Looks like Megan Fox dodged a bullet being bounced from “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” This third entry in the franchise is being pilloried by the press, rating a mere 25 among the top tier of reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. Typical of the tone of the reviews is this from Roger Ebert: “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 first film in the series — “Transformers” — earned respectable enough reviews in 2007 to score 68 at Rotten Tomatoes. It reaped Oscar bids in three technical categories, losing both sound races to “The Bourne Ultimatum,” while “The Golden Compass” won for visual effects. However, the “Transformers” special effects wizards did win four awards from the Visual Effects Society.
The first sequel, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was savaged by the critics in 2009, managing just a jaw-dropping 18 at Rotten Tomatoes. It vied for seven Razzie Awards and won three: Worst Picture, Worst Director (Michael Bay) and Worst Screenplay. That was the third bid by Bay who had first contended in 1998 for helming “Armageddon” (he lost to Gus Van Sant, “Psycho”) and again in 2001 for “Pearl Harbor” (he was bested by Tom Green, “Freddy Got Fingered”).
Newly crowned Tony champ Frances McDormand has a role in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” as the Secretary of Defense (above, with Josh Duhamel). This marks the first screen appearance in three years for the Oscar winner. She will be seen later this year in more serious fare — “This Must Be the Place” — opposite two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn. She could well contend for both the Razzie and the Academy Award in the same year. After all, when “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” won its Razzies, Sandra Bullock showed up to claim her prize as Worst Actress for “All About Steve” the night before she won the Best Actress Oscar for “The Blind Side.”