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There’ll Never Be a Good Transformers Movie, Will There?

I think it’s time to accept it, and move on. Yeah, these ‘bots mattered, once. Now I’ve got to let them go.
Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

There are spoilers for the Transformers films in this post, to the extent that you can even really spoil them.

The summer blockbuster season is already upon us, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (seen it, it's fun!) and Alien: Covenant (terrified to see it, in case it totally sucks!) out there, doing the box-office business. And on the horizon: another Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mummy, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, and a fifth instalment in Michael Bay's everything-exploding-all-the-time Transformers series.


I've been monitoring The Last Knight since it was first formally announced in early 2016, regularly searching for news, peeking at every fresh trailer. I've been clinging onto the hope, however faint it is these days, that maybe, just maybe, it won't be another absolute fucking nightmare of incoherent CGI action and phoned-in human performances. Because, come on: Age of Extinction was a deafening cacophony of unmitigated crap.

And now the newest Last Knight trailer has sunk me to my knees with a despairing howl of inevitability. Do you see Bumblebee, there? His arms and legs popping off, dancing around the battlefield like he's a Hero Masher? (Ask your kids, or younger siblings… any very young person.) No, Michael Bay. No. We are through here. I give up.

It's been coming, of course it has. Ever since the thrill of hearing that transformation sound in the first live-action movie, back in 2007, before the Decepticon helicopter Blackout lays waste to a US military base. I've been naïve to think that the army of writers employed on this series—who've apparently got stories enough to fill another 14 films (just put me in the ground already)—could turn it around, but it's time to stop drinking this tainted Kool-Aid. The Last Knight is destined to be garbage. Hot, steaming, now-buy-all-this-merch garbage.

There will always be a place in my heart for the 1986 animated movie—it meant a lot, then, even while I could acknowledge it was just A New Hope with a replacement cast of talking action figures—and my kids have taken a shine to the newer cartoons that show on television and Netflix. (Robots in Disguise is fun, y'know.) But the movies? This abysmal cinematic universe? Dead to me. More dead than Jazz. And you killed Jazz in the first fucking film, you monsters.

So, to the question up for forum discussion: what popular, formerly favorite franchises like Transformers, whatever your close and personal background with them, have you just been broken by, on account of way too much suck coming out of them? That you've had to tell, in the politest way possible: it's not you, it's me, and I'm sorry. Except it is you, Bay, and how the fuck is that even Galvatron? Uh. It will never end, will it?

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