* AnticlimaxBoss:
** [[spoiler:The Fallen was over 20,000 years old, at least as old as Jetfire (who was falling apart), and would not come to Earth until Optimus was dead, implying that he was somewhat afraid of Optimus, so it is somewhat justified within the movie. Still, it was quite a disappointment to see the guy the comics have always presented as about midway between Megs and Unicron on the OhCrap-ometer go down so easily.]]
** Alternately, it could be interpreted as a CurbStompBattle. After all, he was doing impressively until [[spoiler:a Jetfire-amplified Optimus Prime]] arrives on the scene.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: The scene early in the movie where the Autobots and N.E.S.T. are in Shanghai attacking Decepticons who were doing nothing but minding their own business has led some people to consider that the Autobots (or at least Optimus) are not as heroic as the movie intends them to be seen as.
* AssPull: Some of the film's developments are pretty hard to swallow, to say the least.
** Simmons just happening to know of a weapon [[spoiler:that could take down Devastator, which ''just happens'' to be on a nearby warship.]]
** The infamous sequence where [[spoiler:the Primes resurrect Sam and repair the Matrix]] comes completely out of nowhere.
** While cool, there is ''zero'' buildup to the concept of cybertronians [[spoiler:being able to graft parts from other cybertronians onto themselves.]]
* AwesomeMusic: The score is ''fantastic''. Despite their being about two hours of background music in the film, it's all a very high quality blend of traditional orchestra, synthesizers, choir, and electric guitar. Some of the very best include "Matrix of Leadership," "Forest Battle," "The Fallen's Arrival," "Don't Give Up," "Einstein's Wrong," "Model Airplanes," "Tomb of the Primes," "Infinite White," "The Fallen," "Jetfire Rambles the Plot," "I Claim Your Sun," and "I Rise, You Fall."
* BadassDecay: Megatron gets this pretty bad; while still very powerful, he's now The Fallen's YesMan and is not quite as unstoppable as before. Starscream get this ''even worse'', becoming a complete DirtyCoward.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment:
** The scene with the Allspark fragment from the first film falling into the kitchen, turning his kitchen appliances into destructive feral Transformers, a fight ensues, the house is destroyed. Afterwards, this scene is never mentioned again, despite likely being used to ''establish the power of just one Allspark fragment''.
** Even worse, after the scene Sam goes right back to insisting he doesn't need Bumblebee's protection anymore.
* ContestedSequel: Everyone agrees the SequelEscalation was excessive, but the final opinion is divided between "mindless fun" or "total abomination".
* CriticalDissonance: Despite a 20% Rotten Tomatoes score and extreme hatred toward the film on various movie sites, the film still grossed over $800 million worldwide, and (with only a 2D release, no less) ranks among the few movies to make over $400 million in the U.S./Canada market; indeed, it was the 2nd highest grossing film of 2009 (behind ''Film/{{Avatar}}'') in the United States, and the 4th highest worldwide, and adjusted for inflation is the 81st highest grossing movie ''of all time''. It has also received a solid Cinemascore rating and Rotten Tomatoes user rating, and has sold generally well on DVD and [=BluRay=].
* EnsembleDarkhorse: [[BadassGrandpa Jetfire]], [[OneSceneWonder Sideswipe]] and [[CrazyAwesome Simmons]] (the latter of which was RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap).
* HamAndCheese: John Turturro as Simmons.
* HarsherInHindsight: Mikaela says to Sam that she loves him after he is killed by Megatron? [[Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon That love]] [[WrittenInAbsence won't last long.]]
* HilariousInHindsight: There's an entire scene with [[{{Film/Battleship}} alien mecha wrecking battleships...]]
* HoYay:
** Between Megatron and Starscream.
--->"Starscream, I'm home!"
** Leo and Simmons always seemed real close to some.
** Megatron [[spoiler:looks absolutely heartbroken at the Fallen's demise.]]
* HypeBacklash:
** Presumably why this movie was hyped as "the worst movie of 2009" to some and beat out ''Film/DragonballEvolution'' and similar worse-reviewed flops at the Razzies.
** NeverLiveItDown: Before the release of ''[=RotF=]'', the first ''Transformers'' movie was pretty well-liked but still [[LoveItOrHateIt debatable]] (even being nominated for a People's Choice Award). After the release of ''[=RotF=]'', people started lumping the first movie together with its sequels as one of the "worst action movies of all time", and generally feel that any sequel released will inevitably fall into the same pit of putrid quality (including the two that have already been released).
* LoveItOrHateIt:
** While this is largely considered the worst ''Transformers'' live-action film by critics and a good portion of the fanbase (due to its slapdash nature, over-used humor and underdeveloped plot), a good number of Transformers fans consider it to be the best of the trilogy, owing to it being the only one that ''feels like Transformers'' (The first movie had a far greater focus on humans - to the point of the Transformers almost being a secondary plot, while the third felt detatched from the mythos, changed several characters' core personalties and felt more like a ''Star Trek'' movie to some people).
** In retrospect, with its lower-quality writing and cheesy plotline, it ''does'' feel a lot more like the old 80's cartoon.
* MemeticMutation: Optimus' line "Give me your face!" right before [[spoiler: tearing the Fallen's face off.]]
* {{Misblamed}}: Some accused Michael Bay of holding an anti-UsefulNotes/BarackObama agenda, since he is specifically mentioned as being the president, and the government officials go from being generally cooperative (albeit in over their heads) in the last film to being complete jerkwads in this one. However, as Bay pointed out, the screenplay was completed and filming began at the start of 2008, before he or anyone else involved knew that the ''Democrats would nominate'' Obama (UsefulNotes/HillaryClinton was still the favorite for their nomination at the start of 2008, albeit by a slim margin), much less that he would out-poll all other presidential candidates. Additionally, Obama is only mentioned in a brief line that was clearly dubbed on in post-production, which could easily be swapped out for one mentioning John [=McCain=] with no real effect on the movie.
