I'm just gonna spout off here so if there's no coherent flow then don't worry. Also, there may be a spoiler or two, so if that concerns you, don't continue.
Anyway, I just got back from seeing Transormers with my brother tonight and I would say that the subject line is an apt description of what I saw. Considering it was a Michael Bay movie, I was expecting something more along the lines of Bad Boys or The Rock as far as style and attention to plot were concerned, but being apart from the Bruckheimer machine appears to make some difference because this is probably one of the best Bay movies I've ever seen.
Not to mention one of the most expensive GM car ads I've ever seen.
Was it the best Transformers movie I could have ever imagined? No, not really. There are some good ideas crammed in there and, technically, it's an extremely well done movie. It's definitely the best special effects I have ever seen from ILM (these robot fight sequences must have been like wet dreams for the animators) or any company currently working out there.
They also don't get bogged down with a lot of exposition, which is good since it would not only make the movie slow and plodding, but sound just a little foolish, as well. I mean, we used to get picked on for knowing about these toys and cartoons when we were kids (coincidentally by the same people who are flocking to the theatre and saying, "that's the coolest f***ing movie I've ever seen, man"). This is a pretty silly concept and they managed to sell it with bells on, so props to the marketing guys and the filmmakers.
Still, the movie does lose narrative focus somewhere in the middle. The human story, the one that's supposed to help us relate to these events and, really, the audience is supposed to be seeing the movie through Shia and Megan's eyes, gets sunverted by the Government knows there are aliens and we really need to wrap up all this set-up we've done in the next 45 minutes or else narrative.
That said, they do have a shitload of plot, character. action and dialogue to handle and they do a very good job of it, overall. I mean, they only introduce a fraction of the toy line so it isn't as top heavy as it could have been, and the Bumblebee/Shia story does go a long way to helping keep things anchored. Shia himself was convincing and entertaining and how cool is it that they got the cartoon voice for Optimus to be in the movie?
To sum up, for plain and simple entertainment value, I'd give it 3.5 points out of 5, and for sheer spectacle, I'd give it 4.5 out of 5. Definitely worth seeing in the theatre if you go and probably worth spending some hard-earned money on.