This is no doubt a casualty of the scarlet letter that is the PG-13 rating, oft denied by the production while they dropped subtle hints along the way such as toy deals, Pizza Hut endorsements and McG noting how the PG-13 The Dark Knight was "made without compromise". In reality the rating was a fait accompli the moment they green-lit a $200M production. The implications of the rating are not just sacrifices to language, blood & gore or in the inclusion of a sidekick kid to instill the family friend image. It's worse. Now the Transformers audience is a major demographic for TS, and it translates in the light-hearted, gadgety nature of the movie, and obviously in its Harvester design (who deploys mototerminators from its kneecaps).
But quite honestly, massive mythology discrepancies aside, there is simply far too many wrist-slashingly bad/expository lines and heavy-handed metaphors in the script for this to even work as a standalone movie (thanks, Haggis). To its credit, much of the action is kinetically captured in a timely shaky-cam fashion. Lord knows I'm no McG fan (he's a snake-oil salesman) but I feel the major culprit truly is the script which spells everything out for the viewer with voiceovers and facepalm exposition. I'm sorry the writers were not able to give McG, at the very least, the kind of mindless action flick he was surely able to direct in a competent if forgettable manner.
Whereas acting is concerned Christian Bale shows up for 35-40 minutes looking real angry at the world and at being involved in this project, it is in fact Sam Worthington who is a breakout star, and such an effortless tough guy that you can feel the bass reverberate in your body when he throws a punch. Think of how hardass he could be in the right R-rated setting. I'm getting chills just thinking about it. Everything else reeks of an empty cash-in sequel with neither knowledge nor respect for the source material, vaguely "justified" by tagging on "this isn't the future my mother warned me about". No, McG, it most certainly is not.
Whatever. Pages could be spent arriving at the conclusion that this movie is, quite simply, abysmal. I'm giving it a 3 out of 10 based on Yelchin, Worthington and effort on the action side of things.