•This movie has no Mo Movie Moment. In fact, the only female character that isn't a sex kitten is the main character's mom, and she spends the first half of the movie alternating between weeping over her baby going off to college and nonsensically pontificating post-hash-brownie. And yes, the director finds a way to make her a sex object, too.
•This movie makes no ground about Hollywood's RaceFail. Fans may recall that Jazz, the awesomest black robot ever died in the last movie. He was replaced by a cheap Wayans Brothers knockoff duo. Complete with gold tooth and gangsta lingo. There were no Chinese military personnel in the battle in Shanghai.
•The humor is exceedingly juvenile. If you aren't willing to watch two dogs humping FOR NO REASON, show up late to the movie.
OK, now that that clusterfuck is over, the "good" news:
•The cinematography is much tighter. The first movie often felt like it was shot by an epileptic six year old. The idea was to indicate that the Transformers lived (and fought) on a scale that the humans in the film could barely comprehend. This was done much better in the second movie where, for example, Optimus Prime is defending Sam from a group of Decepticons in a forest. Sam is running between the trees, dodging and hiding and not really sure what's going on. The Transformers are snapping the trees like twigs and pay them no mind at all.
•This movie totally captured Soundwave's essence as a spymaster and commander of a horde of tiny minions. Boomboxen being no longer ubiquitous, in this incarnation he's a parasitic spy satellite that hacked into the communications of the Autobot-Military cooperative Strike Team.
•The US Military/Governmental presence was much tighter than the first one. The characters had more interesting screen time, and a reasonable use of tactics. The black guy had some good lines but wasn't the comic relief. They badly missed the opportunity to salute Optimus Prime's corpse (which would have contrasted nicely with the crassness of the bureaucrat).
•Wheelie gets tortured for information. Mikaela holds a blowtorch until it melts his eye! Normally I'm not one for torture, but this is fan revenge on the character for 25 years of his out-of-tune sing-songiness from Transformers: The Movie (which came out precisely 25 years before this one).
In short, this movie was everything Michael Bay wanted the first one to be. An adolescent male fantasy populated by sex kittens, giant robots, and horny boys.