PG-13 for dubious leading man, disapproving robots, flawed but sincere imitation of the theatrical device known as “plot”
Love him or hate him, Michael Bay is a brilliant director of trailers.
This one tells a whole story in two minutes, a story of hubris, robots, the moon, explosions, different robots, and ultimately of faith in humanity – and then, even more ultimately, of more explosions and robots.
There’s even a love story: a girl’s face appears; then the kid from Even Stevens screams “WHERE IS SHE?!”; and then they lie on the floor and hold hands while the building falls over. Romantic arc: complete. There are some great side-plots, too: NASA cover-ups, American flags in the foreground, smoke rising in the background, the conspicuous absence of Megan Fox, and cars exploding while nearby cars turn into robots.
Have I seen any of the Transformers movies? No. Don’t intend to. But hell if these aren’t some of my favorite trailers. And if you’re detecting sarcasm here, recalibrate your sensors: whatever the merits and flaws of his movies, Michael Bay is the unimpeachable master of the trailer – a far more enduring narrative form, anyway.