I wanna start this off with two facts, the first being that I actually didn’t want to do this. When I planned out writing these one of the things I didn’t want to do was attack (read as, gently slap) certain films or people. Truly, or I could be here every week, So if you’d like to see me tackle about the Transformers films or any others, comment below.
Secondly as we go into this, I am a life long fan of Transformers. Just yesterday I was watching Beast Wars, I read the current comics runs, have pictures of Transformers and toys all over my house. I imprint this onto my kids, I have a Transformers tattoo, I go to yearly conventions etc etc. The ‘Bayverse’ as we so lovingly call it is something that affects fans in different ways, here is how it affects me…
I hate it. Now saying that, the 2007 movie ‘Transformers’ I actually really like. It’s a boy in his dog story but with a giant robot who turns into his car with some well crafted action scenes, funny and original characters and makes some very nice nods to the franchises history that leaves me satisfying. I even wrote a very kind review that got published in a Transformers magazine back when ROTF came out. That was 7 years ago. This was originally going to be a ’10 things I hate…’ so you can expect there to be more of these at some point. Alas, here we go…
1. Treatment of Characters and Lore.
I will allow everyone the right to change media and adapt it as they see fit. Marvel has changed the origin stories of characters when transferring them from comic to screen and it’s all good. Transformers itself has done so within itself, over the years we have seen many TV shows and comics. At one point Megatron wanted to conquer the galaxy. Currently in IDW’s comics, he was a miner who wanted to be a doctor, but wasn’t allowed and after a series of unfortunate events, became enraged and decided to murder all filthy Autobots (seriously, give it a try, it’s really good(the comics, not murdering Autobots)).
My issue here, is the blatant disrespect the characters are treated with. Half the time you can’t even tell who they are the designs are so interchangeable; I watched Dark of The Moon 3 times before I realised it’s Soundwave, my favourite character in the whole franchise, that nearly kills Bumblebee. He doesn’t look like him. He doesn’t talk like him. He isn’t him. (#SuperiorSoundwave2k16). As for the lore itself, Transformers has over 30 years of history and stories to choose from.
If any TF fans are reading this, close your eyes and imagine this scenario: Its comic-con. TF panel. Room goes dark as Spielberg says he’s going to put the title for the next 5th film. And on the screen comes the words ‘Transformers: Target 2016’. For those that don’t know, this would get the same reaction as Civil War, or Batman Vs. Superman. It’d be insane. Instead, we get Galvatron made in a lab, something about a seed and a B&$%slapped Grimlock. For those that love Transformers and the stories it tells, how strongly the current comics are with themes of acceptance, LGBT characters etc, we are Grimlock.
2. Copy & Paste
‘This is Optimus Prime….” at the start of the film, giving you a brief catchup on whatever just happened in between films. Then stuff, there’s a sexy female secondary main character, a government agent who doesn’t like the Autobots, too many shots of cars driving, incredible amounts of product placement, a macguffin, a big hour-long fight scene, and then Optimus Prime will send a message to space (or the viewer I’m not too sure anymore) while Linkin Park plays.
Followed by disappointment, incredible amounts of money in bad people’s pockets and a sequel. Honestly, I know people gave Star Wars lip for being too similar to A New Hope, and I defended it, but it has enough different in the characters, interactions etc that it wasn’t bad. These are literally the same script with ‘Allspark’ crossed out and ‘Matrix/Pillars/Seed’ in its place.
No, I’m not being contraceptive. These films are. At one point in ROTF, the bot they call Jetfire does a teleportation things which he calls a Space Bridge. Which is literally the whole point of DOTM. So, are Space Bridges this big thing that requires ALL THE TECHNOLOGY, or is it something that can be done to jump from Place A to B? And this isn’t all characters act completely different from film to film.
