Ladies and gentlemen, these are your Transformers, presented here with a few scraps of commentary from the screenwriters. (Michael Bay couldn’t be there, as busy as he is trying to transform himself from an Entourage punchline into a halfway credible director.)
There’s no geek orthodoxy here: Can we honestly say the Transformers are a beloved and fiercely defended mythology, on par with Tolkien’s Middle-earth or even the Marvel Universe? Absolutely not. And yet, my inner 12-year-old finds himself strangely troubled to learn that Bumblebee, "the same underdog character we always knew and loved," is a friggin’ Camaro. A Camaro? That’s the class rebel or the captain of the football team. Bumblebee is your lab partner. C’mon, guys! Don’t make me organize the world’s saddest boycott. Don’t make me do it. Me Grimlock enough of an arrest-development case already!
But hey, don’t get me wrong. I love screenwriters. I love that they can say, with a straight face, “[malevolent Walther automatic pistol-turned-giant-robot Megatron’s] been portrayed as pure evil but we’re trying to get a little bit behind the evil in this movie. … He has a slightly less idealistic version of what he thinks humanity is worth."
Frenzy? Wasn’t that the little cassette-tape-turned-robo-jackal thingy? And does his presence mean I can pretend that Soundwave’s lurking somewhere in the background? He should’ve grown up into a big shiny iPod by now, but I hope he’s still a tape player. I imagine him as the halfway-annoying hipster-poseur of the Decepticons, still blasting Stan Bush on cassette and waiting for Radio Raheem to come pick him up. Aw jeez, I’m getting all misty over here…
So, one question, is that enough Transformers to have a war?