Here's the short version: I liked it. I even liked it more than the first. The narrative held together pretty well, it had a lot of good, fun set pieces, and IMO, the movie was amazingly well paced. The slower moments were well balanced with the action in a way I have not seen in awhile. It slowed down a bit too much once they hit Egypt, but overall, it flowed very well from scene to scene.
And I wholly realise I'm gonna be in the minority on this one, yes. =)
If you didn't like the first movie, you almost certainly will despise the sequel. Everything from the first is back here, and just as in your face. I still could do without the juvenile humour, but I guess it has become part of the language for these movies, which is a shame. If they ditched a lot of the low-brow kids stuff, these two films could have been really amazing stuff, I think. Or at least less annoying to the less forgiving viewers/reviewers.
The movie picked up the threads from the first, and built a richer story, widened the scope, and was just an explosively good time, I think.
But, there are problems.
First up...why the heck would you name the key to your solar harvesting gun the Matrix of Leadership? That's like me naming the keys to my house the Cookies of Awareness. It just doesn't make sense, and feels tossed in there just to get a squee from the fanboys. Well, you failed.
The one thing I absolutely could have done without? Skids and Mudflap. They did nothing in the movie. Zero, zilch. All they were was REALLY bad urban/black stereotypes. One of them had a gold tooth, for fuck's sake. UGH. The only thing they could have done to make them worse was to have them ask for fried energon.
Let me get this straight... Mikaela puts on a dress, puts her riding leathers on over it, heads over to Sp...Sam's house, and gets changed back to the dress for all of five minutes before leaving, which they were going to do in the first place...why bother with the dress? It seemed forced in there just to make the fanboys drool. Ok, you succeeded there, but it still seemed horribly forced. ;)
I did enjoy Mikaela training Wheelie. That was fun and amusing. Wheelie's....devotion went a little too far, but eh. I'll still take him over the original version.
And damnit, can we not drop the body of our dead hero from a height of 20 feet?? A little respect for the Prime!!
The use of Soundwave was great. Perfect recasting of him. I understand why a cassette deck is out, and it keeps his communications officer status. And he still ejects Ravage!
It amused me that it wasn't Mikaela's cries of her love for Sam that brought him back from near death, but the need to ressurect Prime. That love triangle is gonna cause problems on the future. ;)
That fight with Prime and Megatron in the woods was freaking amazing. I squeed when the orange energy weapons appeared on Prime.
The effects were gorgeously amazing, no matter the quality of the story, that's hard to argue against. They did very well making the robots interact with their surroundings and the humans, and it was nice to get some actual good looks of those suckers in daylight, and in long shots. I still hate the general look of them, all generically sharp and pointy, but at least we got to see them more this time around.
Some of the Transformers got better characterisations this time around. Hooray for weasly Starscream. Boo that some of the 'characterisation' for the characters boiled down to lame generic catchphrases. I'm looking at you, Sideswipe.
This movie did not feel like two and a half hours, it zipped right along. While I could have done without the attempts at humour most of the time (And please, no Sector 7 jockstraps, ugh), but overall, it was a great popcorn action film that dealt with the characters better than the first, and had a more solid story.
And now, let everyone come in and disagree with me. =D