We all know you don't watch a Michael Bay movie for Oscar-caliber acting or storylines that'll keep your brain ticking long after you've left the theater. No, you go for the BOOM and the SMASH of cars being blown to smithereens and buildings toppled by giant metal robots that turn into planes or Mack trucks or whatever chasing down mutt-faced Shia LeBoeuf and whatever puffy-lipped Victoria's Secret "actress" floats Bay's boat during the casting call. This time around, Bay redeems himself from the disaster that was Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, an incomprehensible load of Decepticon doodoo that still made a ridiculous amount of money, with this almost equally incomprehensible yet ludicrously entertaining sequel.
What's the story, you ask? It has something to do with the space race actually being about retrieving something that crash-landed on the moon years ago that could lead to the Decepticons' takeover of Earth; Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) getting blown off by everyone who matters and saving the day; his girlfriend's (Rosie Huntington-Whitely) mysterious ability to stay perfectly clean and groomed during any and all mayhem--in heels; John Turturro getting more face time than Rick Perry at the GOP debates; and Ken Jeong making a completely unnecessary, too-long appearance. Go away, Ken Jeong.
Dark of the Moon, though, as head-pounding (and sometimes head-scratching) as it is, at least employs terrific effects and action sequences that will knock you out of your socks. Bay creates some truly amazing set pieces--like one where soldiers base-jump out of helicopters straight into a Chicago war zone and equipped with winged suits they zoom through the city's skyscrapers; another when a glass office building topples sideways with Shia & co. frantically trying to escape, sliding down, up and through its floors. Part of the problem with his last T'formers film was the action moved so fast it was hard to tell what was going on on-screen, especially during the 'bot battles, but here it's at least easy to tell what's going on and who's fighting whom. Yes, it's a Transformers s***storm, but an improved Transformers s***storm. Extras: Guess what? None. Nada. Zilch. This release is an obvious pre-double-dip; you'll have to wait for the upcoming 3D special edition for any kind of bonus features.