We need heroes. No matter how fast our modern technical present ancient connections, ideas and conversations resonate. The third and possibly best Michael Bay Transformers movie understands our search for truth.
Myths are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance. We all need to tell our story and to understand our story. We need for life to signify, to touch the eternal, to understand the mysterious, to find out who we are.
(Bill Moyers talking with Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth)
Transformers Dark of the Moon paints a modern Agincourt with the role of Henry V split between Shia LeBeof’s Sam Witwicky and Peter Cullen’s voiced Optimus Prime. Facing impossible odds, Bay’s film and Ehren Kruger’s script capture what it means to be American. It is St. Crispen’s day and we are a happy band of movie-going brothers.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered –
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother.
(William Shakespeare, Henry V)
To say Bay’s film moves at breakneck speed is an understatement. Great art needs surprise and Transformers Dark of the Moon has a whopper Hitchcockian surprise I won’t reveal. Transformers' clear and present homage to the intelligence, courage, creativity and daring of American armed forces is blatant, brilliant and welcomed. Watching this robot fantasy is a vivid reminder of our three wars, wars that may seem a long way from the mall or an IMAX theater. Bay’s and Ehren’s human warriors proceed to do an impossible job with grace and courage providing a not-so-subtle essay about freedom’s costs.