When you look at what's in it, you realize there's some good stuff.
It's a restrained Michael Bay film, meaning there's fun and dumb action while being restrained from the latent racism, overreliance on CGI, and puerile humor that have turned his more recent works into the drek of moviemaking.
It's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in his prime, whose specialty was this kind of fun and dumb action movie (National Treasure, Top Gun, the Pirates of the Caribbean).
Your three leads are Nicholas Cage - Nicholas goddamn Cage, Sean Connery still going strong and playing an unnamed copy of James Bond, and Academy Award nominee Ed Harris - a guy whose name you've never heard of but is in like, everything. Those three could carry almost any movie.
The story, while it's not fantastic, has one of the most memorable quotes of Sean Connery's career and has an unnamed credit for Quentin Tarantino.
It is a dumb movie filled with guys who are genuinely talented, have motivations that are at least enough not to make you question them too much, and it has aged far better than many people think.