I don’t remember hating the first two Transformers movies but to be perfectly honest with you I remember basically nothing about them, which says a lot about how cool and memorable they are.
I caught part of the… fourth? movie on TV a couple weeks ago and I was shocked at how actually, legitimately awful it was, just for how extremely out of character Optimus Prime was. I’m arguably not super familiar with original Transformers stuff, but I think I have a pretty good handle on the archetype Optimus typically fills, so to see the fourth movie having him shoot up human laboratories like a terrorist and shout “I’LL KILL THEM ALL” to people in fits of rage is insane. That movie (or all of them, I guess) swings between so many tones (cartoon slapstick, deathly serious military drama, science fiction CGI spectacle, and even occasionally gross-out horror) that it’s disorienting to the point of nausea. Hearing a lime-green robot say “You’ve gotta die, bitch.” is hard to comprehend.
I mean, Optimus Prime straight kills a person in one of these. A person that, in the context of the movie, isn’t even necessarily evil, just misguided.
On the flip side, while recounting the fourth Transformers movie to a friend, I discovered the best way to watch these movies is to just look up all the fight scenes on Youtube. The plots are thin enough that it takes basically zero effort to figure out what’s going on, and the fights are where they spend all their effort anyway. (The above video spoils the final fight of the most recent one, if there’s anyone on this planet that cares about spoilers for these things)
I think enough people still care about classic Transformers and hold a grudge against Michael Bay’s movies that whenever he eventually moves on somebody will probably pick up the mantle and probably try to do things “the right way.”