Disclaimer: I am a HUGE Transformers fanboy and the following review is written as such. However, a lot of people I know who aren't big fanboys share the same views I do of the movie, for the most part.
Caught this last weekend. My girlfriend Karli was nice enough to go with me so I could see it opening weekend. Unfortunately, she didn't really care for it and I could see where she was coming from but Transformers was the shit for me in the 80s. Optimus Prime was my hero (along with Superman and Hulk Hogan of course) and when they killed him in the animated movie in the mid-80s, I was devastated.
When they first announced the last movie, I was skeptical, especially since Michael Bay was directing. I like Michael Bay's movies for the most part and thought The Island was a much better movie than people give it credit. I was just worried about how he would treat the Transformers and especially how it could be done with live action. Needless to say, I loved it from the moment I laid my eyes on it. Saw it four times in the theatre.
Anyways, enough with the history lesson. I read some reviews of the newest one before seeing it and was a little dismayed but not that surprised with the scores it was getting. When I checked Metacritic before heading to the theatre, it was sporting a nice shiny score of 35 or so. However, when I read the reviews I wondered if those reviewers had seen the first movie because a lot of what they complained about in this one was the same as the first one.
I might as well come out with it now and say what I thought of it: I LOVED THE SHIT OUT OF IT!!! I'm even seeing it again this coming Sunday. I think all those reviewers who gave it such a low score can blow it out their collective asses.
First off, I think the special effects and CGI are very much improved from the first movie. In the first one I found that hand-to-hand combat between the Transformers was a little hard to follow but it was much clearer this time around, especially during the big forest fight between Optimus and three Decepticons. That scene caused me to crack a HUGE smile across my face which gave Karli a giggle. What can I say, I'm still just a big kid at heart. I am still amazed at well they were able to pull off the transforming. I especially love when they transform on the run. Simply awesome.
The humans are the same as last time...filler. Shia LaBoeuf is the same fast talking guy he was last time and Megan Fox is the eye candy. I thought the best humans were Sam's parents and also John Turturro. Otherwise, who cares about them when giant robots are beating the crap out of eachother? :)
Speaking of the bots, there are a whole bunch of new ones. Soundwave is finally in the picture, along with Rampage, and I love how they were both done. Sideswipe is back too and is a very sexy Corvette. Despite there being a Devastator in the first movie, this time around it is the proper Devastator we all know and love. They even brought in Jetfire, who is a former Decepticon turned Autobot just like he was in the cartoons.
There are a couple of new Autobots that have been upsetting people. They are supposedly stereotypical ebonics speaking ganstas who do nothing important and are called the new JarJar Binks. While they do speak a little gangsta they do play a very important role in the movie. I think people were getting upset over nothing.
The most important new bot of course is the "Fallen" in the subtitle of the movie. He is an ages old Transformer who came to Earth thousands of years ago and was one of the first. They give some of his backstory but I really think they should have fleshed it out a bit more and cut some of the human stuff out. Given that the movie is 2.5 hours long, they could have used that time for that stuff a little better.
The runtime is my only real complaint with the movie. It is a little long. Bay did the same thing with Bad Boys II. However, it still flew by pretty quickly for me and I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was watching the movie. If you liked the first one, you should like this one too.