Neither of them! Turns out Sentinel Prime made a deal with Megatron back on Cybertron to work together, ostensibly to save Cybertron. So he's kind of evil now. He suddenly kills Ironhide and many, many humans and blows up most of the HQ before grabbing the five pillars and leaving.
Okay. If Sentinel and Megatron were working together way back on Cybertron, why did the Decepticons shoot down the Ark causing it to crash on the moon?
I haven't the faintest. Sentinel doesn't seem particularly concerned either.
And how the hell will the Space Bridge save Cybertron now?
I still don't know how it was supposed to "end the war," but Sentinel's plan is to bring Cybertron to Earth through the Space Bridge, and use humans as slave labor to rebuild it.
Most human have difficulty making a goddamned Ikea desk, how the hell are they supposed to rebuild an entire planet of hyper-advanced technology? And what in the hell could humans do that a giant fucking robot couldn't do a bajillion times quicker?
I don't know. Maybe Sentinel Prime is just extremely lazy. But I've skipped ahead a little bit. First, Sentinel uses the Space Brudge to bring several hundred Decepticons from the moon to Earth where they immediately run around and break shit.
What were all these Decepticons doing on the moon?
Hiding under a bunch of moon dust for decades, apparently.
Where the hell did they come from?
The Ark? Maybe?
Does that mean they were Autobots who turned Decepticon along with Sentinel Prime?
Maybe? Sure. Why not. And they walked out of the Ark after it crashed and buried themselves and waited to see if someone would come along and revive Sentinel Prime after finding the lost Matrix of Leadership and teleport them to earth or something.
Where are the Autobots during all this?
Out. Except for Ironhide. Who's dead.
At this point, the Earth just gives up and lets the Decepticons be in charge. Rather than say they're going to enslave the human race, the Decepticons cunningly say they're just going to use the planet's resources to rebuild Cybertron. And in a twist that should surprise no one, it turns out McDreamy is working for the Decepticons as some kind of liaison in some way that is never made especially clear. Now, McDreamy knows about the whole "enslavement" plan, and he's not bucking to be king of America or anything. His big benefit of working with evil robots is to, and I quote, "not die." He's worked tirelessly for years to help the Decepticons take over earth so that when the Decepticons take over earth they don't kill him.
He didn't have second thoughts when the Autobots beat the Decepticons in the first two movies? Or maybe when they mentioned that whole "enslave the human race" thing?
Apparently not. Frankly, I think he has some self-esteem issues. Of course, the car he gave Carly turns out to be Soundwave, and he kidnaps her. Then the Decepticons order that the Autobots leave Earth.
What's notable about that?
Well, two things: 1) When Shia learns of this, he frets that the Autobots have no way of leaving the planet, ignoring the fact that they took a spaceship to the moon half an hour earlier. 2) The Autobots actually get on a totally different spaceship anyways, which the government has tried to disguise by attaching it to a space shuttle, which makes it look like a space shuttle glued to the side of a giant and very obvious alien spaceship. Of course, when it takes off, a single Decepticon plane blows it up with ease.
With the Autobots dead -- TOTES 4 REALS -- the Decepticons get down to the business of distributing their pillars all around the world, and setting up the main one in Chicago. Also, they start blowing up buildings and killing people.
Wait. I thought they were going to use human as slaves? And why are they blowing up Chicago? Does that help the Space Bridge?
Well, they clearly don't need all the humans to rebuild Cybertron, because the Decepticons hunt and brutally murder many, many Chicagoans. As for destroying the buildings... well, it doesn't hurt, I guess?
Oh, I should probably mention that the Decepticons have a huge spaceship at this point, and several dozen gunships.
What the hell did those come from?
I haven't the foggiest.
And wait a second -- what do you mean gunships? Like planes? That have robots as pilots? Robots that turn into planes on their own?
What the fuck?
I continue to not have the foggiest.
I'm going to get a drink.
Please do. With the Autobots dead -- WINK WINK -- Shia somehow gets the guys of Nest back together to invade Chicago and rescue Sam's hot, rich girlfriend. Please note that other than Tyrese Gibson, I have no clue who any of these people are or if they were in the first two films, although movie sure wants to pretend like they're familiar faces, since we get a big pep-talk about defending the planet and a montage of them all coming together. Which is slightly undercut by the fact that when they get to Chicago and see it in flaming ruins, they all immediately refuse to go in.
