Since Steven Spielberg is an executive producer on the film, he got involved and wielded his mighty clout to get it knocked down to a PG-13. It is unknown at this point whether any cuts were made or whether he put the MPAA into a collective headlock and got them to change their minds.
So why did it get an initial R-rating?
According to Shia LaBeouf who stars in the film (so take this with a grain of salt):
"We went to get our MPAA rating, and this movie is for the masses, and we got an R rating because of the tension, not because of the curse words or nudity, but for sheer intensity. It's aneurysm-inducing."
First thought: Cool, sounds like a great summer roller-coaster ride. I'll just have to keep in mind that it's a Michael Bay film, so I'll check my brain at the door and enjoy the ride.
Second thought: I can't wait to see all the parents who will be bringing their four year olds to this because "it's a movie about toys."
Between the description above, the soda and candy that they'll buy, the kids will no doubt need some Ritalin to calm them down afterwards. "No doctor, I don't understand why my son vibrates and bounces off the walls and has a 3 second attention span."
Transformers opens July 4th.
Source: Sci-Fi Wire