It's a Michael Bay film.
That kinda tells you everything you need to know, doesn't it?
On the upside, they lost the racism. Most, if not all of it. Which is a relief. Hearing that there was going to be a group of NASCAR Cybertronians filled me with dread, but they didn't go anywhere down that road, thankfully.
But yeah, it's Bay. A lot of sound and fury, a LOT of it, signifying nothing.
There are good bits and pieces here. In fact, most of the PIECES are fine. But they don't string together into much of anything coherent. The plot is a mess. Both of the movie itself, and of the bad guys. It is way overly complex. Why do these movies keep trying to make movies that should be about two warring factions of giant, alien robots, so damned complicated? It doesn't need to be! We do not need all these MacGuffins. They just push us further and further from giving a shit.
The biggest problem is that the movie lacks any sort of coherent vision. You could deal with the complexity of the plot and geegaws, I guess, if it had one singular vision. But it can't decide if it wants to be an action movie, a road picture, or a wacky comedy. In fact, it at times feels like it wants to be that last, more than anything. Just like the previous movies, everyone in this movie is comic relief. There are no straight men. Er. You know what I mean.
Another problem is that the movie focuses too much on the humans. I get that we need the humans, I don't say ditch them completely. But when you miss entire plot points like the TITLE CHARACTERS BEING CAPTURED because we're too busy watching Sam scream and overact, you are doing something wrong.
And damnit, I never want to hear Shia Lebouf scream again. There were far too many scenes of him needlessly screaming, sometimes right at the camera. No thank you.
In fact, here's my impression of the last 45 minutes of the movie:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH GO GO GO GO GO LOOK OUT GO GO BEEEEE LOOK OUT GO AAAAHHH OPTIMUUUUUUS AAAAAAHHHHH GOOOO!
I don't think I'm exaggerating THAT much, even. The entire fight in Chicago was pretty much screaming directions. With poor geography and no real sense of place.
But things sure do blow up pretty.
And while we lost the racism, we still have plenty of sexism. Rosie Huntington-Whitely's character isn't one. She's an ass. I mean that almost literally. How do we meet her? Not with stunning dialogue, but by seeing her ass in her underwear, slinking up the stairs. She has no personality traits. There's no reason Sam is with her, why he loves her beyond she's pretty. That is her entire function in this movie. And if you're a female in this movie, you are either eye candy, or a bitch. Sometimes both. Ugh.
There was fun to be had. I would love to see an edit of one of these movies without the slapstick. I think they might be better experiences. And they surely can't be any less comprehensible. As a big mindless action movie, you get that. If you just want to watch stuff go boom and shoot, knock yourself out.
If you liked the first two, you'll probably like #3. It *is* better than the 2nd, although I think that one had a bit more of a cohesive plot. If you ignore the twins. And the balls.
Transformers 3 burns, but not as bad as it could. But also in whole new ways. There's SOMEthing here that works, but it is buried under so much other stuff.