After Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the second installment in the mega-hit movie franchise based on Hasbro toys, earned the not-so-prestigious distinction of being the "worst-rated" blockbuster of all time, the next film about alien robots hell-bent on destroying the world had nowhere to go but up, right? Maybe not. The third installment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, hits theaters Wednesday, and Roger Ebert says it's one of the most "unpleasant" movie-watching experiences he's ever had. Another critic says the 154-minute film leaves you with post-traumatic stress disorder. Is it really that hard to watch? (Watch a trailer for the movie.)
This movie is sickening: "I miraculously survived" a Transformers screening "with a throbbing headache and slight nausea," says Lou Lumenick at the New York Post. "Others may not be so lucky." Everything is wrong with the film: A "brain-dead" plot, "lousy" 3-D effects, no character development. Between the "frenetic" editing and the "assaultive" sound effects, "I felt my brain had been rewired by the end."
Audiences will feel "beat into submission": The car crashes, chase scenes, explosions, and "soulless characters" come at you like a "merciless sensorial assault," says Tirdad Derakhshani at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Watching the film is akin to being stuck in a "cinematic purgatory you keep praying will end." And, worse, "it doesn't." Moon is humorless, confusing, and devoid of subtlety. At one point, robot Optimus Prime declares, "We'll kill them all." It appears he's actually "referring to the audience."
"Transformers: Too much meets the eye"
C'mon, it's actually pretty fun: Compared to the first two installments of the Transformers franchise, Dark of the Moon is "surprisingly minimalist in an ear-splitting, bone-rattling maximus way," says Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times. The 3-D effects are "striking, and Shia LaBeouf's acting shines in the role of a more grown-up Sam, the film's hero. Despite the low bar set for Moon, Bay has "delivered a leaner, meaner, cleaner 3-D rage against the machines."
"Movie review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon"