Anthony Breznican of USA Today has all-important details about the next entry in the Transformers franchise, including the release date, July 1st, 2011 (a.k.a. Superhero Summer), and the new villain, Shockwave (not to be confused with Soundwave), but none more important, at least to me, than the confirmation that Transformers 3 (in 3D, of course) will be the last film in the trilogy. When I sat down to see Transformers, the big-screen adaptation of the 80s' cartoon and the toy line, three years ago, a trilogy was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to see what even casual fans of the series and toy line wanted to see: giant, transforming robots, realistically rendered by the best CG Hollywood money could buy, knocking each other around, destroying property (but hopefully not taking lives) in the process. In that respect, Michael Bay (Bad Boys II, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, The Rock, Bad Boys), the one-time Master of Disaster (a title currently held by one Roland "2012" Emmerich), delivered.
What Bay and his screenwriters didn't deliver were relatable characters or a storyline that followed the normal rules of logic or sense. Instead, Bay delivered clichés masquerading as characters, juvenile humor, the once-hot, super-tanned Megan Fox washing a car in slow motion (in short-shorts), and not much else. Moviegoers seemed more than satisfied with the results, filling Paramount's coffers to the tune of $700 million dollars worldwide and turning co-leads Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox into bankable stars, if only briefly in Fox's case (see e.g., Jennifer's Body).