The more I thought about the Bay movies post-Bumblebee, the more I realized they really aren’t Transformers movies in any way shape or form. Outside of some window dressing, names and a few of Optimus Primes design cues (and even then they gave him flames and lips because of reasons) and voice, there is basically nothing recognizable of the franchise. They abandon most of the look and mythology and what they do use is so distorted as to be basically unrecognizable. You look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how true they hold to the core of the characters in both looks and characterization (even when they modernize some things or make them more “realistic”) and it just makes the absolute dumpster fire of the Bayverse look even sadder. They might not bat 1.000, but they’ve managed to stay more true to their source material and make it relevant and engaging then basically anyone I can think of outside of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (ugh, how did the same people butcher the Hobbit so badly ~ i mean, i've actually read how/why it happened, but i still find it hard to believe) It’s really a shame Bumblebee isn’t doing better financially with the fantastic reviews and word-of-mouth that it’s getting, but that is square on Paramount for dropping it right in the middle of Aquaman (which I thought would flop but also said NEVER bet against James Wan), Spider-Verse and Mary Poppins. It’s just a saturated market place of family/sci fi/comic book fare, and I feel like the marketing, while not a outright disaster, was fairly underwhelming. Couple that with how badly The Last Knight poisoned the well (just like The Last Jedi did for Solo... these two scenarios are actually almost shockingly similar minus the behind the scenes drama Solo had) and it adds up to unfortunate (if not completely terrible) returns.