Building on its earlier unearthing of the real secrets of the moon landing, the epic new Transformers trailer tears history an even bigger asshole, then shoves a giant robot through it. “Our entire space race of the 1960s was in response to an event,” Frances McDormand gravely intones, and while we’ve become inured to “events” that turn out to be nothing more than run-of-the-mill alien invasions, the film throws back the curtain on over a half-century of Area 51 secrecy to show that we’ve been far too focused on little grey men to see the talking extraterrestrial 18-wheelers right in front of our eyes. And so once again, our government’s intelligence has failed us, setting us up for a blitzkrieg terrorist attack by Decepticons who have just been biding their time under the lunar surface, as our hero Shia LaBeouf is left to once more gaze disbelievingly at the sky. When will they release the files?! etc.
In keeping with all the apocalyptic import, you’ll notice there’s something different about Michael Bay’s latest, and it’s not just the swapping of Megan Fox for a permanently shell-shocked Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Where’s the sass? The borderline racism? The clangor and headache-inducing confusion? Everything here seems to be filled with genuine suspense, right down to its Inception-inspired, bwaaamp-filled soundtrack. Most confusing of all, there are shots that last several seconds where you can actually tell what’s going on. That Bay may have actually cottoned to his despised critics—and in the process, created the Transformers film that could at last be worth getting excited about—might be the biggest revelation of them all.