Transformers is awesome.
While I think it's clear the notion of giant robots fighting should either be elicit a grin (possibly a serious, silent nod first, followed by grinning) or a look with a whiff of disapproval, I will attempt to say something that adds up to a "review".
Transformers is about...no this going to get stupid really fast. Giant robots fight and punch each other. Forget the plot, it's serviceable. It's got ignorable holes. It makes more sense than Final Fantasy. The action scenes provide enough kinetic excitement. They're not easy or sequential, per se, but I didn't find the action scenes hard to follow. In fact, the direction was otherwise pretty clear to me. I mean, I've never watched a whole Michael Bay movie till this one (5 minutes of Armageddon made my head hurt), but it was fine to me. Maybe he had to hold shots longer so ILM would have a stable scene to play with?
My niggling comments, bad: Weak Australian hacker, overly expository interlude to "explain things" between the "blowing things up". A jarring Apple product placement (seriously, pentagon laptops aren't going to be macbooks)...rampant product placement throughout actually. A couple lazy lowbrow jokes too many.
My niggling comments, good: Surprisingly good robot design. More than just punching fighting. Enough insider jokes and lines (not enough cheering at "Roll out!" with my crowd, to my mind). Hits the PG-13 sweet spot well. All the actors are involved enough to act, and not just pull paychecks (Star Wars prequels, I mean you).
"Significant" comments: Boy, that conclusion is kinda weird. If it's weak, its only the very, very end--but still. Shia LaBeouf (his build suggests his teenager playing days are over) is good throughout. The sign of a fine actor to me is pulling off stupid, stupid lines. And "My friend Optimus Prime" is a pretty stupid thing to say. He does it well. And professional voice actors like Peter Cullen (Optimus) are just light years ahead of celebrity voices, seeing as they can grunt in character.
I still feel like most of this immaterial. You'll know whether you like it from the trailer alone. Is this a arrested development kid thing? Like wanting to own a monkey? It's not the apotheosis of thirteen-year-old boy awesomeness that is Chronicles of Riddick, but...
Transformers: Less awesome than Riddick, awesomer than anything else this year. That's a pretty fair calculation, I think.
Quick alternate take:
The Allspark...always Allspark, never Cube shouldn't so definitively be destructive. Dumb robots should be created, instead of evil ones. Megatron should've gotten it and become more powerful, evolving into say...uh...UltraMegatron (not, not Galvatron, shut up.) but the fusion would be incomplete. The Autobots would defeat him in his Super Saiyan mode, with everything blowing up. Right now, since Optimus clearly has not hesitation about killing Decepticons, the confusion at the end is dumb. The aborted self-sacrifice is meaningless, since it's not the logical option.
Also, no making out on top of sentient beings. Creepy.
* Yes, that was the Slate Summary Judgment headline. But I'm making it affirmative, so it's mine, right?