If you ever need a hint of how steeply Michael Bay’s stint at the helm of the Transformers franchise fell off a cliff, then look no further than what happened to the series once he finally departed two movies later than he said he would.
Travis Knight’s Bumbleebee was tainted by association to wind up as the lowest-grossing installment to date, but the wholesome 1980s-set adventure’s Rotten Tomatoes score of 91 percent is higher than combined ratings of Bay’s Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction, and The Last Knight. Combined!
Nevertheless, the Autobots and Decepticons beating the living sh*t out of each other via string of loud and incomprehensible action sequences racked up close to $5 billion at the box office, which obviously means we’ll be getting at least three more entries should Steven Caple Jr.’s Rise of the Beasts live up to commercial expectations next summer.
Everyone in their right mind knows that Bay’s first Transformers flick is the best of the quintet by a country mile, and we’re glad to report that the rest of the saga hasn’t yet been skewed by the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia and reappraisal. Ironically, the Reddit thread in question was deleted, so perhaps OP knew they were onto a loser.
The consensus paints the crystal clear picture of “the first one was pretty good for what it was, but everything else was f*cking awful,” which nearly surmises Bay’s decade-long association with Transformers in a shiny metallic nutshell.