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The Movie That Fans Agree Took The Transformers Franchise Off Course

First starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox as Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes back in 2007, the "Transformers" franchise from director Michael Bay is an explosive grand spectacle. The first movie follows Sam as he purchases his first car, a yellow Chevrolet Camaro that is actually the Autobot Bumblebee. He quickly discovers that the Autobots have arrived on Earth after the destruction of their home planet of Cybertron due to their battle with the evil Decepticons. Not only that, but Sam has a family artifact from his great, great grandfather that could lead the Decepticons to the Allspark, a Cybertron-based device that has the potential to destroy Earth.

The two sequels that follow are 2009's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," which continue the story of Sam's adventures with the Autobots while he tries to live a normal life. Although, these sequels seemed to fall considerably short for audiences and critics (via Rotten Tomatoes). Then, in 2014, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" brought in Mark Wahlberg as the lead, playing mechanic Cade Yeager, leading to a sequel, "Transformers: The Last Knight," in which Cade encounters more ancient history of Transformers on Earth. Unfortunately, these movies also didn't perform too well, with "The Last Knight" receiving a franchise-low of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In fact, the only "Transformers" film to receive a fresh score from both critics and fans is 2018's "Bumblebee" featuring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena. Looking back on the franchise, some fans have declared where they think "Transformers" truly went off course before "Bumblebee." 

Fans think Age of Extinction threw off the Transformers franchise

In a thread on Reddit, fans of the "Transformers" franchise discussed when exactly things started to go bad for director Michael Bay and the entire movie series. The conversation began from a poll started by a since-deleted user, of which the results have "Transformers: Age of Extinction" as the movie with which most fans agreed the franchise started to head downhill. U/Pillowman7 shared a detailed explanation that noted many pros of "Age of Extinction," including the focus placed on the personalities and relationships between the main group of Autobots. However, this fan stated that the next film, "Transformers: The Last Knight," was bland and ruined the series' plot continuity.

One fan, u/TechnOuijA, further noted that "Age of Extinction" hyped up the introduction of Dinobots, only for them to have little screen time. They then felt that "The Last Knight" had a poor plot with the King Arthur history. Redditor u/Rapid_Madness built off of that, noting that the series had a good ending with "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," but "Age of Extinction" "felt kinda lazy because Michael Bay only returned to direct after Hasbro threw a giant bag of money at him."

This comment is backed by statements from Bay himself, as he told Variety that executive producer Steven Spielberg wanted him to stop making "Transformers" movies after "Dark of the Moon," but the studio pled with Bay to do more, which was hard for the director to say no to. It seems that Spielberg, fans, and even Bay himself are in congruence that "Transformers" should have ended before "Age of Extinction."