At one point Prime is all ‘Save the humans’ and then he threatens to literally kill a load for no good reason. Admittedly this is after some betrayal and such but it’s such a drastic change in everything we knew about him previously that he may as well be the villain of that film. And honestly, doesn’t the idea of a bunch of Autobots taking down a blood crazed Prime sound awesome? “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings… except you’. also, seeing Prime devolve from being protector of all to someone desperate for escape? Also sound awesome. It’s almost like the screenwriter for these films didn’t watch this last, and are doing whatever they want.
I’m not gonna waste your time or mine here. These just suck. I really like Sam Witwicky in the first film. He’s charming and relatable in the first film. In the second film he’s a guy with a hot girlfriend and car that is actually a robot that doesn’t stop whining. In the third film he can’t get a job. And here’s the thing. I was an unpopular kid in high school, so I can relate to that. I went to Uni, but didn’t have Motorcycle Fixing Megan Fox and a Transformer in my life so y’know… whatever.
That job search? Go apply at McDonalds, we all struggle to find work, I could relate top him if he was sweeping floors to make rent. Simmons is horrible from start to finish. And I don’t know why we even have Kade (Cade?) Jaeger (Yaeger?). He seems extremely pointless to me. Also, whatever happened to Captain Lennox? Seriously, did he try to kill Prime? Was he killed by fellow soldiers/Fraiser? Does anyone care? I don’t but it gives me something to moan about so… I could go on about humans (DOTM is 2.5 hours long, an hour of it is Sam trying to find a job. Honestly)
5. Michael Bay
Honestly, I think this guy is most of the reason behind my problems with this franchise. And I don’t want to turn this into a big ‘MICHAEL BAY SUCKS’ thing. I could, trust me. But this guy said he was leaving after the third film and now he’s doing the fifth. Am I meant to believe he actually WANTS to make these films? This guy couldn’t talk about a TV, do you think he even knows that Cybertron is a planet? These films are a pay check and honestly, speaking the my heart. That hurts. Joss Whedon, a guy who has written comic books worked on Avengers because he loved that world. The same goes for a lot of people who work in the MCU, look at what Deadpool has achieved just last weekend, Bryan Singer is an X-Men fan, JJ loved Star Wars. Rian Johnson seems to be having a really good time on Star Wars, the list goes on and on. We live in a geek world. Technology and the internet reign supreme.
Comics dominate our screens, both movie and TV. Look at the reaction to the Bay produced TMNT2, it looks awesome (Freaking KRANG?!) Do you really think the unwashed 15 year olds going to watch this for some potential boob care who directs it? Do you think the 8 year olds who love Bumbleblee do? I asked Tumblr who they’d want to direct it and they resounded with del Toro. How awesome would he do? And clearly, he wants to make Giant Robots punch movies.
They also said James Robots, the current writer for one of the comic titles, to pen a script. Why not just take a storyline we know and love here’s 3: Target 2006, Last Stand of the Wreckers, All Hail Megatron, The War Within, The Matrix Quest, the cartoon movies plot. Theres loads! OK. I lost track there. Bay. He doesn’t wanna do it. Give it to someone who does, it’ll still make your money, it’ll appease fans and it’ll give some potential director the chance to make a big splash, and change their life.
So yeah… some people might have different complains, but I limited myself to these 5, but the list doesn’t stop. I watched the films a week ago to refresh myself and I’m still making notes on things I hated so expect a follow-up. But, comment below with what you hate about these films! Think Bay can do a Fast and Furious and turn the franchise around? Who would be your choice to take over the franchise? Wanna read my Soundwave fanfic? (Operation: Pleasure) Want to see David Kaye take over as Megatron/Galvatron (Go watch Beast Ears Megatron, honestly, it’s the best)
I am now going to go and play out what my Transformers film would look like with the toys. Maybe take a shower. Hit me up on twitter if you WANT to hear me drone on about Transformers some more. And if you think the franchise couldn’t be great if you think it’s just a giant toy advert, car advert, boob advert well, You are being deceived.
Till All Are One, Leigh