I liked the first Transformers in a guilty pleasure sort of way. I never watched the original Transformers, but it was certainly easy enough to go along for the ride. There are SO many reasons why I liked the first one and hated the second one (and not just because it's cool to hate Transformers 2), but I'll just name a few:
---I don't normally dislike Shia LaBeouf, but he was really bad in this one IMO. Whereas in the first one he was kind of an awkward high school student who wasn't very good with the ladies (probably not a stretch), in this one he was just really cocky and stuff making out with Megan Fox, thinking he's really cool. Oh, and the I can't say I love you until the end sub-plot was just laughably cliche.
---The special effects and action sequences, while impressive, were simply mind-numbing. I literally had to turn away and stop watching a few times because the robot battles were so long (I don't say that much).
---The humor, one of the highlights of the first one for me, simply didn't strike the same chords as the first one. The mom being stoned thing was particularly stupid; I'm actually not sure if I laughed once during this movie (when I was supposed to).
Overall I just really didn't care at all about the characters or the plot in this one like I did with the first one. I'm not sure even a strong edit of this film could save it, because even if the very worst material was cut, we're still left with a movie that I don't care about.
I'm not sure where the disconnect was in this one that wasn't there for me with the first. The first for me was an enjoyable popcorn flick, it had a nice balance between enjoyable characters, great action, and Megan Fox. That's all I was looking for in this one. What I got was a reeeeaaallly long movie that I just wish I hadn't seen.