The Middle Eastern 'bots look bizarrely like improvised explosive devices come to life; made of scrap metal and old tires, they hide in the sand and strike at unwary troops who are trying to be nice to the native folks. This is possibly the only part of Transformers in which Bay attempts to grasp feebly at political relevance and make something other than a zoomy truck commercial. Of course, he fails miserably. If you want to enjoy this flick without guilt, you will have to ignore the whole Middle East issue. Of course, one could say the same thing about living in the United States. Maybe Bay has succeeded in pulling off some social commentary after all: welcome to the United States ignore the Middle East stuff, but stay for the masturbation jokes and cool special effects. *
Annalee Newitz is a surly media nerd whose battle cry is "All hail Megatron!"