SPOILER FILLED THREAD - stop reading here if you still want to be surprised by the movie.
I was surprised by the movie: surprised about how I left feeling disappointed.
Now it's 2 hours 40 minutes and I really wanted to go to the bathroom but might have been irritated because I held it so I didn't miss anything (except a urinal) but you know how if you're really entertained, you forget about everything else? That did not happen.
There is a LOT of action - that's not the problem. The story is.
So : the bad and the good....
Optimus especially, and Bumblebee - shown more so than the other 'bots, wanting revenge for Ratchet and (Prime actually) killing a human "in cold blood" - but not exactly - this was a thoroughly morally deficient CIA guy who was willing to murder a 17 year old girl to coerce cooperation from her father to get Lockdown's payoff. I think Prime killed more than 1 human as well.
To defend himself at death, Ratchet fired upon humans, killing them, but he was surrendering and Lockdown (unknown to Ratchet at the moment) fired the kill shot (Lockdown then appears over Ratchet for a final blow, though Ratchet was succumbing to his wounds anyway. Very sad.
Humans turning on all Cybertronians and betraying them, to capitalize on their technology - thoroughly logical
The movie missed some of the humor Sam's parents provided as did the humping dogs.
The Dinobots were caged captures of Lockdown's and Prime sets them free to help. They're pretty mindless rampagers but while they were useful in stopping all the "Stunticon" drones in Hong Kong, how the heck could they discern that BumbleBee and Hound were friendlies? Drift and Crosshairs went with Prime to free the Dinobots and set them loose on Galvatron.
Galvatron being infected with programming from Megatron and thoroughly playing the human's tech corp and the CIA while his body was being completed for him and a "Stunticon" army (they were never called that and no combiner was shown) being built for him was a good plot point.
Leadfoot was also shown being killed by a human strike team. A secret element of corrupt CIA and techno-corporate types were labeling Autobot hunt-kills as Decepticon kills so they could slay and dissect, then replicate Transformers technology.*
Do we assume they got SideSwipe, Topspin, Roadbuster, and Dino too? Wheelie? (Brains was in the movie as a POW).
They were looking for the metal element Transformers are built out of, because it was left behind in primordial earth back to when the Primes and The Fallen fought. The movie really didn't explain that. And they didn't explain how Lockdown was therefore able to take the Dinobots (who thus might have logically adopted dinosaur forms for camouflage back then) while they were frozen, thus allowing Lockdown to not have to fight them.
Prime's domination of Grimlock was very brief (1 punch only it almost seemed) and maybe Grimlock recognized him as a Prime (or some kind of warrior legend the movie alluded) and submitted to his authority. But I am filling in the gaps here for stuff either not written or edited out. It should have been included.
Lockdown is killed by Prime. Before he dies, when he thinks he is going to kill Prime (or take him alive), he says that Prime's creator hired Lockdown and "it is a manufacture recall of sorts." Prime's purpose was not being fulfilled by the path he had chosen.
Prime flies into space at the end of the film for a reckoning with his creator. Prime might be a killer now (in certain circumstances).
Galvatron knows about the Dinobots (who just wander off, loose on earth - as Prime tells them they are free of any allegiance / obligation). Galvatron stays out of the fighting (except one time when he tries to kill the wounded cab-over Prime and fails since Lockdown interferes and actually does take Prime for himself). I suspect Galvatron will come back with something special with which to fight the Autobots.
Hound is confused with Bulkhead. I am nostalgic for the Hound that loves earth, peace, exploration. This Hound is a shoot-first warrior that seemed like Ron Pearlman playing Hellboy. I did not watch the animated shows, but I take it that the character is like Bulkhead - so they should have called him Bulkhead. Instead they corrupted Hound just to capitalize on his name. The fat Transformer jokes were funny - but again - would be funnier if they were talking about Bulkhead and not Hound.
Drift - is a triple changer. They could have used Springer here, honestly. But Strafe had character. Apparently, Chinese philosophy changed him from Decepticon to Autobot. Actually, that's a fun idea. I liked him, and they did develop his character. He was interesting the way G1 Mirage was interesting. In any event, Drift only flew one time in a non-combat scenario that I saw (when he spots Prime's return). I wouldn't say he's special yet. He needs to be developed more.
Crosshairs - a good shot. Sort of an Aussie big-game hunter type. Likes shooting. Does not want to combat the Dinobots for sure though. He has a Hot Rod "let's mix it up" element to him. But I don't think I really got to know him - except that if you replace him with SideSwipe and swords instead of guns, you've got the same character. But they had Drift to use swords. Still, they had a Corvette.
Thing is, they could have used Springer in the role of Drift (green instead of blue) and Tracks or Mirage in the role of Crosshairs (maybe less so) blue instead of green - except that blue (and silver) Corvettes are already characters and the source of all $$ money $$ General Motors / Chevrolet wanted their product front-and-center.
So I guess this is the way you do this. Only now, at least Springer, if he ever appears, will feel redundant next to Drift.
Stinger - is not even a Transformer. He's formed by swarms of little combiner bots like those bead things in TF2. I get it: he (and his 300 clones) are like swarms of bees since they were human-engineered off the approximated designs of Bumblebee. But that's not the point of even a 2 hour and 40 minute toy commercial - for "puzzle toys" you figure out how to change from robot to vehicle. So he's a Ferrari or something? He looks like he's made out of all the pennies you'd have to save over a lifetime to buy a Ferrari (without a New York Yankees contract in your pocket).
BumbleBee - very funny that he's reverted to a classic Camaro for some of the movie and that he's witness to himself being called out-dated and obsolete in design. Yeah, I guess it's quite within his temperamental (but loveable) character to go and trash the showroom where the Stinger cars are on display. That's a good scene and consistent with the character they've developed for him. He still talks through the radio with no explanation of why that's never been repaired over the years except that it's the writers' way of keeping him a more unique character. There was no mention of Sam and Carly and how he might miss them. I'd assume he had to leave them to go into hiding - when he also adopted the classic Camaro look - but he reverts back in time for Chevrolet to have a new car commercial.
Maybe in retrospect, I could like the movie more than the sum of my theater experience. But I'd watch this on cable and hit the record so you can watch it a second time.
You will not like this upon first viewing. It's like that for me with Terminator 4. I later appreciated that movie more with hindsight.
But eventually you'll be able to buy the DVD for less than the movie theater admission price. Keep that in mind.