Transformers: Dark of the Moon owned the July 4th holiday box office, proving yet again that even though critics aren’t fans of Michael Bay’s robot slugfests, there are plenty of moviegoers out there who still get a thrill from seeing that one-of-a-kind Bay-brand action.

Our own Transformers: Dark of the Moon review overlooked some the glaring weaknesses in the film’s plot, editing, and acting, in favor of the sheer enjoyment and awe that was inspired by the amazing 3D action sequences Bay managed to capture on camera.

But would we – or anyone else – still feel that way if we were to learn that some of the action in Dark of the Moon wasn’t as revolutionary and original as we were led to believe?

Personally, I don’t care (the action in Transformers 3 was well worth my 3D ticket money), but one movie sleuth on the Web (name: Jermaín Oldremán) did care – enough so to have spliced together a reel of comparative footage that offers pretty glaring evidence that Michael Bay recycled shots from the highway chase sequence in his 2005 film (flop) The Island for the epic highway chase scene between Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), Bumblebee, and a few other Autobots and Decepticons in Dark of the Moon.

Check out the comparative footage here:

A couple of points:

  1. Some people are already accusing Bay of “pirating” this island footage he used in Dark of the Moon, but as pointed out by our own Rob Keyes – “When The Island was made, Paramount & Dreamworks were partners, both owned by Viacom. Paramount is still the worldwide distributor for Dreamworks.” So no, there’s not really a conflict of studio interests in terms of Bay using this footage.
  2. There IS, however, a conflict of interest with Mr. Oldremán using bootlegged footage from Dark of the Moon to make his point. It’s also deliciously ironic: exposing a director for “borrowing” from his past film while you’re “borrowing” from his new film. Totally meta…especially if there’s a lawsuit.
  3. Movies recycle things all of the time. Sound effects, establishing shots, stock footage, plotlines (Zing!). It’s not exactly a crime (Example: The Wilhem Scream)
  4. Does anybody even remember The Island? (As always, I’m sure the film has at least a few fans.) And even amongst those who remember it, does anyone really have THAT much love for the movie that they don’t want to see one frame of it “exploited” for the purposes of another movie?

In the end, there’s little “controversy” here. More like another fun Transformers Easter egg for fans of the movie to discuss.

Speaking of Easter eggs, be on the lookout this week for the following Transformers-related posts on our site:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is now in 2D, 3D and 3D IMAX theaters everywhere.

Source: YouTube via The Playlist