Michael Bay apparently spent some time between movies at the J.J. Abrams school of movie making because every single scene during those brief “between explosions” moments of the film was crammed full of annoying lens flares. One could say that the constant mishmash of lights made the film borderline unwatchable, but that was true even without the camera tricks. Speaking of camera tricks, would someone please ask Mr. Bay to calm down with the dramatic waist-level upward shot of hero’s face set against the sky that shows up multiple times in every single movie he does?
I, for one, liked the original movie. Was it cheesy? Yes. But so were the Transformers – they’re freaking robots from another planet that turn into cars (among other things). This movie took that cheesiness and expanded it exponentially to all sorts of absurd levels. Now we find ourselves swarmed by annoying comic relief characters, stupid one liners and ball jokes (no, really). Add in “the twins” (if *I* think something is shockingly racist, you’ve stepped in something truly foul) and you wind up with Bay’s answer to The Phantom Menace.
The action is the one thing that made the film watchable and is the one thing that Bay really needs to stick to. But the design of the Transformers was so bad that it was often impossible to tell who you were rooting for once they started fighting. The sudden addition of a dozen or so nameless combatants didn’t help. People ripped on the first movie, but I defended it because – cheesiness and bad jokes notwithstanding – it was fun. This wasn’t. This was unpleasant. This was bad jokes and annoying characters that occasionally got into fights. This was the “Jersey Shore” with robots.