* {{Narm}}:
** The embarrassing ease with which Optimus is able to hand Megatron his ass right before the forest battle, while trash-talking him, is this to a ''lot'' of people. Then, during the otherwise spectacularly rendered forest battle itself, there's a very glaring [[SpecialEffectFailure animation shortcut]], where, for a split second, Megatron goes from charging furiously at Optimus to ''strolling complacently.'' It's partially obscured by the nature of the shot, but many sharp-eyed viewers found it hilarious.
** The hilariously awful "Give me your face!" line.
* NeverLiveItDown: So far, both the franchise and Creator/MichaelBay haven't really been able to escape the negative backlash generated by this movie.
* TheScrappy:
** EthnicScrappy: Mudflap and Skids, who were also a SpotlightStealingSquad along with the humans (and, less unfavorably, Bumblebee). Thankfully, Michael Bay recognized how unpopular they were, and they managed to avoid the CreatorsPet curse by being almost completely cut from [[TransformersDarkOfTheMoon the sequel]] (and by [[TakeThatScrappy being killed off]] by [[spoiler:Sentinel Prime]] in its adaptations).
*** There's debate over whether Skids and Mudflap were really that bad -- many people point out that if Michael Bay actually possessed a decent sense of humor, they could have been ActuallyPrettyFunny ''and'' {{badass}}. As it was, all their humor was based on derogatory stereotypes.
*** At least ''some'' of those are countered in the novelization. For example, Skids' and Mudflap's line that "They don't do much reading" to justify why they couldn't read Cybertronian symbols (when they're, you know, ''robots'' who have ''computers for brains'') is changed to that they ''can'' read, but the symbols are from the language of the Primes, which they don't know and is separate from the standard Cybertronian language.
** Though he certainly looked awesome and had TonyTodd's performance gong for him, between having zero [[GenericDoomsdayVillain motivation]] or [[FlatCharacter characterization]], a bizarre grab bag of unexplained powers, an awful, anticlimactic clusterfuck of a fight to his name, and [[InNameOnly nothing shown in the way of actual transformation]], there's a reason the Fallen himself is widely considered to be the worst BigBad of any of the four films. Even Bay himself admitted that the Fallen was "kind of a (expletive) character" in an interview.
** Any and all of the humans (barring maybe Simmons, Lennox, and Epps), but the worst offenders would have to be Sam's parents and Leo.
** Megatron starts his BadassDecay in earnest here, going from the supreme {{Badass}} of the first movie to Optimus' punching bag and the Fallen's YesMan. However, this is nothing compared to what happens to him in ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon''... but then [[spoiler: [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap he gets his cool factor back]] as [[Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction Galvatron]]]].
** The movie itself is this, not only for critics, but also for ''Transformers'' fans, including fans of the other movies. Not only is the movie itself poorly reviewed, but fans of the other movies hate ''ROTF'' for [[NeverLiveItDown permanently ruining the series' reputation]] and pretty much guaranteeing abysmal reviews for any future ''Transformers'' movies despite any PanderingToTheBase and AuthorsSavingThrow attempts Michael Bay puts in.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: When ''ROTF'' was released, critics hated it, but general audiences were kinder to it and even defended the movie. Now, after [[Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon two]] [[Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction sequels]] full of deliberate attempts to correct ''ROTF'''s flaws, the movie is far less popular with general audiences, and is much more widely hated for turning the ''Transformers'' series into the critics' favorite punching bag.
* SequelDisplacement: ''Revenge of the Fallen'', much more than the first movie, has pretty much become a stereotype of what critics and fans expect from a ''Transformers'' movie, often resulting in [[CriticalDissonance pessimistic critics and pleasantly surprised audiences]] for the other sequels.
* {{Sequelitis}}: Is infamously the worst-reviewed movie in the series, and is widely considered one of the worst mega-blockbusters of all time.
* SignatureScene:
** Other quality issues aside, this movie ''does'' contain the famous forest battle, generally considered to be the series' best fight scene.
** Whatever you may think of Devastator himself, his introduction falls squarely under this.
* SophomoreSlump: One of the biggest examples in film history. Just ''try'' and find anyone who prefers this movie over any others in the series.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: It's plainly obvious that the rendering and animation of the robots during all of the desert scenes, with the notable exception of Devastator, aren't up to par with the rest of the movie. The scenes that take place on Saturn's moon and in particular, the one where Starscream backs into a hatchling's pod, also look unfinished. It's particularly unforgivable when you consider ''Revenge''’s budget outstripped [[Film/{{Transformers}} its predecessor's]] by $50 million. Appropriately, while the first and third movies ''were'' nominated for the Visual Effects Oscar, this one was not. See {{Narm}} above for another infamous example.
* TheyJustDidntCare:
** Would you imagine that the script was only assembled in 3 weeks? Somewhat unavoidable, due to the writers' strike going on at the time.
** A better example is how Michael Bay (or whoever was in charge of release schedules) insisted that the movie go ahead ''despite'' the writers' strike.
** The film reuses a shot from not just the first film (the Autobots arriving at Earth being used for Decepticon arrival) and one from an hour ago (Soundwave in space relaying Decepticons orders). They also utilized a shot from ''Film/PearlHarbor'' (the scene in which ships are shown), though this is less noticeable.