How Michael Bay is this movie? There’s a camera shot panning directly from a hot blonde’s cutoffs-clad ass to an alien spaceship within the first ten minutes. If that’s not Michael Bay then I don’t know what is.

OK it’s not actually a Michael Bay movie, but director Peter Berg does a remarkable job mimicking one, for better and more often for worse. In attempting to cover every sci-fi scenario in the book, the movie haphazardly throws in plainly copied elements from previous blockbusters along with an aircraft-carrier-sized plot hole every ten minutes, while the dumbed-down exposition would be redundant even for the pre-teen audience of the board game it’s based on.

To the movie’s credit, the sea-based action provides some impressive effects we’ve not yet seen from the Transformer series it’s clearly patterned on, and Berg does wanton destruction possibly even better than Bay himself. Sadly every time the movie begins to show potential, some moment of utter stupidity comes along to whittle it all away. Barely passable for pure popcorn but hardly a need-to-see action movie.