A Closer Look at Transformers
So…here’s a look at the origins of the movie Transformers and some of my thoughts on them.
Optimus Prime – In my opinion the best adaptation from toy/comic/cartoon to movie out of all of the Transformers represented. Optimus has all of the classic elements while still being modern. Getting Peter Cullen to do the voice was a great plus.
Bumblebee – A lot of fans have issues with Bumblebee being a Camaro instead of a VW Bug, which I can understand…if you are gay.
Jazz – Only issue here is that Jazz is supposed to be a Porsche, but the same thing that kept Bumblebee away from being a bug applies here. It would have been badass if they could have gotten a Scatman Crothers impersonator to do the voice, though.
Ironhide – Although he’s longer a lame red van, Ironhide was probably never anyone’s favorite character and probably still isn’t. He gets the job done though.
Ratchet – The original Ratchet figure was actually just a repaint of the original Ironhide figure. He was an ambulance instead of a hummer. A pick-up and a Hummer are so way cooler than a red van and an ambulance so I’m all for these two updates.
Megatron – I totally agree with Noel’s argument against the Transformers having their own personal negative universe space or whatever so Megatron not being a gun is totally fine with me (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up. It’s essentially a theory that someone made up to explain things like how Megatron can change sizes when he transformers and where Optimus Prime’s trailer goes). In fact, there was a Megatron who was a jet in 1997 (Machine Wars line) so it’s not really a stretch. When you think about it, transforming into a gun is pretty lame, especially if you are by yourself. The only negative thing I have to say about Megatron is that he really in no way whatsoever bears any resemblance to the original Megatron. But hey, no big deal.
Starscream – Pretty fucking cool. They even through in the Megatron/Starscream relationship. He looks a little top-heavy in robot form but still cool. He’s always been a smart-ass jet who didn’t get along with Megatron and still is.
Barricade – Barricade is a very minor character in the comics and toy line and was never a police car. The only thing he had going for him was a cool name so the designers took that and made a cool Transformer around it. To long-time Transformers fans it’s a bit odd that the police car falls on the side of the Decepticons. It actually makes more sense though, as the Decepticons can use him to fake-out stupid humans.
Frenzy – Probably the worst part of the movie for me. Frenzy was super annoying and other than transforming didn’t really recall or even resemble any Transformer I’ve ever seen. Originally, Frenzy transformed into a cassette tape that came out of a really big boom box called Soundwave who I’m guessing will be out of the question in future sequels. I’m just glad they didn’t label this character as Soundwave. That would have been an insult.
Bonecrusher – Bonecrusher was originally a bulldozer so I’m glad they kept the construction theme. He was also a bison in 1997.
Blackout – The original Blackout character was half of a duo that combined to make some sort of anti-aircraft base. In 2005 though, he was a helicopter that looked a lot like the movie character AND was commanded by the 2005 version of Barricade.
Scorponok – Scorponok dates all the way back to 1987 and was a giant scorpion as he is now. Here’s a cheap laugh…he was a Headmaster.
Devastator (Brawl) – Apparently in the movie he’s Devastator…but was renamed Brawl…but was renamed Devastator. Brawl was a tank but was really little and was a part of a really big Decepticon. Devastator was really big but was a combination of a bunch of little Decepticons. So, he doesn’t really matter what his name is, he’s just a really big robot that changes into a tank.
So, as you can see, for the most part the movie Transformers are a mish-mash of old characters from many different time periods. The thing about Transformers though is that the names have been used so many times and the characters have been so many different things that it doesn’t matter. Megatron alone has been a pistol, a tank, a car, a jet, a dinosaur, a dragon, and an alligator. Sure, they could have stuck to using Generation One only characters but then we’d be left with Megatron turning into a pistol and no Scorponok. Overall, I think an awesome job was done updating the characters for the big screen so thumbs up from me.
As for whom I’d like to see in the sequel…
1. Astrotrain – Decepticon who turns into a train…and a spaceship!
2. Predacons - A bunch of animal based Decepticons who combine to form the ginormous PREDAKING!
3. Jetfire – A cool Autobot who looks like a Robotech mech.
4. Mirage – A race car that can turn invisible.
5. Unicron – duh.
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