Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Optimus Prime - He's like a mechanical JesusThere’s a scene in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen that I feel suitably captures the state of the Transformers franchise after the release of this film: where a badly injured Jetfire sacrifices himself so that a recently resurrected, but weakened Optimus Prime can pillage his body parts to thwart the Fallen.

Since the 80’s, several attempts have been made to restore the Transformers concept back to its former glory, with new additions to the franchise such as Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Armada, Energon and most recently, Transformers: Animated. But sadly, none of them were able to capture the imagination of the newer generations of kids who hadn’t grown up knowing the awesomeness of Optimus Prime. Then came the 2007 movie by Michael Bay, a fairly successful resurrection of the franchise. It wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but it was adequate to rally the fans and get them behind the potential of a live action version.

TRUKK NOT MUNKEY! Optimus Primal from Beast Wars made fans question what it takes to be a leader of the TransformersThe second movie though, is a big, loud, lumbering beast, cobbled together by using scraps of mythology from the various franchises and attaching them to the freshly resurrected corpse, in the hope of thwarting the great apathy towards transforming robots. Therein lies a great irony: in their attempt to bring back Transformers, the writers have turned the franchise into something that isn’t about transforming robots any more, and there’s no transforming back. The most disappointing part about that is that the writers are Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who came up with the first movie, and were also responsible for the wildly successful Star Trek reboot. How did two such seemingly talented writers get it so very, very wrong?

Still, the Transformers universe is rich with potential, and as a fan I can only hope that the inevitable sequel won’t try to tempt fate by trying to be another successful failure.