Ok, first, let’s get the basics out of the way… The CGI is excellent, which makes a refreshing change from the other action movies of the year – Wolverine and Terminator, I am looking at you. The cinematography is, for the most part, great. The sets and locations are impressive and beautiful. The opening five minutes are spectacular and great fun.
Right, now that is out of the way, let me just say, I went into the movie with lowered expectations, saying “If lots of things explode and lots of things transform I will be happy”. Although this happened, overall, as a package, this movie is not good. There are a couple of excellent moments – like the opening five minutes and Optimus’ first fight with Megatron, the sound alone made my seat vibrate! Not long after the start of the movie, however, all coherence is lost. The plot is needlessly long and complex with many important plot points revealed by the robots whose dialogue was hard to understand. Several sub plots could have been removed entirely – especially the Presidential consort who keeps making life difficult for the military. There are loads of new robots, but it is hard to tell who is one whose side… Most of the fight scenes were indecipherable. I found myself tuning out because I was unable to tell which robot was which, and the dream/near death experience is completely hokey and unnecessary, even for a Michael Bay movie.
That said, Michael Bay makes good on his promise of transforming and explosions and John Turturro steals the show, once again. I am not a fan of either LaBeouf or Fox, but they are fine in the movie. Sam’s parents have slightly more to do in this one than the first one, and have some funny scenes.
In the end, the movie could have done with being an hour shorter, the robots made more distinctive, and the plot simplified. That said, however, you will enjoy the movie if you are a Bay fan and like explosions. I did not come out of the movie having lost the will to live, but I was not buzzed up as should happen with a good movie, especially a good action movie. Go see it, but don’t expect miracles…