This is a review coming from a transformers fan but not a big michael bay fan. I believe that people giving this movie a 0 or 1/5 havent actually looked at the movie for what What it brings to the table.
First and foremost the script i would have to say is fair. I would rate this a lot higher but the whole space race aspect of the movie is extremely laughable. The main plot i felt was fairly strong though and was actually taken from the original 80's cartoon. They basically borrowed from two episodes. I'll refrain from going into detail because i dont want to list spoilers for the movie. Also there were some good twists in the script that i didnt see coming. I think that probably has something to do with i dont usually give bay movies that much credit as he usually just beats you over the head with a hammer.
Also i felt the movie had a somewhat darker tone which i thought worked well especially involving the Chicago invasion. You can also tell they at least tried to change a few things from the last movie. One being is they kept the bad jokes to mininum. They are still there but at tolerable levels. I felt the acting was ok and not as bad as the previous installments. I actually thought Rosie Huntington-Whitley is already a better actor with one movie then megan fox has ever been. Considering it was her first movie and she has bay as a director who doesnt know how to direct people unless they are running through explosions i think she did a fairly decent job. This leads me to the biggest weakness of the movie. There is 0 character development and i mean 0. Look, the movie is 2 1/2 hours long and so you think there would be some time for this. One specific example is Rosie mentions that her brother died fighting for their country so that why she doesnt want shia to put himself in danger. It maybe would be nice of bay maybe expanded on that. Bay just doesnt know how to develop characters and thats why i dont think he would be able to make a very good movie because the protagonists are generally severely under-developed. Also besides optimus prime and sentinel prime (Nimoy did a great job) the other tranformers are either just comic relief or there to add explosions. Also i dont even know why john malkovich is even in this movie, the character was totally useless.
This brings me to the action. I felt the action in this movie compared to the other two was the strongest overall. I think it was the most fluid and you could actually tell what was going on compared to the other movies. Although the slow mo shots was way over the top. That being said the chicago invasion was WAYYYYY to long. The worst part is when the building is cut in half. That scene in particular was a chore just to watch it.
So in conclusion here is my synopsis:
Story 3/5: The overall story was good borrowing from primarily from two original 80 cartoon episodes. What drives this down is the motivation for the space race and cause for Chernobyl. What saves it is this really isnt the main driving force behind the plot
Acting 3/5: I thought it was fine given the type of movie it was but they have no real oppurtunity to show their craft and new comer huntington-whitley was an upgrade
Character development: 0/5. There is none. next.
Action 4/5: I felt it was visually better than the last two but if they trimmed maybe 15-20 minutes off the end it would of been a lot better.
This movie would be alot better if some of the run time was used for advancing the characters forward. Human and transformers alike. I also felt this movie did the best job of the three in capturing the essence of the original cartoon and with all the bad reviews i was actually surprised that it wasnt as bad as the second one. Also under michael bay this is probably as good as you are going to get which at best is average to above average. These movies are goldmines though so im guessing we will get a reboot in a few years or a continuation but they have already killed off most of the strongest antagonists so reboot would probably be more likely.