Transformers stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox again play civilian kids Sam and Mikaela, who know the secrets of the heroic Autobots (led by good-guy leader Optimus Prime).
This time, the story finds Sam and Mikaela under attack by the evil Decepticons because of something Sam has learned about the origins of the Transformers and their ancient history on Earth.
To acquire this knowledge, the invading Decepticons need to capture Sam instead of kill him. Meanwhile, the U.S. military and an international coalition has united with the good-guy Autobots to fight back the villains’ attack.
Some of the most important newcomers are in the robot cast: Decepticons Soundwave, a fearsome communications expert, and Devastator, whose arms and legs are built out of other Transformers. And on the Autobots’ side is Jetfire, a villain whose age and broken-down physicality leads him to help the Autobots.
“It’s not Shakespeare,” LaBeouf jokes.
During one scene shooting in New Mexico, Fox and LaBeouf flee an ancient temple while villainous Decepticons stomp and crush their way through a village in pursuit.
LaBeouf and Fox are supposed to run toward the line of tanks and soldiers blasting guns at the giant robots above and behind them — to be added later as digital effects.
Racing into gunfire is instinctively daunting, but the actors say it’s easy to find motivation when enormous gasoline bombs and packs of dynamite are sending up walls of flame and clouds of debris behind them.
“It makes you run fast because you are genuinely terrified,” Fox says, looking sun-baked and weary. “And you still feel blanks. With that many guns going off, you don’t really know.”
It requires an act of faith in the troops who are aiming machine guns toward them.
“I’ve got 75 military officers firing at me, and I have shrapnel falling on my head that’s bigger than my arms. It’s hard to be normal,” LaBeouf says, sweating after several hours of running and diving in the sand.
“Not that we don’t trust (special effects coordinator James D.) Schwalm and the boys,” he adds. “But even an eyelash flying at you at 700 miles an hour will cut you. You’re running past them, and your clearance is only about 10 feet. These dudes are moving, and if one trips or falls and we run into the muzzle of a blank, that could blow your chest open or burn you.”
The danger leads to camaraderie on set between stars and servicemembers. At the conclusion of one sequence, a soldier who spent the blazing day crouched in full battle gear beside a Humvee asks Fox and LaBeouf for an autograph as they pass, apologizing almost shyly as they take his pen and paper.
“What are you (expletive) sorry for?” LaBeouf says and starts signing right away. Suddenly, a half-dozen other soldiers gather around, extending pens and paper.
Source: USA Today