What weighs on me the most is the complete literary ineptitude from the movies. With the exception of Sam and the soldiers, the characters are pointless. It's a story about sentient robots bringing their war to Earth and we don't know a thing about the personality of the robots other than they like to fight. We get three movies of Sam and his family and his girlfriend(s) being snarky and bantering back and forth about masturbation and marriage and discipline and job markets as though there aren't 50 foot robots blasting at each other right above their heads.
I'm trying not to compare this to the original cartoon, or the later cartoons or the movie from the 80's but it's hard not to. Each film introduces new links that Humans and Cybertronians share from their pasts. Each movie has Sam in the middle of the bad guys trying to take over the universe via Earth. Each movie has a hot chick, Sam's parents, some annoying but human size robots and lots of explosions. What they don't have is a good direction. I felt like the screenplay was written at an elementary school workshop.
The story idea is fine, the plot for each is shaky but not horrible. What bugs me is the idea that a collection of disparate characters and situations somehow makes the human side of the story entertaining. Well, it doesn't. It makes us look like fumbling idiots who can't keep track of our own history. We'd rather worry about money and status despite the existence of alien life. I want to see a story about the robots from Cybertron. Don't make me care about Sam or his parents or Patrick Dempsy or John Tuturo. I want the giant robots to the be the characters, not the sweaty, stupid, weak humans. I know their story. I saw it in Independence Day, and Battle for Los Angeles and Mars Attacks and the other million invasion stories. I want to know about the giant fucking robots that turn into cars and planes and guns and tanks. Isn't that cool enough? Isn't the Autobot's fight the same as our fight? I don't want flashbacks and exposition, I want the actual fight that doesn't involve Josh Duhamel and his intrepid squad of unkillable humans.
I know the cartoons all had human characters, they were on Earth after all. I just get tired of thinking that in light of an invasion by giant robots, what humans do still frickin matters. That after eons of fighting, Sam can do what the Autobots couldn't, and that they rely on him. It's cute, but these are giant robots. I still don't understand why Sam matters so much. The script writing makes us seem stupid and the screenplay makes the robots look inept.
In the end I'll take my 1986 movie over anything Bay has done. Recognizable characters, solid story telling, a plot with fewer holes and Leonard Nimoy. Oh wait, he was in this too? But I swear I heard a Star Trek line. (Yeah, that was horrible.)
at 11:19 AM