Just went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It's not just bad, but aggressively bad. That said, the last hour of Battle Of Downtown Chicago is fantastic. But we go through a lot to get there. There's attempts at dialogue and drama and human interest and connecting kids and parents and oh look, comically cursing robots. And it's 154 minutes of marketing.
The first credit is "In cooperation with Hasbro". The soundtrack is littered with the most cloying U2-alike adult contemporary bands possible and, hey look, one of them turns out to be U2 themselves. Worst, the product placement is literally laughable. At one point, Sam's girlfriend tells him about the new Mercedes she got, and he looks it up on the web to find out more about it. Mom gratuitously drinks name brand beer. All the computers everywhere are made by the same company with the name plastered all over the backs of the monitors. An impromptu computer lab is put together with Cisco's name the focal point. Entire shots are based on making sure the viewer sees the company logo.
Transformers 3 breaks new ground, though: product placement for a garbage company. At one point half way through, a Decepticon makes himself into a Waste Management truck, which seemed almost plausible, and only a little weird. But later, in the final Chicago battles, the alleys are populated with perfectly clean, green Waste Management dumpsters. I don't think I could imagine a more fitting tie-in.
It's hard to imagine how a movie could whore itself out more than this one. I'm surprised I've seen no critics calling it out. Or maybe it's just that they're used to it by now. I hope that's not the case.