Bleeding Cool Taste Tests Transformers: Dark Of The Moon In 3D

Bleeding Cool Taste Tests Transformers: Dark Of The Moon In 3D

After Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, one would have thought that there was little director Michael Bay could add to the robot bashing, building smashing, car crashing, bimbo flashing genre for the second sequel. That is, until he was persuaded to shoot in 3D.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon grabs hold of that added dimension and thrusts its audience into the film with all the subtlety of a juggernaut on a high octane kick.

On Wednesday night I saw fifteen minutes of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, sandwiched between recorded chats with Bay and 3D master, James Cameron.

The scenes that we were shown had been selected to exhibit the 3D and did not spoil the plot, although, judging by the previous films in the series, there may not be that much plot to spoil. Certainly, any dialogue we heard during these fifteen minutes mainly comprised the kind of speech that ends in multiple exclamation marks as well as one imperative in particular: 'Run!!'

There is an exception; during the opening segment it was difficult not to feel tingles down the spine as Bay recreated in great detail the 1969 moon landing and the run up to it, John F Kennedy and all.

But among the sequence of battles between the Autobots and the Decepticons, there is a moment when a troop of chaps in wingsuits leap from an aircraft right into the thick of it. As they fly through crashing skyscrapers and spectacular robotic duels, we go with them. This scene epitomises more than any other how the 3D is thrown right into the centre of the action in this film. 3D cameras are strapped to the men as they freefall, pulling us to the very edges of our seats.

In another scene, Bumblebee is caught in a smash. Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is thrown from the car. In the time it takes for Sam to fly through the air to what would be certain death, Bumblebee transforms himself into his Autobot self, saves Sam, and returns to his car form. All within a few breathtaking seconds. There were gasps.

During the recorded interview, Bay speaks of how 3D was made for his type of filmmaking; how he builds the layers of action from back- to foreground. The 3D here gives his work an extra push, right into the theatre. Whereas 3D action movies can look dark,* Dark of the Moon looks, at least from what we saw, light. The glass and the metal of buildings and robots are bright. They shine and they are sharp.

The teaser was designed to show off the 3D and it was undoubtedly successful. It certainly didn't show off character and plot. Megan Fox's replacement, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, appeared to do very little except gape, stand stricken with shock or simply hang on to things. It's quite possible that nobody else in the film does much more than that. But that almost seems irrelevant, because Transformers: Dark of the Moon is all about robots, annihilated cities, explosions, the grandest special effects – now including the moon and spaceships – and this is now utterly brazen and taken to the limit.

It is, however, quite likely that you will need to lie in a darkened room for a week after seeing the full version on the big screen. I hardly dare speculate what IMAX might do to you.

We'll find out how the whole thing hangs together 29 June.

Brendon's note: *Only when projected incorrectly.

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About Kate Atherton

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