I have an extremely visceral reaction to Michael Bay and Transformers being in the same sentence. You may see those two things and see a director known for making ludicrously overblown films and a franchise based on toys from the 1980s. I see those two things and see a creepy uncle molesting my childhood. Too much? Hmm, no, no that’s pretty much how I feel about his treatment of my beloved Transformers.
I will say this: I had issues with the first film, but I thought it was a good start and there are some awesome moments. The second film is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Had I not been in the midst of a tight theater hopping movie day (do not judge the fiscally challenged), I’d have left either when the mom got high and started running around campus, or when the still inexplicable Terminatrix transformer co-ed bopped into the film, or during any one of the “Michael Bay Makes Fun of African-Americans By Making Them Robots” side shows, or maybe when they took down the Decepticon climbing the pyramids by shooting him in his ROBOT SCROTUM!!!!! Gimme a second…I have a Xanax here somewhere….alright, sorry, but COME ON! The third film I didn’t see in the theater, but it was on Netflix or something and I tried it in a fit of boredom or self-loathing and got so bored I only made it through an hour, so that was an improvement.
I say all that to say this: any coverage of the upcoming Transformers 4 is going to be somewhat sparse and may be tinged by sarcasm and geek rage that even I usually keep in check. But y’all kept going to these, so they’re making more. Michael Bay is being cagey with the “plot” (plot in a Michael Bay film requiring quotations by Federal law), but the cast is being rebooted and the robots are being redesigned and here are the first looks at Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. The buzz is they’re going to use Unicron, who was the villain in the 1986 animated film which is the height of Transformers awesomeness (I love mentioning to my wife that Orson Welles voiced Unicron as it seems to elicit primal ape rage). So here are the new designs and you will no doubt go see creepy Uncle Michael Bay touch my childhood memories in their special places come next summer. Yes, I know I should probably take another Xanax, but ROBOT SCROTUM (muttering sound as I locate my darts and begin my Michael Bay dartboard stress therapy session)!