Autobots and Decepticons are at war, with humans on the sidelines. Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. (IMDb)
The plotting is either incomprehensible or downright cheesy (or both–see the climax at Stonehenge with the staff of Merlin), character movements are difficult to make sense of (see Duhamel’s Colonel and co. chase, then join forces with their target; the Earl suddenly ditching), and besides that, it just goes on too long. The action’s good though, and some surprising and genuinely funny moments of levity (see Merlin’s opening plea; Cogman’s organ playing; Agent Simmons in Cuba) help break it up.
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity. (IMDb)
I’ll leave judgment of the overall portrayal of being gay to non-hetero people (though it’s encouraging that the director is one), but to me it sure was refreshing to see the gay love story happy ending (even if it was a little cheesy), and I thought the complicated internal tension of Simon’s coming out process was captured really well (the proof was in my sobbing at the beautiful line “You can exhale now”). Robinson is excellent, and the underlying high school dramedy is perfectly quirky.
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. (IMDb)
A few new faces, a lot of the same old shit (cars, explosions, a model to take by the hand everywhere, a plot that’s cheesy and/or confusing and exposited by boring dialogue) with some new things to groan at (enough pop songs and product placement already) but some saving graces too (Sam’s restlessness, the Dylan twist, the hopeless feeling before the final battle–the latter of which finally paired the impressive CGI with some coherent and cool action sequences; see the glass building collapse).
An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, comes to Earth, with a clue to the ultimate power held by a teenager. (IMDb)
An epic-feeling triple-perspective narrative makes things exciting, and welcome shots of humour injected into the sci-fi war plot continually keep things fun (see Anderson’s hyper hacker; LaBeouf’s lovable loser, quirky parents, sensitive car). The Transformers can be cheesy though (see Optimus’ speeches), and both Fox’s turn and the final fight leave something to be desired (see her puzzling tow-truck escapades; Sam having to run with the cube), so it’s not the perfect film, but it’s enjoyable.