Even after seeing three Transformers movies, I'm not sure who the Autobots and Decepticons are.
The giant warring extraterrestrial living robots turn themselves into all kinds of machines — but mostly cars. What they are fighting over, I have no idea, but somehow they have brought the battle to Earth.
Normally, I wouldn't care a lick about such things, but the man behind the three films, Michael Bay, is one of the flashiest directors of the past 20 years. He can be irritatingly grandiose and deafening, but he also can be spectacularly adventurous on screen.
The first of the three films based on the popular toys fell somewhere in the middle. The second — Revenge of the Fallen, released in 2009 — was a mess, but in the third, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bay has an eye-popping extravaganza fueled by pop references and breathtaking real stunts. I'm not sure I could explain the plot even if I cared.
Dark of the Moon qualifies for that long-familiar summer-movie blurb: "a roller-coaster ride." But even your mind can wander as your body is jolted — you are on a track, after all.
The story revises history: The U.S.-Soviet space race wasn't really a result of Cold War tensions but a byproduct of the Autobots-Decepticons war. Real-life moonwalker Buzz Aldrin even drops by to confirm this. The city of Chicago is in danger of being wiped out by the war. After that, things get hazy.
Bay does bring in accomplished actors Frances McDormand, John Turturro and John Malkovich, but he isn't fooling anyone. Moon isn't for your brain. Thinking about it would probably give you a headache. It's an adrenaline rush for your eyes and ears.
Dark of the Moon is visually one of the best 3-D films made since the renaissance of the form, but the DVD isn't in 3-D. Nevertheless, the action should play well on your 2-D home theater screen.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon retails for $29.99 or $44.99 Blu-ray.