June 29th, 2011
06:21 PM ET
Critics are calling "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" as bleak and meaningless as its title, but some do say that Michael Bay's latest effort was at least better than the 2009 sequel.
The third installment features a grown-up Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who teams up with the Autobots against the Decepticons in (of course) a battle of good versus evil involving a mission to the moon.
What would a “Transformers” movie be without a sexy girlfriend by Witwicky’s side? British model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley almost seamlessly replaces former co-star Megan Fox, who dropped out of the trilogy last May.
After a sequel that even director Bay called “crap," critics thought the third installment was an improvement - it was just the amount of improvement that warranted debate.
If audiences were hoping for a 3-D cinematic show, most reviewers thought the graphics came through.
As CNN’s Tom Charity concluded, “It's a lousy movie, but at least it's a lousy movie with a serviceable story, killer CGI and an action climax."
The Los Angeles Times agreed that “you don't go to 'Transformers' for the character or the plot - you go for metal-crushing, sensory-overloading action…The visual payoff is striking.”
But critics like Roger Ebert disagreed, only giving the movie one star.
“(The movie) is a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog,” Ebert noted. “It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experience.”
Aside from the hype about the 3-D technology and the attempted stunning visual effects, E! Online brought up the “dubious moralizing towards the end," saying it "comes off as unnecessarily, wrong-headedly political.”
The storyline involving an alternate story about the mission to the moon might have tried for imagination, but it didn't even come close to being believable, let alone entertaining.
“If this is all meant to be an allegory for current events, it's a murky one at best,” the E! Online reviewer said.
Not even the talent from the supporting cast, which included Academy Award winner Frances McDormand as well as new additions Patrick Dempsey and Ken Jeong, were enough to give the plot a spine.
“See Bay use his magic on actors. By that I mean his uncanny gift for making talent look talentless,” said “Rolling Stone” reviewer Peter Travers.
If you've seen it, what's your verdict?
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