I'm getting a second drink, because I think I'm going to finish this first one pretty quick.
But oh ho! The Autobots suddenly arrive! Why, they're not dead after all! It turns out they assumed that the Decepticons would be dicks and hid in one of the spaceship's booster rockets and were back on Earth almost immediately.
And they just decided to wait while the Decepticons massacred people in Chicago?
Pretty much. Although Optimus actually has an explanation for this -- he says, and I swear this is true, that he had to let humans understand the Decepticons were not to be trusted. So the Autobots sat back and let the Decepticons kill thousands of people and destroy a major U.S. city as a lesson.
At this point, there's about an hour left in the movie. And this is when the action sequence starts.
"The"? Don't you mean "an action sequence"?
No. I mean "the." As in "The action sequence that lasts the rest of the movie."
Mostly it's Sam and Carly (after she's rescued but not taken away from the battle, of course), in a building with some soldiers, while the building's crashing. They slide down the floors. They slide on the outside of the building. They hang on wires. The giant robot sandworm comes back, suddenly grows five times its original size in-between shots and it starts fucking the building. This lasts 20 minutes or so.
Well, the next biggest thing is footage of soldiers flying in wingsuits. See, the Decepticons are shooting down all planes, so they have to use the wingsuits to get in.
Don't they still have to fly in planes to get to Chicago to jump out and use the wingsuits?
Yes. And many of the planes get shot down, just like the other planes. Also, although the plan is to disrupt one of Sentinel Prime's main pillars -- which is on top of one of Chicago's skyscrapers -- the soldiers not only land on the ground anyways, but land on the far side of a goddamn river.
So why use the wingsuits at all?
Because Michael Bay saw them on 60 Minutes, that's why.
Third most prevalent element: Humans fighting robots. Michael Bay turns on the cheat code where human weapons can hurt Transformers finally, so some of the soldiers manage to kill some of the hundreds of Decepticons running about. Also, some elderly Autobot gives the Beef some kind of powerful weapon before the battle and refused to explain how it worked, of course, so the Beef ends up shooting a grappling hook in Starscream's eye and swinging around for an agonizingly long time before jamming a bomb into his other eye and blowing his head off.
Why not just use the bomb and not mess with the grappling hook?
An excellent question that I have no answer for.
So do any robots fight robots in this scene, perchance?
Yes, but that's the fourth and final element of the hour-long battle. Optimus kills the giant robot sandworm and then -- I shit you not -- gets stuck in some cables for 20 full minutes. Bumblebee dragon-punches some Decepticon's head off, who I thought was Megatron at first but must have been Soundwave. Optimus kills Shockwave at some point, although I can't remember the details.
You're not making it sound very exciting.
That is not unintentional.
Fine, so let's wrap it up. So after getting untangled from those nefarious wires, Optimus fights Sentinel Prime and stops the Space Bridge?
Yes and no. Yes Optimus fights Sentinel, but it is not he who defeats him.
So who does? Bumblebee?
Is it the Beef?
Oh, indeed. At some point Carly wanders off and finds Megatron just sitting next to a building, chillaxing. Carly gets all Intro to Logic 101 on Megatron and says that when Cybertron gets here, Megatron's going to be second-in-command to Sentinel Prime. Megatron falls for this incredibly obvious ploy totally and immediately, and leaves to go shoot Sentinel in the back while he's fighting Optimus.
You have got to fucking be kidding me.
No. And then Optimus kills Sentinel by ripping his head and spine out, Mortal Kombat Fatality-style. Oh, and then Megatron starts talking about how he and Optimus need each other, and Optimus kills the shit out of him too. And the other Autobots finally get around to destroying one of the pillars, destroying the space bridge -- unfortunately, Cybertron was part of the way through, so it implodes. Because Michael Bay, I guess.
Yes, the day was saved, thanks to the supermodel who outwitted a giant, evil robot.
Well. That sounds like a Michael Bay film to me.
And the final scene of Transformers 3 -- and probably Michael Bay's entire Transformers franchise -- is John Turturro planting a slobbery kiss on Frances McDormand.
Really? He couldn't even end with a shot of a goddamned Transformer?
Hey, what do you want out of your Transformers movies -- giant robots or old people kissing?
Are you fucking serious?
Never mind, don't answer that.