Transformers is a series of American science fiction action films directed by Michael Bay, and based on the toys created by Hasbro and Tomy. The first film, Transformers, was released in 2007, the second film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, in 2009, and the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2011. Despite Bay’s original confirmation on Dark of the Moon being his final installment in the franchise, Hasbro’s CEO Brian Goldner expressed his hopes for further films to be made with or without Bay; a fourth film has thus been confirmed, with Bay returning to direct, aiming for a 2014 release. To date, the series has been distributed by Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, and United International Pictures. It is currently the 11th highest-grossing film series and the 4th highest-grossing when averaged to gross per film, behind the The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Though each film was very successful at the box office, the series has so far received generally mixed to negative critical reception, with criticism focusing on the thin plots, undeveloped characters, crude humor and the lengths of the films. Most critics, however, have praised the visuals and action sequences.
Transformers is set in 2007. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) discovers that his new car, intended to impress upon Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), is actually Bumblebee (Mark Ryan), an alien robot from the planet Cybertron. He finds out upon meeting the Transforming warriors of Cybertron, the Autobots, led by their leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), that, after the destruction of their planet Cyberton, its life-source, a legendary cube, called the AllSpark, crash-landed on Earth, several years ago. However, the Decepticons and their evil leader Megatron (Hugo Weaving) plan to use the power of the AllSpark to transform human technology into a new army of Decepticons, and take over the universe. In an agreement, the Autobots decide to destroy the AllSpark, in order to save Earth and Humanity. After the Autobots possess the cube, a battle takes place in Los Angeles between the Autobots and Decepticons. Megatron kills Jazz (Darius McCrary), however the Autobots manage to destroy the Decepticons Bonecrusher, Brawl, and Blackout. Megatron is ultimately defeated by Sam as he releases the AllSpark’s power into his chest, at the cost of the AllSpark itself. Knowing that, (with the destruction of its life-source) Cybertron can no longer be brought back, the Autobots accept Earth as their new home, and Sam and Mikaela begin a relationship. In the end credits, Starscream (Charlie Adler) is seen fleeing into space, suggesting the battle is not over.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is set in 2009, two years after the events in Transformers. The now-larger group of Autobots have allied with the U.S. and U.K. military to form a unit known as N.E.S.T which hunts down remaining Decepticons on the planet. Megatron is resurrected by the Constructicons under Soundwave’s (Frank Welker) command. Sam intends to go to college and have a normal life, but Megatron attempts to obtain some symbols, implanted by the AllSpark into Sam Witwicky’s brain, in favor of his master, The Fallen (Tony Todd). Sam eventually gets badly disturbed with the repeated visuals of the symbols in his head, however things get worse when a huge army of Decepticons arrive on Earth. Later, in a battle to protect Sam, Optimus Prime is killed by Megatron. After his death, Sam, Mikaela, Bumblebee and twins Skids (Tom Kenny) and Mudflap (Reno Wilson) join forces with Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) and Leo Spits (Ramón Rodríguez) to find out what the Decepticons are planning. They meet the early Transformer Jetfire (Mark Ryan), and learn that the symbols consist of that information which was to lead the Decepticons to the Matrix of Leadership, and which, when inserted in an alien machine, hidden in an Egyptian Pyramid for centuries, will give the Decepticons, the power to destroy Earth’s Sun. With the help of Jetfire, Sam and the Autobots reach to the Matrix of Leadership, and Sam and Mikaela make their way through the battle to the N.E.S.T forces and Sam uses its power to resurrect Optimus. However, The Fallen manages to get his hands on it, and activates that machine. Jetfire sacrifices himself so that Optimus can use his parts. They are used as a jetpack and battle armor, which Optimus uses to kill The Fallen and gravely wound Megatron, who flees with Starscream. In the aftermath, Sam returns to college.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2009)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is set in 2012, three years after the events in the second film. When the war on Cybertron between the Autobots and Decepticons appears lost to the Autobots, their leader, Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), attempts to launch the Ark from their planet, containing the technology that could have saved his race. However, it crash lands on Earth’s Moon in 1961. President John F. Kennedy makes his famous promise to the nation to put a man on the Moon. The 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing was actually an investigation of the spacecraft. As Sam Witwicky goes into adulthood with a new girlfriend named Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), the Autobots learn of the Ark and of Sentinel Prime. Thus, Sentinel Prime is brought back to Earth, and revived using the Matrix of Leadership. Optimus Prime convinces America’s leadership that they must protect Sentinel Prime, and his “pillars”, which can help transport matter through time and space, but Sentinel betrays the Autobots, as he allies with the Decepticons, killing Ironhide (Jess Harnell) in the process, and reveals to have made a deal with the Decepticons to bring back Cybertron. America’s leaders decide to send the Autobots to another planet, wanting to avoid war. But as the Autobots leave, the Decepticons shoot their ship down, believing that they had killed all of the Autobots onboard it. With the Autobots gone, Sentinel Prime activates the pillars, and Chicago is seized by the Decepticons and their human ally, Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey). Thus begins the reproduction of Cyberton, at the cost of Earth, its resources and humanity. But, it is later revealed that the Autobots had faked their deaths, and a battle ensues between the Autobots and Decepticons in Chicago, for one final stand.