In the mid-80’s a cartoon series was broadcast that shaped a generation of dudes who needed the occasional break from people to watch a bunch of big honkin’ robots fight each other and transform into cool crap in the process. I am one such dude from that generation, and the cartoon I speak of is none other than The Transformers. Many years later a live action flick is now on the way, and as a lifelong fan of Autobots and even some Decepticons, my opinion on the matter is needed.
Wired magazine’s newest issue features an article about the new movie and its director, Michael Bay, who has put out various unimpressive tripe over the years. In response to the article, I wrote the following letter:
I suspect that the final question posed in your Michael Bay article best captures what Transformers fans such as myself are wondering: will we even recognize Optimus Prime (or anyone else) when we see him in Bay’s live action experiment gone awry? I have tried to remain open-minded about the new movie, hoping that it will deliver something for me to get excited about, but it’s starting to look like Megan Fox might be the only surefire reason to check it out. I don’t demand much from the story. I just want the characters I grew up with to look like themselves. Bay’s supreme arrogance and disregard for fans’ memories came through strongly in your article, and that type of attitude could spell disaster for the film, which really only needed to portray the original character designs faithfully to ensure success. These new bots look no better than those cheap knockoffs that used to be foisted upon us by Family Dollar and the like. Even as a kid, I knew they weren’t good enough. Why should things be any different now?
That sums up my feelings at present. I will watch the movie, and I will try to latch on to the entertaining aspects of it, as some are apparently able to do. But I have little doubt that it will fail mightily to live up to the 1986 animated movie that my fellow Transformers fans and I remember so fondly.