As a child growing up I used to love the Transformers. I watched the cartoon, had VHS copies of said cartoon, I had the toys and I would read the comics. I’ve grown out of those things now, but Transformers is still something I hold dear to my heart. I remember all these elements of the franchise affectionately, and seen as I’m quite the geek I probably will for many years to come.
Having said that, I find the Michael Bay directed Transformers movies somewhat hit and miss personally. I still enjoy the first movie despite its many faults, the second film has its moments but takes everything a step too far and the third film is just a car crash of a movie with maybe one or two good scenes to its name.
So, with momentum starting to build towards the fourth entry in the franchise, I would like to share with you six things I want to see happen in this movie. Prepare for some true geekiness here.
A focus on character and mythology. The Transformers franchise is deep and features many great layers of both character and mythology, and it’s a shame that the films haven’t capitalised on this. Three films into the series and I’m fairly sure most people will only remember Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. That’s not to say those two aren’t great characters, but it’s literally the tip of the iceberg. There are so many characters to choose from it would put DC and Marvel to shame. Obviously there needs to be a human element to help convey scale and, at times, help progress the story, but the real stars should be the Transformers themselves. What are their motives, how did they pick which side to be on, who created these machines, is there anything out there even bigger than the ones we have already seen? I would like to see these questions answered and even elaborated on, whether they will be is another question entirely.
Stunticons. The Stunticons are a subgroup of Decepticons that even Megatron finds hard to control. They are thought to be psychotic and, in one comic book timeline, put behind bars because they pose too much of a threat to the Transformers society on their home world of Cybertron. In the original cartoon, most of the Decepticons took alternate forms of weapons or military vehicles, but the Stunticons took those of high-powered sports cars, partly so they could be confused as Autobots but also because they suited their reckless nature. The reason I mention the Stunticons, other than them being huge amounts of fun to watch wreak havoc, is that there has been a photo appear online of a truck that appears awfully familiar of their leader Motormaster. He was a truck, similar to Optimus Prime, but with one heck of a bad attitude and held a big grudge against the leader of the Autobots. Did I mention that the five Stunticons also combine to form one huge Transformer known as Menasor? Now that I would pay to see.
Connect the new films properly. With Transformers 4 being set four years after the events of the third film, and using that as a stepping stone to (slightly) reboot the franchise, it would be nice for the creators to actually think about how the new films will link together. One big problem with the first three films was continuity, they don’t tie in together at all, and the events of the first film completely contradict the events of the third. Simple things like actually working out an overlapping storyline and making events matter are quite commonplace in movies these days.
Dinobots. The Dinobots, like the Stunticons, are a subgroup of Transformers, this time affiliated with the Autobots. As their title suggests, their alternate modes are not based on vehicles or weapons, but those of prehistoric dinosaurs. Led by Grimlock, the dinobots are wild and loose and generally play by their own rules, but they are also a fearsome bunch and would be the perfect counterpoint to the Stunticons.
Less shaky cam. Shortly after the first film had been released a friend of mine said that when the Transformers were fighting, it kind of looked like someone was holding a box of bolts up at the camera and then shaking it wildly, and I admit he wasn’t far wrong. At times it is indeed hard to tell what is happening and who is fighting who, but there are also some wonderfully shot action scenes. The forest scene in the second film for example, or the skydiving scene from the third film spring to mind. I would love to have the action scenes be less frantic and blurry though, and I really hope Michael Bay can slow things down a little and let us actually see what is happening for a change.
Galvatron/Unicron. Unicron is something of a constant in the Transformers universe. Having first appeared in the original Transformers animated movie way back in 1986, Unicron aka the chaos bringer, was a planet sized Transformer who devoured worlds and wanted to annihilate the entire Transformer race, it took the Autobots and the Decepticons to effectively team up to stop him. Unicron’s servant was Galvatron, a regenerated Megatron, who in return for a new body had to do his masters bidding. I wouldn’t want Galvatron to be the villain of the fourth film, instead I would prefer him to show up towards the end as the catalyst that brings about Unicron to be used in future films.
So there you have it. A complete and utter Transformers geeks wish list of things I would want to see in the new movie. I doubt many, or indeed any of these will come to pass and we will probably get more of the same from Michael Bay as we have done before. I can but dream though.