Destroying Chicago and Our Brain Cells: Transformers Is Back

The 154 minutes of Transformers: Dark of the Moon are loaded with unimaginable violence, but only one spasm left the audience at the theater where we watched it speechless. They cheered the robot slugfests, and the destruction of Chicago received a good number of OH SHITs.

But when Megatron walked up to the Lincoln Memorial, pounded Abe to pieces, and plopped down on his chair? No one knew what to say. That the damage done to Honest Abe was the product of a robot civil war can be viewed as irony, or at least what passes for irony in a film as unironic as this one.

But it's also a reminder of how ballsy Michael Bay's Transformers series

is--exploiting America's iconic tragedies for maximum impact. This time

around, we have bodies falling through the air over a wrecked city

declared "Ground Zero"; heroes intoning "Let's roll"; even a gorgeous

re-creation of the 1986 Challenger disaster.

And the prologue's moon-landing sequence (in glorious 3-D) is an

exceptional reminder that for all Bay's blowhard douchebagginess, he's a

masterful maker of images. The shot of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's ass

that immediately follows is an exceptional reminder that he's still a

blowhard douchebag.

The plot? Something about the moon and a space-time

bridge and a new Transformer, Sentinel Prime. A bunch of robots fight a

bunch of other robots, and you can't tell which are the good robots and

which are the bad robots because they all look alike, you robot racist.

--Dan Kois

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