One of this summer's biggest (and loudest) movies is "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon," which features not just big ol' robots fighting, but a cameo from three of our own: the cars of Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya. So putting aside the whole question of aesthetics in this movie, does Transformers work as a, pardon the pun, NASCAR vehicle? We asked frequent commenter Rita Jean Johnson to offer up her review, and here we go. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts below. -JB
Does a NASCAR fan need to see a souped-up #48 car shooting double-barrel Gatling guns while going 100 mph?
Yeah, you do. You really do.
Unfortunately, you have to wait until the last hour of a three-hour movie for it. When the #42, #48 and #88 come down the streets of Chicago, I quickly realized that it was worth it. The #42 and #48 go to town on some serious Decepticon tail.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
If you want to read the cinematic review of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," please go here. If you understand that this movie is eye and ear candy with robots beating each other up, then by all means go see it. They had more starpower trying to hold up a cartoon script, but I think it worked as best as it could. (Again, keeping it in perspective.) Who wouldn't enjoy Rosie Huntington-Whiteley running in heels and Shia LeBoeuf saving her? Or seeing heroic soldiers saving the world with chiseled stares for the camera. Why not?
Product placement is everywhere in cinema, and this movie is no different. But when I see the brand of NASCAR, I wish there was more. Two of my companions didn't even realize when the NASCAR cars showed up. With all the different robots all over the screen, they couldn't differentiate them. That is not what I wanted to hear.
My son and I know the cars, and when they first came onscreen, I wanted to cheer! (Yep, a Kyle Busch fan wanted to cheer the #88.) The NASCAR Transformers were the good guys, fighting hard in the battles. Any fan would like that, hands down, especially Junior Nation.
The movie also did well for the NASCAR brand in another way: the roar of the engines was distinct. I knew those were stock cars. There are explosions and engines all over the screen at this point in the movie, but I heard the #42, #48 and #88 when they were rolling.
Good job for sound editing right there.
There are many fans who have enjoyed the comeback of Transformers since the 80's. ["Transformers/Robots in disguise/Transformers/More than meets the eye."] A lot of us remember those cartoons and comics fondly. You could make a lot of reasons not to see this movie, but right there is your first reason to go: memories. Don't compare the three movies. That's a waste of time. It's about Transformers. Like when you watched the cartoon, and that is the fun part.
Thanks to Rita Jean for the review! Look for a NASCAR-centric review of "Cars 2," the other NASCAR-connected summer blockbuster, coming soon!