Although the movie was good and well developed i felt the original did the series more justice.
whilst i'm inclined to agree with your general centiment, i wouldn't go so far as to say this one 'less Transformers' than the previous. the cartoon series has been equally littered with dire characters and unwatchably unrelenting 'action'. the original cartoon movie is equally difficult to watch, but you couldn't say that that wasn't at the very core of Transformers.
I had several complaints with this film. First off were the autobot Twins. They had a overly heavy stereotyped black voice that was just a bit too much for me. I fear they could be equivicated to Jar-Jar binks.
i actually quite liked them, and i didn't feel that they jarred to greatly against the rest of the film (unlike Mr Binks). the biggest disappointment (aside from their retarded faces), was that they didn't stay as an ice cream van for long enough.
My other complaint was all the sexual jokes. Although funny there was more than in the original film and i just felt it took something away from movie.
i actually didn't notice those. perhaps i'm just oblivous, or perhaps i was numbed to the whole movie by the blinding 'fight' sequences.
eitherway, what i did notice was the uncomfortable amount of Megan Fox we were exposed to. it was pretty clear that the production team realised just how big a hit Ms Fox had turned out to be and thought that they would try and exploit her as much as they could without shame or dignity. the opening sequence where she was on the bike was embarrasing more than sexy. it felt like i was trapped watching a cheap porno with wife and friends. it would have been okay, had they not tried so hard to make her look so sluty for the whole film. i hope that in the future she has the stregth to say 'No' when a production team try to dress her up like a $5 hooker again.
My biggest complaint (you'll never believe this )... too much action. The fights were incredible yes and the cg mindblowing but there was SO much going on it was hard to capture the detail and fully see what was going on.
this is the absolute weakest part of the film. there was so much going on and the robots were so minisculely detailed that most of the time i hadn't a clue what was going on. the fights needed to be better co-ordinated so that you could tell who was supposed to be winning, and where exactly each blow landed. in the end the movie appeared more like a blurry miasma for many of the sequences, which made it grow stale very quickly.
this was exasurbated by the diabolically bad pacing of the film, which mean that although there were fights, nothing much happend throught the movie and then the cheif bad guy was revealed and killed within 3 minutes.
the only really positive thing about the film for me was that i work for Liebherr the German heavy plant manufacturer and there were a few Liebherr vehicles in it (including the big excavator that made up part of Devastator).