The Transformers franchise just got a lot easier to binge-watch for those interested. Starting in February, the second and third movies in the series were added to the Netflix catalog. That means between HBO Max, Netflix and Paramount+, you can watch all five of Michael Bay's reviled sci-fi adaptations for subscription prices.
Transformers (2007) is streaming on HBO Max, and now the sequel Revenge of the Fallen and the third installment Dark of the Moon are both on Netflix. In the age of the MCU and other massive adaptational franchises, it's easy to forget the bizarre confluence of mistakes it took to make these Transformers movies. They are despised by fans of the original cartoon and newcomers to the series alike, yet revisiting them is an interesting peek at pop culture history.
Die-hard fans disliked Bay's take on Transformers from the beginning for its many departures from the source material – a cartoon created to promote a line of toys sold by Hasbro. Where the cartoon, its spinoffs and the subsequent comic books were often whimsical, Bay's movies were heavily focused on the earthly military significance of the Autobots and Decepticons.
Still, with the sci-fi adaptation market not as saturated in the early 2000s, fans gave these movies many chances and some came to enjoy them as they delved deeper into the lore. The first movie introduced the principal characters and established a world where humans knew about Transformers, and Revenge of the Fallen picks up in that world with the Autobots considering their options.
The movie takes quite a few creative liberties with exposition that is not canonical in other Transformers media. This alone actually makes it worth a watch – whether that be out of morbid curiosity or genuine interest. It also includes the first live-action interpretation of some fan-favorite characters like the Constructicons and Devastator.
Dark of the Moon takes these changes even further, and it adds the complication of contradicting even the movies' continuity in some ways. As a bonus, this is the first movie without Megan Fox, who was fired after publicly criticizing Bay and unceremoniously replaced with little explanation. This could be enough to capture the attention of a celebrity gossip fan who is not necessarily interested in the franchise, so if you're trying to pitch this binge to a roommate or a significant other, this might be the way.
What you don't want to tell them is the critical reception these movies got. At the time of this writing, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has a ghastly 20 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes. Dark of the Moon is not far ahead with 35 percent positive ratings.
Once again, the first movie in the series, Transformers (2007) is streaming now on HBO Max, and is available on most major digital stores for rental or purchase. You can now stream Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon on with a Netflix subscription, and you can finish up with Age of Extinction and The Last Knight on Paramount+.