How the first in the franchise got it right



When transformers Opened in 2007, it was the ultimate in fan service. The toy and animated series enchanted preschoolers (and, let’s be honest, a lot of adults too), and the opportunity to see Transformers in live action couldn’t be missed. The timing was perfect: the 1980s began to be viewed more positively; geek culture took off, with the debut of The big Bang Theory his call to arms; and Lord of the Rings trilogy is a stunning example of what can be done with CGI these days. The film itself accepted and embraced its story without a cynical, sardonic turn. It delivered a CGI spectacle that literally brought to life the toys of moviegoers’ youth. It was big, it was bombastic and it had heart.


The premise of the film is simple. Cybertron was the battlefield between two groups of sentient, giant robots: Autobots versus Decepticons. Both factions searched for the All Spark, the source of Cybertronian life. The Autobots led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), wanted to use it for charity, rebuild Cybertron, and enter a time of peace. The Decepticons led by Megatron (Hugo Weben), wanted it so they could destroy the Autobots and conquer the universe.

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The All Spark is located on Earth in the late 19th century by Megatron, who lands with the All Spark at the Arctic Circle, where it is frozen. In modern times, Decepticons land on Earth, take the form of earth vehicles, and begin their quest to find Megatron. Autobot Bumblebee (Markus Ryan) is also on Earth, disguised as Sam Witwickys (Shia LaBeouf) 1976 Chevrolet Camaro and sends a homing beacon to his fellow Autobots, who soon land on Earth, also masquerading as different vehicles. The battle continues on Earth, and with the help of Witwicky and the Air Force, the Autobots defeat the Decepticons. In the process, the All Spark is destroyed, and as a result, Optimus sends a signal to all other Autobot survivors to come to their welcoming new home, Earth.

In a nutshell: good versus evil at a MacGuffin, good wins, and Witwicky gets the girl Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox).

transformers would never win big prizes, but it was never meant to be. Aside from a plot device with All Spark and Megatron’s coordinates printed on Witwicky’s ancestor’s goggles, there’s not much of a reveal about how human history is inextricably linked to Cybertron (at least not yet… we’ll get to that). ). Huge robots fought on another planet, now they fight on ours. End of the story. The animation that brought the Transformers to life was amazingly detailed, with cogs and wheels spinning and spinning to make the transformation not only realistic but plausible. They brought back the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, from the original animated series, a move that was highly praised by the fan base. Small changes to the source material worked overall, as Megatron historically transformed into a Walther P38 pistol (various sizes depending on what the story called for) but transformed into a Cybertronian jet in the film (a conscious decision by the director Michael Bay to avoid resizing, comparable to Darth Vader turning into his own lightsaber wielded by someone else). The very definition of giving people what they want.

The film’s success made a sequel inevitable, and when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Arrived in 2009, the critical response across the board was pretty much the same: not good. The reassuring simplicity of the first film was lost immediately, bringing in a storyline about how the Primes (original Autobots) lived in 17,000 BC. A Prime ignored this vow and placed a Sun Harvester on Earth, but was caught and imprisoned by the remaining Primes on Earth, becoming the original Decepticon. The dead soldiers (Tony Todd). Now in the present, Sam Witwicky sees Cybertronian symbols from holding a small piece of the All Spark, making him the target of a revived Megatron. The unnecessary backstory of a pre-existing connection between Earth and Cybertron, the ridiculousness of Witwicky being overcome by visions of symbols, the Pyramids of Giza, home of the Sun Harvester, and a large Decepticon with testicles all adding to the film’s poor reviews became. transformers was ridiculous, but at least it was playing in its own pre-existing sandbox.

The franchise would continue to try to create a story between Earth and Cybertron as if to justify its existence rather than allowing Earth to simply be sanctuary. Transformers: Dark of the Moon linked the 1969 moon landings to the franchise, a reconnaissance mission of a Cybertronian spacecraft that crashed on the dark side of the moon. Witwicky had a new girlfriend, Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington Whiteley) who didn’t deserve an emotional investment. Optimus Prime was a far cry from the noble warrior of the previous films, as he had developed an evil side that had no problem decapitating Megatron, for example. But at least the Autobots and humans were still working together. Transformers: Age of Extinction took that relationship and cast it aside, claiming that the humans now viewed the Autobots as hostile, severed all working relationships with them, and made them fugitives to be hunted and killed by a CIA black ops division. Transformers: The Last Knight the Autobots are not only kept on the run, but are now being hunted down by an international task force. It was the franchise’s dumbest attempt at sharing history, tying King Arthur and Merlin to the Transformers, among humanity and protected by the Order of the Witwiccan for centuries. It was the final slap in the face for a franchise that once hailed the Autobots as heroes and friends of humanity as they should be.

It wasn’t until 2018 bumblebee that confidence in the right to vote would be restored. A critical and financial success, bumblebee brought the heart back to the franchise by taking the ridiculous story and heartless action of a simpler tale of a good Autobot, Bumblebee (Dylan o’brien -> actor), his warm relationship with an 18-year-old girl, Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) and his fight against two evil Decepticons who have arrived on Earth – and arguably the best line from all the films in the franchise: “They literally call themselves Decepticons. Doesn’t that raise red flags?” by Agent Burns (John Cena).

A franchise that seemed lifeless finds success and a brighter future by going back 15 years transformers and keeps his promise.

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