I realised earlier that today marks 10 years since I saw Transformers at Botcon 2007. (well technically more like 4am tomorrow morning thanks to timezones) and it made me finally sit down and rewatch it.
In short, its much, much better than I remembered. Like holy crap, its actually a good film.
I've said before that ROTF managed to retroactively make the first film worse, but I honestly hadnt realised how much it had affected my impression of it. The Whitwickys are nowhere near as annoying as in the next 2 films. Mikela is an interesting character. I can see why Fox didn't want to come back for DOTM. She went from a leading character with personality and back story who served a purpose to the pissed off girlfriend in ROTF. And assuming she would have largely kept Huntingtons role in DOTM would have ended up stupid girlfriend who doesnt notice her boss is a creep and evil.
I'm going to rewatch the rest of them this week before seeing The Last Knight again. Im curious to see how they hold up and hold together now that TLK is attempting to tie them together a bit.
Yeah, I sat down and watched all four before TLK. All of them (even the dreaded ROTF) are better than I remembered. But yeah, the first one was actually really good.
And also of everything bad I've said about Bay, he's actually been pretty good about taking criticism. Generally the big complaints about each previous movie get worked out in the following. He's just... really bad about making all new mistakes.
In a lot of ways, AOE feels like the true direct sequel to the first one.
But yeah, Sam's not as awful a character as everyone drags on him, in the first one. Megan Fox hate is pure misogyny compiled with bay's sexualization of her on screen, and mistreatment of her off. She's a good person, and a FUN person, who gets shat on constantly by this fandom because she's a woman, and they think "no girls allowed" is somehow a mature mindset to have.