|The Transformers movie
||[Mar. 29th, 2007|04:54 am]
I really want to give the upcoming Transformers movie a chance. I think people are dismissing it prematurely, saying "it's gonna suck", etc. To be perfectly honest, though, I'm not one of those geeks with a huge emotional investment in the Transformers franchise; it was just another of the many (in retrospect, mostly really shitty) cartoons I watched as a kid. I had the Optimus Prime, Jazz, and some other jet guy from the Decepticons (not Starscream, somebody else) toys. We were a poor family; the practice of conspicuous consumption by proxy (our parents) to which many of us 80s children had been accustomed (especially in rich-prick suburban districts like Ridgefield, Connecticut) was not really an option for me.|
So no, I really can't afford to shed many tears over the fact that Optimus Prime is not a cab-over-engine semi in this new movie, and that Bumblebee won't talk and will be a Camaro instead of a Volkswagen, etc. I take it in the same spirit as the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises. I mean the general consensus is that those movies were fucking awesome. No one except hard-core, basement-dwelling nerds really complains that Wolverine is really short in the comics and really tall in the movies; Hugh Jackman is fucking badass and plays the part perfectly.
Granted, it's possible to completely fuck something up. Aeon Flux for instance. I think Peter Chung is kind of a prick and I have mixed feelings about his style. He was one of the originators of what I like to call the "glossturbing" trend that all the emo punk goth kids these days seem to like. Sin City and the videogame Killer 7 fall into the same category. My feelings on Aeon Flux the work are perhaps best reflected in my feelings on the character herself: I never found her sexy. I found her ugly, but it was an ugly that was sort of purposeful. And many of the glossturbing aspects of Aeon Flux worked in a way that was really cool, from a science fiction geek's standpoint.
Along comes the live-action movie, which factored the disturbing parts out of glossturbing, leaving only gloss. A completely vague, undirected, but shiny ricecake of a film with all the weighty juicy bits left in the trash bin.
Transformers doesn't have a big enough concept to be ruined in precisely this way. It's good bots vs. bad bots, and as long as they transform into vehicles and blow shit up with their laser cannons, people are going to pack into the theaters and genuinely enjoy this movie, provided of course that they're not the type who spend four hours each day meticulously polishing their G1 vintage Starscream figure.