What develops is a congenial story of new possibilities. There are a couple of big laughs, but this small film generates a constant stream of smiles and mellow amusement. It's Tom Hank's version of a quiet, anti-blockbuster movie for the summer.
Mechanical overload in 'Transformers'
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is the latest creation of director Michael Bay's "more is more" filmmaking. More than two hours of mayhem mindlessly lays Chicago to waste in the ultimate giant robot battle for world domination. There's a real-life astronaut and a Victoria's Secret model — a perfect movie for little boys of all ages.
Short bursts of humor kept my brain from shifting to autopilot. John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Ken Jeong and John Turturro are given a chance to actually be funny and speed this implausible plot along.
Shia LaBeouf, the hero in all three "Transformer" movies, seems like more of an afterthought here. His job is to try and explain the story while nimbly dodging twisted chunks of metal.
But if it wasn't for him, there'd be no need for his leggy girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whitely). Her job is to wear wildly inappropriate office attire and strike a pose for the 3-D cameras.
The climactic battle between noble Autocons and evil Decepticons is a technical, soulless wonder. There's the requisite Michael Bay slow-motion shot of well-muscled guys strutting their stuff down the street. And best of all — Carly's makeup remains runway-perfect!
JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.
SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a financial services company.