Remember getting yelled at by the teacher?

Not the horrible, bitter old one that everyone hated, but by the really cool, good-looking teacher that everyone liked and tried to impress. That’s kind of how it feels getting scolded by Optimus Prime.

He’s not angry… just deeply disappointed in us. And yeah, we kind of deserve it.

“Everything humans know of our planet we were told had been shared,” Prime says, displaying grammatical dexterity that would turn Yoda green (well, you know what I mean).

We don’t see it, but Fargo Oscar-winner Frances McDormand is the one with the unpleasant job of tugging nervously at her collar while the giant metal alien robot looks down on her as she says (and I’m making this up here): “Oh. Yeah. The, uh, the big, ancient robot guy that we found on the moon in the ’60s, who … uh, who happens to be your predecessor? Umm … yeah. Did we … uh, did we forget to mention that?”

“You lied to us,” Prime says in the trailer, adding ominously. “You have made a grave mistake.”

Prime is perhaps less upset that he wasn’t told about the U.S. government’s knowledge of his long lost mentor, Sentinel Prime (the one found crash-landed on the moon,) and more annoyed that there seems to be a whole Decepticon armada buried up there, which we see shuffling off the dust and rising to attack Earth.

The price we pay: They set their sights on Chicago for some still-unspecified reason, and decide to make it look like Detroit. (Sorry, Detroit. Just kidding around.)

At least John Turturro’s Agent Simmons seems to be an optimist: “Years from now, they’re gonna ask, ‘Where were you when they took over the planet?'” That’s optimistic because it assumes at least two people will be left alive to ask and answer that question.

We get a brief glimpse of the Decepticon cyclops Shockwave, stepping out with his giant cannon arm. Not too much of him in action just yet, though.

It all ends with a giant, octopus-like Decepticon robot wrapping itself around the center of a skyscraper and pinching it in half while Shia LaBeouf, his Victoria’s Secret model girlfriend Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and a commando team led by Tyrese Gibson slide back and forth through the floors of the collapsing building.

Michael Bay has said he wants this movie to make up for mistakes they made in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

So is he on the right track?

For more movie news, especially the geeky robots and aliens stuff, follow Anthony Breznican on Twitter: @Breznican.

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  • 143 minutes