'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' review roundup: So bad it's good?

transformers-dark-moon.jpgThe third installment of Michael Bay's robot changeroo trilogy, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" premieres first thing on Wednesday (June 29) at midnight. As several reviews point out, it's a movie for fans of "Transformers" movies -- which based on the two previous installments is a big honking audience, so expect massive box office returns.

Shia LaBeouf is back to battle Decepticons, embed himself in a sea of CGI-rendered action and romance a hot chick. The hot chick in this case is Victoria's Secret model (and actress?) Rose Huntington-Whitely, not Megan Fox (though he apparently made the most of his time with Fox).

The action centers around friendly robots that were apparently first discovered on the moon in the 1960s and have now come to earth to tussle with the Decepticons over some kind of robot bridge equipment. Oh, and it's 3D, so the tussling will feel up close and personal.

Do you plan to rush out and see "Transformers" sometime over the long holiday weekend? Maybe this roundup of reviews will help you decide:

Roger Ebert wastes no time getting to his point:

"Michael Bay's 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' is a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experiences I've had at the movies."

The Village Voice's Dan Kois has a different reaction -- he thinks the over-the-top action and ridiculous plot points (the 1960s race to the moon was actually a secret mission sanctioned by President Kennedy to find Autobots) are classic Michael Bay.

"The prologue's moon-landing sequence (in glorious 3-D) is an exceptional reminder that for all Bay's blowhard douchebagginess, he's a masterful maker of images."

Movieline's Stephanie Zacherek concurs:

"Bay doesn't care about your soul, he just wants your money -- but he at least makes sure you go home feeling exhausted and spent rather than vaguely dissatisfied. It's a fair exchange."

Vanity Fair's Mike Ryan thought the movie totally stunk, but recommends it anyway because -- as far as we can tell -- it's too deliciously horrid to miss:

"['Transformers: Dark of the Moon'] relentlessly beats the viewer into submission over the course of two and a half hours. By the time it's finished, you'll be lost in numb happiness. It's the cinematic equivalent of a lobotomy."

The Washington Post's Jen Chaney, who notes that the movie took more than one liberty with its D.C.-set scenes, writes that the movie would have benefited from more Ken Jeong. She also coins a phrase for experiencing a 3D Shia LaBeouf leaping off the screen:

"I have now officially dubbed this cinematic effect "getting LaBeouffed."

So, are you ready to get LaBeouffed or will you stick with fireworks this weekend?
Photo/Video credit: Paramount Pictures