Transformers 1
Credit: Jaimie Trueblood

Among the many advantages Transformers: Dark of the Moon has going for it is that two Transformers movies have preceded this newest, longest, and 3-Deeziest of extravaganzas about computerized alien robots and the men who shoot and shout at them. By now, not only do we know our good-guy Autobots from our bad-guy Decepticons, but we also have parameters for the best and the worst we can expect from Michael Bay, Hollywood’s reigning auteur of destruction and babe ogling. (In the interchangeable role of sex doll, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley assumes the spot vacated by Megan Fox.) Dark of the Moon is hardly a fleet production, but here Bay makes his best, most flexible use yet of all the flamboyant bigness at his command: Computer-drawn characters and human actors seem to occupy the same narrative for once. This gee-whizzy boys-will-be-boys fantasy opens with the moon landing of 1969 and a secret mission for astronaut Buzz Aldrin — a cool sequence! — and ends, naturally, with a do-or-die battle. Bay fills in every available crevice in between with brassy diversions. Once again, Decepticons are up to no good, Earth is in danger, and Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf, now in full mind meld with his character) is in the middle of the mayhem. Lucky for Sam, he’s got ‘bots watching his back while he gets to watch his girlfriend’s front. B

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Movie
  • 154 minutes