Review: 'Transformers' sequel is in your face

Review: 'Transformers' sequel is in your face


Film Review Transformers

Optimus Prime is shown in a scene from "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." 

It won't transform your world or provide you with a new philosophical insight.

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is an action-packed war movie whose only direct effect on your life may be the purchase of merchandise, particularly if you have kids in your household.

I'm always tickled to see toymaker Hasbro mentioned, as well it should be. It is, after all, the creator of the robot-like toys that have pleased generations. Now, computer-generated imagery brings them to gargantuan life. Metal meshes with humankind in scenes so slickly wrought that it's hard to tell where the CGI begins and ends.

This time around, there's a subplot involving what the American astronauts really discovered when they explored the dark side of the moon. Let's just say it's connected with the huge metallic creatures called the Autobots (the good guys) and the Decepticons (the evil dudes).

Of course, Shia LaBeouf is back as Sam, a guy with an Ivy League education who still is looking for a job three months after graduation. His girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) is a little too chummy with her new boss (Patrick Dempsey) and Sam is seething with jealousy.

Meanwhile, the Autobots, who are working in special government operations, have retrieved the remains of Sentinel Prime (voice of Leonard Nimoy) and brought them to earth, where he comes back to consciousness. Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen) is now in the company of his former mentor. Elsewhere, the Decepticons, including Megatron (voice of Hugo Weaving) have a wicked plot up their metallic sleeves.

Once again, Sam teams with Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Simmons (John Turturro), as well as newcomers played by Frances McDormand and John Malkovich, both of whom are in great form.

There are explosions, cool Transformer battles and the near-devastation of Chicago. (Many of these scenes along the river will be familiar to Midwesterners acquainted with the Windy City.)

For me, the coolest moments involved references to the original "Star Trek" television series, including Sentinel Prime's utterance (via Nimoy's voice) that "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Trekkers will understand and appreciate this brief nod to our beloved series.

"Star Trek" references notwithstanding, this is not cerebral entertainment that will provide a catalyst for thoughtful dinner party conversations. This is an in-your-face popcorn movie that means summer is here.



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