We waited on bated breath for the previews to end and the main attraction to get started. Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon was finally here. My husband, our kids, and I have been waiting to see this movie since we first heard about its release a year or so back. We have been this excited to see every installment to the franchise for a couple of reasons – Camaro, Peterbuilt, and Topkick, just to name a few.
The cars are truly the stars and most fans are car enthusiasts. My kids decided that they want every one, and who can blame them. But me, I don’t want them all, just a few.
If I had my druthers, I would gladly take the 2012 Bumblebee Camaro, and pretty soon I might have my way when the car is release in 2012.
But, the fifth generation Bumblebee could only reign supreme for so long. Michael Bay introduced some great disguises for the Transformers in this movie. First, there is the reintroduction to a long time Transformers character, Mirage. While Mirage has been around as long as Optimus, this is his first appearance on the big screen. The character has always been synonymous with fast formula one inspired car forms, and this time is no different with Mirage taking cover as a red Ferrari 458 Italia. First introduced to the world in late 2009, the Italia is among the fastest production cars out there reaching speeds in excess of 200 mph with a 570bhp power house under the hood. While you can pick up the seven speed beauty for around $225,000 don’t expect it to come with the swords that Mirage wields in defense of humans.
The next pleasant surprise to the car line up is the silver Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which also sadly turned out to be Soundwave, a Decepticon driven by the new love interest of Sam, Carly Spencer, played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The 563bhp, throaty V-8 is a gift to Carly from her car collecting boss Dylan, played by Patrick Dempsey, to “just drive.” The $200,000 price tag becomes a rift line in the relationship between Sam and Carly, but when it’s discovered that the gift was really a spy, all is forgiven.
Another new entry is Sentinel Prime, a Rosenbauer Panther Airport Crash Tender fire truck. The futuristic design of the cab takes a new twist on an old favorite; I mean, who didn’t want to drive a firetruck when they were kids? The Panther 6×6 was designed by firefighters and can be operated by one person from inside the cab. Among the slowest cars in the film reaching a whopping top speed of about 75mph, it is among of the most powerful with a 665hp, 14 liter, 854cid engine from Detroit Diesel. The unparalleled visibility from the cab makes this a stand out machine, and a no-brainer choice for Optimus’ mentor, who has to be on the lookout for foes from every side.
The Wreckers are a trio of Autobots that transform into heavily armored NASCAR Chevrolet Impalas. A cool collection of characters, Leadfoot, Roadbuster, and Topspin bust the NASCAR mold when in robot form. In car form however, rings true to NASCAR standards with all three appearing to fit into the body line- minus the guns. NASCAR cars are equipped with 358cid V-8’s that produce top speeds of 200mph with 850bhp, and these three seem to be as well. They speed into danger at a critical time for all of humanity.
Let’s not forget the original Transformers that return. Optimus Prime, the Peterbuilt 379 and his slick refrigerated style trailer that turns into an armament depot. Ironhide as the jacked-up GMC Topkick C4500 that rushes head first into danger. Ratchet, the H2 Hummer rescue vehicle. While these are all memorable Autobots, we can’t overlook their nemeses the Decepticons and their never say die leader, Megatron. He has reached a rusty new low in his auto form this film by turning into heavily fortified “Mad Max” style Mack truck. Before he returns to take over Chicago, Megatron is hanging out in the desert trying to rebuild who he once was. You would think an intelligent machine would know that sand isn’t good on metal.
The most destructive force on the Decepticon side has to be Driller, which has no auto form. He lives underground surfacing like the great tentacled monsters of old fisherman stories when the bad guys need, say, a building destroyed. Rounding out the Decepticon lineup are a WM garbage truck, an F-22 Raptor, 3 Chevrolet Suburbans, an Audi R8, and a M1Abrams tank.
Any way you slice it, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is a car lovers dream. A great street machine that can change into an intergalactic superhero is what we all want out of our car, right? This movie not only draws the auto enthusiast into the film, but introduces these man made marvels to the next generation. As kids file out of the theater and into the store they can pick up all of the Transformers and a few not in the movie in the local toy isle. They will learn, even if unknowingly, each make and model of their hero’s and foe’s. They will overrun with specs and thoughts about which one would win in a race. That’s how Transformers have survived among us since 1984 in various car forms and I for one see no end to the disguises in sight.