I will get flak for this, but I am a Michael Bay fan. There is nothing like being able to sit down and see stuff blow up with massive CGI metal mayhem flash across your screen. Where you can take the time to let the picture take over your eyes and mind and just enjoy merciless killing and gore performed through imaginary pieces of metal and weird colored liquids. If you replace the robots with humans, it becomes a completely different movie, that is then not fit for kids to watch.
I will say that this movie had a great story to it, though there is room for improvement; and there was some amazing comedic and dramatic acting in it. However, Cade Yeager needs some adjustment as I cannot suspend my disbelief into seeing him as an engineer and also someone willing to jump down from rooftops.
After watching this movie twice, once with the wife and once with the kids, I was able to identify some adjustments that would make the movie work better.
1. Casting: This is the jumping off point where choosing one of the two actors I have in mind will work on changing the story if need be. First off we have the ever awesome Nathan Fillion. I can see him as an engineer and he can pull off a great range of emotion to deliver the comedic and dramatic lines perfectly. Simply putting him in Wahlberg's place with the same scenes and lines, makes for a great improvement right off the bat. Also, Fillion is more mature than Wahlberg so it makes more sense. Second choice, and by no means a lesser one; Zachary Levi. We all know he can pull off an engineer, but he too has a great ability at putting in those much needed dramatic looks and comedic stumbles to make Cade much more loveable and real. Plus, you hope for him to live through it. With this choice, however, requires some story adjustment as well
2. Story: With Zachary Levi in the lead, you change him from the dad to the uncle. With this change comes an added element of drama to the relationship with Tessa. Where she has lost her mother and father already and can't lose her uncle now. That just gives it that much more tension, I think, to the story.
3. Deaht Story: And to add more tension to the robot/human drama, have the parents be killed in the Battle of Chicago. That would make Tessa and Cade now uncertain of how to deal with them but they could come around to it. Also have Kelsy Grammar's Harold Attinger, lose someone in the battle. Would make for a more dramatic way to explain his desire to rid the planet of the Autobots/Decepticons. Those are my 3 cents, now add yours...