Having seen the trailers, it seemed to me that Transformers was likely to be much like the recent butchering of War of the Worlds with the added attraction of it molesting my childhood. (The chances of Autobots coming from Mars / were a million to one, they said.)
Now that I've seen the film, I'm happy to say it's nothing at all like War of the Worlds, and is instead an awful lot like Pearl Harbour.
The Transformers themselves make it through the movie with a surprising amount of dignity left intact. I got the strong impression that these were the real, actual Transformers of my early years, torn from their animated universe and deposited whole and intact in a kind of Michael Bay-themed cinematic wasteland. They spend the majority of the movie struggling gamely to continue their noble mission in the face of hideous dialogue, horrible plot, and a complete contempt for the most basic attention to scientific detail.
Optimus Prime in particular carries a kind of beleaguered, puzzled air about him that suggests he's wondering where all the energon cubes went and why he's suddenly surrounded by lens flares, poorly scripted teenagers and an unfeasibly large portion of the United States military. It's definitely Optimus Prime, though - that voice acting goes a long way.
Incidentally, never has there been so much product placement in a movie, but given the history of the Transformers franchise it's a little difficult to complain.
Anyway, all said, this is an apallingly unapologetic fiasco of a movie that should be avoided at all costs. But it doesn't retroactively go back and ruin the 80s animated Transformers, and in that category at least it's a step above Beast Wars and Armada, so if you look at it with squinty eyes you can almost imagine that there's something in it to be grateful for.