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Third 'Transformers' is an hour too long with pointless 3D effects Jeri Jacquin | Wed, Jul 06 2011 09:47 PM

Now playing in theaters from director Michael Bay, Hasbro and Paramount Pictures comes the latest installment of the Transformers saga with “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

This film continues the story of Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf), finally out of college but looking for a job. Now living with new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Whiteley), Sam sees her success and wants the very same. She works for businessman Dylan (Patrick Dempsey) who is more than meets the eye.

Settling for a job in the mailroom, it isn’t long before one of his office colleagues recognizes him. Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong) gives Sam information that his Autobot friends need to know about the Decepticons. What Sam doesn’t know is that Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Agent Mearing (Frances McDormand) are already on the case.

Optimus discovers a weapon of the Autobots has been taken by the humans. Made by the genius Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), Optimus and the others must go to the moon to rescue their one-time leader.

But it all falls apart when the real reason for the events comes to light. Sam must find Simmons (John Tuturro) to help him come up with a plan to save the Autobots, Carly and the world.

Final word:
It has been fun watching LeBeouf grow into his role as Sam. From an awkward teen to a college graduate, its nice to see some of that silliness doesn’t totally disappear. The witty one-liners and “take no prisoners” attitude was comical in a decent way.

Whiteley as Carly is beautiful, of course, and she held her own. Tuturro is a little more together and believable as Simmons. McDormand as Mearing was the proper amount of uptight for a federal agent.

Jeong is hysterical as Wang, but then again what would you expect? Duhamel returns as Lennox and is ready at a moment’s notice to get geared, get tough and jump out windows!

It is time for the voices of the Transformers to be known as well: Hugo Weaving as Megatron, Frank Welker as Shockwave, Jess Harnell as Ironside, Robert Foxworth as Ratchet, Charles Adler as Starscream, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime.

Other cast include include Tyrese Gibson as Epps, Kevin Dunn as Ron Witwicky, Julie White as Judy Witwicky, Alan Tudyk as Dutch, Glenn Morshower as General Morshower, Lester Speight as Eddie, John Malkovich as Bruce Brazos and appearances by Bill O’Reilly and Buzz Aldrin as themselves.

Tubs of popcorn:
I give “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” three tubs of popcorn out of five. Unfortunately, it is about an hour too long and the 3D rendering is not effective. I wish directors like Bay would get it out of their heads that 3D is an enjoyable format for action films — it’s just not.

That being said there is pure rip-roaring action in this film and the fight sequences are pretty spectacular. There are moments of humor and the last half-hour doesn’t have a dull moment. If you are a Transformer fan, then no matter what I say you’ll have a great time.

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