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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

For the third time in five years, we've tricked ourselves into going to the theater to see giant robots fight each other.

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is exactly the sum of its parts.

You already know what Transformers are. They're big metal robots that turn into cars and fight other big metal robots that turn into airplanes or something.

You already know who Michael Bay is. He's an action junkie director who is far too fond of explosions and beautiful women with no acting ability to speak of.

Combine the two and you get exactly what you're imagining: a fun break from the summer heat with no lasting value. Think of the third installment of the series as the inflatable pools resting in the front lawns of the frat houses on campus.

As someone who has little to no knowledge of the Transformers universe aside from what I learned in the films, I constantly struggled to remember which of the giant robots I was supposed to be rooting for.

I know the basics, such as Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, but the rest are just a blur of metal on a 30-foot screen. And to be honest, I don't really care. I knew what I was getting when I paid my $11 to see the movie: big robots punching each other until they explode in a fury of awesome CGI.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a nice change from Megan Fox, who plagued the previous two Transformers films. Michael Bay doesn't even pretend to hide what kind of girl he is looking for anymore, since Whiteley, a Victoria's Secret model who had no acting experience under her belt, beat out Zoe Saldana ("Star Trek") and Hayden Panettiere ("Heroes"). Surprisingly, she doesn't do a terrible job.

Shia LaBeouf, who I actually think is a fairly decent actor, does what he can, but frankly it's not much. When it comes down to it, though, is there any time for good acting when there's half of Chicago to destroy?

Overall, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is not that great of a movie. It is, however, packed with action, explosions, amazing CGI and one stunning actress who can actually act... a little.

With a less-than-stellar storyline, I'd recommend "Transformers" only if you want to beat the heat - but don't expect much substance.

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