globe. During a mission to Chernobyl, to investigate suspected alien technology, Optimus Prime finds a fuel cell from the Ark, discovering it had survived its journey from Cybertron. The Autobots are attacked by Shockwave who manages to escape. After learning of the top-secret mission to the Moon, the Autobots travel there to explore the Ark. They discover a comatose Sentinel Prime – Optimus’ predecessor as leader of the Autobots – and his creation, the Pillars, a means of establishing a Space Bridge between two points to teleport matter. After returning to Earth, Optimus uses the energy of his Matrix of Leadership to revive Sentinel Prime.
Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky is frustrated that he is unable to work with the Autobots and failing to find a job. He also becomes envious of the close relationship between his new girlfriend, Carly Spencer, and her boss Dylan Gould. After finding work, Sam is provided information by his eccentric co-worker Jerry Wang about the Ark, before Jerry is assassinated by Laserbeak – a condor-like Decepticon. Sam contacts the now-independently wealthy Seymour Simmons, and together they realize that Megatron and the Decepticons are murdering people connected to the American and Russian space missions to the Ark. They locate two surviving Russian cosmonauts, who reveal satellite photos of hundreds of Pillars being stockpiled on the Moon. Sam realizes that the Decepticons raided the Ark long before the Autobots mission and intentionally left Sentinel and five Pillars behind to lure the Autobots into a trap – Sentinel being the key to activating the Pillars and the Decepticons lacking the means to revive him. The Autobots rush to return Sentinel to their base for protection but Sentinel betrays them and kills Ironhide, revealing he had made a deal with Megatron to ensure the survival of the Cybertronian race.
Sentinel uses the Pillars to transport hundreds of concealed Decepticons from the Moon to Earth, and Carly is captured by Gould, who is revealed to be in the service of the Decepticons. The Autobots are exiled from Earth at the demand of the Decepticons to avoid war but, as their ship leaves Earth, it is destroyed by Starscream, seemingly killing the Autobots. The Decepticons, led by Megatron and Sentinel, seize Chicago as their agents place Pillars around the world. Gould reveals to Carly that the Decepticons plan to transport their homeworld of Cybertron to the Milky Way, then to enslave Humanity and use the resources of the Earth to rebuild their world. Sam teams with Robert Epps to go into Chicago to save Carly, but they are nearly killed by Decepticon forces before the Autobots intervene; revealing they concealed themselves during the launch of their ship to convince the Decepticons they were destroyed.
Working together, the Autobots and Human soldiers manage to rescue Carly and destroy Soundwave, Barricade, Starscream and Shockwave, with Optimus using Shockwave’s arm-cannon to blast the Control Pillar, disabling the Space Bridge. Sam confronts Gould as he reactivates the Control Pillar. After a brief fistfight, Sam knocks Gould into the Pillar, electrocuting him. Bumblebee and Ratchet arrive and destroy the Control Pillar, permanently disabling the Bridge and causing the partially transported Cybertron to implode. Optimus and Sentinel fight while Carly convinces Megatron that he will be replaced as leader of the Decepticons by Sentinel. Sentinel severs Optimus’s right arm and prepares to execute him when Megatron intervenes, incapacitating Sentinel. Optimus attacks Megatron, decapitating and killing him. Sentinel pleads for his life but Optimus executes him for betraying his own principles. With the Decepticons defeated, Carly and Sam are reunited and the Autobots accept that with Cybertron gone, Earth is now their home.