21 July 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Directed by: Michael Bay
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Full credits at IMDb

The Transformers franchise traditionally fetishizes automobiles, because it's literally "based on" a line of toy cars. But watching this third installment, I got the feeling that Michael Bay's feelings about cars have changed. The resurgent Decepticons far outnumber Autobots in Dark of the Moon; it's hard to make a movie that appreciates the automobile when most of your car-characters are bad guys, right? When one Autobot traitor declares, "Let the humans serve us or perish!" I couldn't help but think of the Decepticons as the Lemons from last week's Cars 2 who wanted to restore oil hegemony. Geez, is a Michael Bay movie really saying that cars are bad?

I mean, the Decepticons wanted to make the humans their slaves—just like cars make Americans slaves to oil? The Decepticons drooled oil, like they were literally thirsty for it. In the battle scenes, a mechanic's shop was destroyed, as well as more than one parking lot. There are battles on highways, causing accidents and widespread carnage. Are the Autobots, then, supposed to be hybrids? Or electric cars, or something? Since they're so righteous yet so underrepresented in the movie's general automobile population? Or, shit, I think I got it: since they fight with the Americans, they represent the American auto industry, don't they? And the Decepticons, the flood of foreign ("alien") competitors?

Keep reading my conversation with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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