It was actually quite fun.
I mean, don't get me wrong, they are terrible movies that fail on almost every level. The script, the plot, the pacing, the acting, the direction and cinematography, ad infinitum - nothing is good.
Because Michael Bay is a terrible director.
It feels so redundant to say that too. Everyone says Michael Bay is a terrible director, and yet there's a feeling like that's ok, because he fits into the mold of the Hollywood blockbuster director who just wants to blow shit up. Hell he even made fun of himself for the same.
But over the course of the whole five-hour-shebang so far there were actually two shots, two moments, one in each film, where Michael Bay actually used a good shot. I mean, the composition of the image on the screen looked good - and not just because it was a spectacular action sequence (for the record, one was when the hoover dam was attacked, the other was when Shia Leboeuf comes back to life and is looking up at Megan Fox). I was struck dumb both times, because I realised how much better these movies could be if Michael Bay was a half decent director. Or, and I hate to cast the blame around carelessly, but maybe his director of photography, or cinematographer, or whoever frames the shots, if maybe they were any good... wow, these movies could have been awesome.
Michael Bay can bring a huge blockbuster in with relatively few difficulties, and in it you can see huge robots kicking the ever-loving crap out of each other, and it looks spectacular. But if some of those fight scenes had been well paced, staged and framed the movie would have been dazzling. The finale of Transformers 2 was full of explosions and robots and deus ex machinas and running but there was precious little actual tension since after the first five minutes you had no feeling of where the characters are looking or aiming or who is fighting who or how far LeBoeuf has to go to to get to his goal... the whole thing just seemed flabby and pointless.
The reason I kind of enjoyed the films was that the second one was kind of funny, it had a bunch of laugh out loud moments for me that the first aimed for and missed by a country mile. Also no matter how hard I ask Santa, or pray to Little Baby Jesus, Gus Van Sant is never going to make a movie about giant robots kicking seven bells out of each other, and from time to time that's what I want to see. So if Michael Bay can get that shit done, then that's one thing in his favour.