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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 157 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

The post-mortem of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was almost unanimous as even its star Shia LaBeouf couldn’t comprehend how poor and incomprehensible it was. Transformers: Dark of the Moon does not promise much with a title that barely makes sense but has the Transformers franchise matured? Has Michael Bay finally figured out how to make a decent film or will The Rock continue to stand out as a beacon of hope in a vast ocean of oversized, overhyped rubbish?

The third of the series see a race against time between the Autobots (good guys) and Decepticons (bad guys) as a Cybertronian spacecraft is spotted on the dark side of the moon. Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) and his inconceivably hot girlfriend Carly (Huntington-Whiteley) stumbled into a Decepticon plot to destroy Earth.

After a meandering scene-setting that never grabs the attention, two thirds of the way in the action just goes apocalyptic. In the ensuing mess it’s impossible to tell which soulless Autobot is killing which soulless Decepticon, if Shia Labeouf has just randomly died and who can shout the loudest. Bay has managed to assemble a disturbingly good cast and seem s to have raided the Coen Brothers phone book Turturro, McDormand and Malkovich all make an appearance here but obviously, the acting takes a backseat to incessant sense-destroying action.

Positives can be found in some of the amusing slapstick, chiefly from Tudyk as a camp German, and when the action in the first third is sporadic and not constant it looks spectacular and greatly impresses. Overall, the third instalment makes a little more sense than its predecessor but is still a big uninteresting mess of special effects and action set pieces.

It's Got: Some funny slapstick, constant ear-splitting action, a surprisingly good cast for a threequel

It Needs: For a leopard to change its spots, for that to be it for the franchise now


No surprises here as Michael Bay produces yet another soul-destroying special effects mess to render its quality cast rather redundant.