With 3D movies apparently on the decline with the public, can Michael Bay save it from the big tech pile in the sky? Judging on it’s box office takings so far, over $260,000, 000, then he might he the formats hero, but does the film stand up away from the extra dimension.

It’s 1961 and an Autobot ship called the Ark has crashed on the moon, spotted by the Americans and Russians, a space race begins to be the first to investigate the ship. Apollo 11 makes it first, not to make a giant leap for mankind but for science.  Flash forward to the present and the Autobots are still working with NEST hunting down the remaining Decepticons, but also doing a bit of anti terrorism on the side.  Following a tip off, NEST find themselves in the remains of Chernobyl and discover part of the ARK, that the Russians stole from the moon. This alerts the Autobots to head to the moon to rescue their fallen leader Sentinel Prime from the Ark. They soon discover that the Decepticons have already visited the ship over time and have stolen some devices that could threaten the Earth.

While the Autobots are off around the world, Sam Witwicky is getting used to civilian life. Moved to Washington, Bumblebee has been replaced in his garage by a clapped out Datsun, Mikaela has dumped him and he can’t get a job. Things aren’t all bad though as he has a new girlfriend in the form of Carly (Rosie Huntington Whiteley) and he got a medal from President Obama.  Feeling left behind, he soon gets caught up in the Decepticon conspiracy and is knocking on the Autobots door again.

I really liked the first Transformers film, it was exciting , funny and had a real charm to it. The second film however was a different beast. It was over long, over complicated and don’t even mention the robot balls. All the charm was gone from the first film and it fell into the sequel trap of bigger, louder and longer.  A while after it’s release Michael Bay even apologised for it, which coming from him, was a big deal. So has he learned his lessons from Revenge Of The Fallen. Well sort of.

The story in this film, is a lot stronger than the previous one, as a NASA freak I loved all the Apollo stuff at the start, though I did spot a big fault in the Eagle landing scene! It was also quite funny seeing the actual Buzz Aldrin in the film.  Once the Decepticons plot kicks in the film really gets going. There are a few nice twists as well. Obvioulsy you don’t go to see Transformers expecting an Aaron Sorkin level script, you go for the action and this film has a lot of it. The last hour of the film is just a war between the rival bots in the city of Chicago and is pretty intense, it is also a lot more violent than previous films, just think of the tripod attack in War Of The Worlds. There is also an amazing sequence that doesn’t even need CG as the NEST team fly into the city, in flying wing suits, with a lot of the shots done on helmet cams so you see them dropping in amongst the skyscrapers first person and in 3D it’s amazing. Which brings me onto the 3D, if you been reading the site you will know I’m not a huge fan of 3D, the only thing I’ve seen that truly worked was Avatar which was simply stunning. Most the the films released now in 3D have been post converted and usually don’t look great and are too dark. When I go to see Harry Potter it will be in 2D. With Transformers I was actually looking forward to seeing it in 3D as it was actually shot in 3D, and it shows. It works really well, you do get drawn in especially in the aforementioned Wing suit scene. It has also had another positive effect on the film, in the editing room. In the past Michael Bay’s films have all been about quick cuts, which were so bad that sometimes it was hard to follow what was going on. With 3D he can’t do this as it would just make the viewers feel sick, so he has had to slow everything thing down in the editing which means, in the last film it was hard to work out which robot was hitting which robot. Now you can actually follow the action and take it all in.

A lot of the old faces return for this third installment, with one big exception, Megan Fox, who having said Bay was like Hitler, was axed from the film. Replacing her, is English actress Rosie Huntington Whiteley, a former model, and to be honest it shows. She’s not terrible but when you miss Megan Fox, that says a lot about her acting ability. John Malkovich is very under used as Sam’s new boss, who is all about chi and karma, but seems to turn mental half way through. Frances Mc Dormand pops up as a goverment liasion who doesn’t like the collaboration between NEST and the Autobots There’s a quite funny if a bit over the top appearance from Ken Jeong (The Hangover 1 & 2) as a work colleague who is a robot conspiracy nut.   Nice voice work as well by Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime. Strangely the one person who I didn’t like in this film was Shai Labeouf, in the first two films he was quite charming and funny, in this though Sam seems to have turned into a bit of a dick, the only time he was likeable was when he was back with Bumblebee, I didn’t want his character to die, but just stopping being so annoying.

So overall, the film is a vast improvement on Revenge Of The Fallen, but not as much fun as the first film. The action is definitely bigger and the 3D does add to the visual impact and  there are still a few laughs to be had.  The last hour is a real spectacle. If you’re in the mood for big robots beating the hell out of each other then this is the film for you.

Rating 7/10

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