Transformers 4: New Trailer (and they're from Japan, you know)
Could ‘Extinction’ be Redemption?
The first live-action Transformers movie, released in 2007, was a test. See, the toys and animated shows had never really gone away, but the popularity they enjoyed among children in the 80s and early 90s was long faded by the time Michael Bay brought his helicopters and ‘splosions to bear. The big question was whether or not nostalgia + badass giant robots + the aforementioned helicopters and ‘splosions + Megan Fox in a bra and hotpants would = success and start a franchise.
Well, the water was warm, pun-intended purchase was found, and while it wasn’t exactly awesome, the first movie didn’t wholly suck. It had its moments, the Transformers actually transformed in a realistic way, it was… good enough that we’d most probably pay to see a sequel.
Now, the second film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is currently facing charges under International Criminal Court case #45893-587BBQ-2009 for crimes against the psyche of all sentient beings in the universe. It was an abomination, but it still made a load of cash and actually added momentum.
The third, 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, fiercely aware of the steaming pile of sautéed jalapeno hippo flop from which it had to drag the franchise, shamed the second movie, and was actually a bit better than, though not a huge improvement over the first.
To its discredit, it was the biggest waste of Leonard Nimoy since he got duped into believing he could actually reunite Romulus and Vulcan (nail down that dorkiness in the comments and we’ll send you a SEIDIO iPhone 5 case). To its credit, Dark of the Moon did manage to shave off some of the developmentally disabled slapstick that stunk up the second film. However, still going strong were the franchise’s meaningless Velveeta melodrama and ham-armed attempts at force-feeding us one-dimensional, paper-thin placeholders...errr, characters. And Shiyai LaBeowoofwicky had become like... ten kinds of ineffectual, annoying meh.
Number four, Transformers: Age of Extinction, to be released in June, just might end up being a good movie. There’s the wisdom of time to hope for, there are Dinobots in the trailer (is that Grimlock up above?), and it’s starring the well known, well liked, and very capable Mark Wahlberg. But, this new trailer is also a harbinger. It doesn’t reveal much, but it also kinda reveals everything: yet another phoenix rising, a don’t mess with daddy’s little girl plot device, eeeeevil government newbs, and this time, the scary monsters - they really mean it - THIS TIME it’s really super serious, guys. Because extinction and stuff.
It’s a sociological truism that complex organizations and/or systems cannot be rapidly altered without being fundamentally damaged, and the Transformers franchise has become a big-ass money making and marketing machine; deviation from formula, which might break the system, is highly unlikely.
No matter, if Bay and company just sprinkle on some helicopters, ‘splosions, and (almost) naked humans... yeah - we'll pay.
Japanese Origins Addendum (respect your robo-roots)
We’re just going to go ahead and quote ourselves on this one by reiterating that Transformers as we know them...
“...originated from Takara Tomy's Microman (1974) and Diaclone (1980) lines. In 1984, Takara Tomy hooked up with the American Hasbro, spawned forth the Transformers, and in very short order the "Robots in Disguise" populated comics, cartoons, and toy stores, and thereby crawled into the psyche of mostly young boys & not so many girls around the world. In truth, just about every post-1975 robot toy sold outside of Japan owes something of a debt to Takara Tomy.”
Via: Japanese Robots: Humble Thumbwar gets Robotic Japanification from Takara Tomy
Okay that’s it, now go watch the sexy trailer. And, in addition to the roots, respect yourself and turn it up to 1080p.
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IMAGES: Paramount Pictures