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The Cold War is being rewritten, one action movie at a time. X-Men: First Class gave us the secret history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the newest rollicking Transformers flick, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, tells the real story behind the Space Race.
Cleverly melding actual footage of Presidents Kennedy and Nixon, news anchor Walter Cronkite, and the Apollo moon landing with Transformers footage and an appearance by real astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the story reveals that the entire moon program focused on finding a crashed Transformer spaceship. The evil robot Decepticons and the noble Autobots both want the powerful cargo. As the Decepticons enact their scheme of enslaving the human race, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) team with Autobots Optimus Prime and Bumblebee as well as the United States Armed Forces to retake the ravished city of Chicago and the world.
Rated PG-13, this third Transformers film has a few mild instances of profanity and one lingering shot of Carly's scantily clad backside. The real problem for parents, however, will be the intense action. Chicago's destruction involves much mayhem, including shots of dead bodies in the streets, humans exploding, and several fairly gory robot kill shots.
As a movie centered on battling, the film boldly articulates why we fight. After appeasement fails, Optimus Prime tells humans, "The Decepticons will never leave your planet alone. Today, in the name of freedom, we take the battle to them." In the hands of director Michael Bay, this battle is bound to be over the top, and the special effects amaze.
They fight in the name of freedom, which Optimus Prime declares "everybody's right." Perhaps the straightforward message will make some squirm, but it's refreshing to see characters standing up to evil on screen, whether human or giant talking robot.