Feel like some robot-smashing, metal-crunching action? You’ve come to the right place, as the third Transformers movie from director Michael Bay is another visual spectacle that continues the story of the battle on Earth between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Aimed squarely at teenage boys (the lingering shot of newcomer Huntingdon-Whiteley’s near-naked butt going up the stairs near the start is an indication that her job is to look sexy and set pubescent hearts racing, rather than convincingly deliver dialogue), it’s also a huge improvement on the second movie in the series (the dull Revenge Of The Fallen).
LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, who’s now a college graduate without a job, despite having saved the world twice already. He’s got a new gorgeous girlfriend (Huntingdon-Whiteley, taking over from Megan Fox, whose services were no longer required after she insulted Bay in an interview) but still isn’t happy, especially when he discovers her boss is a millionaire (Patrick Dempsey) with a cool sports car collection. Sam, meanwhile, is driving a beaten-up rust bucket (former car/robot Bumblebee is busy with the other Autobots helping the US Army blow up stuff abroad) but he soon has more to worry about when he learns the Decepticons are back and ready to battle the Autobots for control of the planet. Fans of the toys and cartoons will be pleased to see Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) and baddie Shockwave make an appearance amidst the metallic carnage, and a couple of the army characters (Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson) from the first two movies (plus Sam’s permanently bewildered parents) pop up too.
While the first hour is quite slow – beginning with a preamble that explains the moon landing in 1969 actually took place to secretly investigate an Autobot ship that had crash-landed there – the final half is, quite frankly, bloody impressive, as robots batter each other (to the point where they leak red liquid – blood? brake fluid?), buildings are smashed, Chicago is virtually flattened and the human cast (including McDormand, John Turturro, and even Buzz Aldrin playing himself) play second fiddle to some stunning special effects. Bay may not pick the best scripts, but he does know how to deliver action, and lots of it, and if you’re a boy looking for lots of bang for your buck, you’ll certainly get it here.
Is Transformers: Dark Of The Moon suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
While the Transformers range of toys are aimed at kids around the age of five to eight, parents should note this movie is aimed at older children (it has a 12A certificate for ‘moderate action violence’ and one use of strong language).
Most of the violence is robot-on-robot, but be aware that when the Decepticons attack Chicago, they zap humans, disintegrating them as they are running away, which will upset younger (under age 10) viewers.
Some of the Decepticons have ‘faces’ with pointy teeth that may frighten younger viewers.
If you like this, why not try: