Michael Bay’s latest installment of Transformers is his most psychedelic one yet. Beginning with the trippy sounds of the late 60s, we watch as Apollo 13 lands on the moon, specifically its dark side. The astronauts begin discussing how they are crazy for doing something this brand new, this exciting. Guitars soar into the air once ancient transformer ruins come into sight. Our narrator (voiced by Alec Baldwin) explains how the Space Race of the sixties was just a way to convince the Transformers of Capitalism’s many benefits.
Suddenly a clocks rings waking up Sam Witwicky (played this time by Keanu Reeves). We learn Sam graduated from college two years ago and has yet to find gainful employment. The morning starts out with him checking emails, Hipster Runoff, and Facebook, searching for something to prevent him from looking for work. After his parents start bothering him about what a total waste he is, he goes to the local coffee shop. Drinking a Latte he’s approached by a man in a large trench coat known as “Morpheus” played by Larry the Cable Guy. Morpheus asks him if he wants to take the red pill to see how far the rabbit hole goes, or the blue pill if he wants to chill. Sam’s relatively bored so he decides to take both simultaneously.
The next morning Sam wakes up in his own bed. He wonders what he did to get this sort of dreadful, dead-beat feeling. Looking into the mirror, he remembers: LSD. Reality begins to play tricks on him. What he thought was a car was not a car but a robot in disguise. At first Sam has a hard time focusing on what the car is saying since he’s tripping so hard. Keanu nails the disorientated look that Sam needs. It is like Keanu was born to look perpetually confused and slightly drugged.
Giant cars begin dropping from the sky. For a minute Sam is pleased with this, as he doesn’t have a job and the cars could quickly be resold, giving Sam the greatest income he’s seen since High School. This car is talking to him (Optimus Prime voiced by Al Pacino) warning him that these are evil cars falling out of the sky and must be defeated. Sam doesn’t trust Optimus at first, something about his voice sounds a bit deceitful, too high-strung. Once Morpheus re-emerges and confirms Optimus’s words, Sam’s convinced.
All three of them head to a magical forest through that rabbit hole Morpheus mentioned earlier. They seek the assistance of a great master of disguise, a Hookah Smoking Caterpillar (voiced by Kevin Spacey). The Hookah Smoking Caterpillar brings them to the forest’s military leader, the Walrus (voiced by Bruce Willis). Morpheus asks the Walrus if he is the Walrus they need, to which he replies: “I am the Walrus. Coo Coo Ca Choo.”
Now they are ready. They receive rings one for each element: water, fire, earth, and heart. With all of their powers combined they summon the ultimate superhero, Captain Planet (played by Burt Reynolds). Captain Planet tricks all the invading Decepticons to switch to cleaner burning corn ethanol engines. Next, he kills them. Earth is saved. Sam still needs a job. Patting Sam on the shoulder, Morpheus informs him it is their duty to repopulate the Earth. A smile forms on Sam’s face as the two of them wander the Earth copulating.
In the epilogue, it is mentioned the Autobots repopulate as well. According to interviews with Michael Bay, he wanted to include a twenty minute three-way robot scene at the end. Unfortunately editors cut the transformer three-way deeming it ‘bizarre’ and ‘a waste of 32 million dollars’. Thankfully it is going to be an extra on the DVD.
Once I left the theater and regained my hearing, I felt this was perhaps the best out of the Transformers trilogy. Michael Bay is the Steven Spielberg of the 21st century if Spielberg was concerned with explosions instead of plot.