When I heard about a Transformers movie I was really excited. But once I saw some teasers and previews I was sorrowfully disappointed. I will be going to see Transformers next week (thanks to a pass) and I imagine I will be entertained to some extent, but at the same time I’ll be shaking my head. I spent too much of my childhood with Transformers to accept a second-rate adaptation. I consider myself the audience for this movie because my generation made the Transformers popular in the first place.
There are many reasons why I believe Transformers will fail. Sure, it will make a big splash during the holiday weekend, but much like the other blockbusters this year, it will fall very hard and very fast.
Where are the stars? – Who’s in this movie? There are no worth-while names being billed with this movie. From the previews I’ve only seen some teenage-looking people running around. And no, I don’t qualify Bernie Mac a star, sorry. And even if there are some cameos, there is no star power behind this movie. You can’t sell a movie on effects alone when the movie is otherwise weak (keep reading).
Corporate take over – I was most disappointed when I found that Chevrolet is the major backer of the film and thus all vehicles in the movie are Chevrolet models. This one action single-handedly ruined the movie because it forces them to break ties with the original characters. Instead of a VW bug or a Porsche we have Mustangs and Camaros. This a real shame because a lot of the original characters’ personality came from their vehicle type. Even the main character, Optimus Prime, is the wrong type of semi-truck! This may sound petty but what if they remade Bambi and instead of a deer had a skunk?
What’s the plot? I have only seen a few trailers and previews for the movie. I haven’t read any plotlines or otherwise, so based just on the media, what is the plot here? It’s obvious that some robots are mean and some are nice, but why? Are the bad robots just here because they’re mean and that’s their job? And why do some care about us humans? The original Transformers had a plot revolving around their home planet and the robots’ need for energy.
Over-designed characters – Let’s look at the cartoon. Then look at the movie version. Notice how your eyes don’t bleed from looking at the cartoon model. Now I now this is a live action film so the cartoon models wouldn’t work verbatim, but the robots are WAY over-designed and over-drawn in the new film. They are way to busy and it is hard to determine what is happening and what things are. Your eye has no time to focus and the result is a lot of confusion and overload. Looking at the new characters in robot form you can barely see how they would transform into their mobile forms. Prior you could see where parts move so you had some sort of context as to what they were as robots. Plus, we’ve lost all the color and elegance the characters once had.
I could probably think up a few more if I tried hard, but you get the idea. One good thing about the new film is they managed to retain some of the original character voices. So we know they at least tried to keep some of the classic Transformers, but why stop at voices? I know this all sounds like fan-boy anger, but that’s only the half truth.
I think you’d be surprised how well the original-style characters would have gone over with audiences and children. Everyone assumes we need complex design and action, and that’s just not always the case. I would rather have simple-but-good action over some poor-yet-pretty action.
And we can only hope this doesn’t go franchise and have sequels.