MEGAN Fox may have departed the Transformers franchise but the rest of the cast and director Michael Bay return for the explosive third chapter, which is the first of the series to be screened in 3D and IMAX 3D.

When the original Transformers blasted on to the big screen in 2007, the big budget remake of the ‘robots in disguise’ was enthusiastically welcomed by audiences, who flocked in their droves to a ridiculously entertaining, action-packed romp that balanced digital effects with a fairy-tale love story and a touching friendship between a teenager and his robot protector.

In 2009, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen fared even better, orchestrating carnage on a grander scale as power-hungry Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving) led a Decepticon invasion.

So there is a lot of money and expectation riding on the third instalment, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, which reveals more secrets about the robots and their history with the human race.

In the late 1960s, a Cybertronian spacecraft crash-lands on the Moon sparking a race between the Americans and the Russians to be the first to reach the satellite and examine the wreckage.

During a TV blackout, the crew of Apollo 11 retrieves an important artefact from the spacecraft and returns it to Earth, unaware that more than 40 years later, the secrets of the device will spark a titanic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons for control of Earth.

As usual, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is caught in the eye of the storm, joined by pretty new love interest, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).

While Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), Bumblebee and the Autobots risk their lives to protect the humans from annihilation, field commanders Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and USAF Master Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson) lead US military forces in a last-gasp assault on the Decepticons, comprising Megatron and his terrifying menagerie of armour-plated predators.