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So Excited About Transformers: Age of Extinction

Me Grimlock KING

This weekend the wait is finally over. I have been in metaphysical agony since Pacific Rim awaiting more giant robot smashing entertainment. Sure, the new X-Men film had a few nice bits of metal boxing, but it wasn’t the main focus. I almost choked on my popcorn and lungs when the trailer for Age of Extinction first appeared at the cinema. I haven’t actually seen it yet, in part due to the initial asphyxia and subsequently because I put my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and chant the Transformers theme tune until it ends. Tell you what though, it’s got tonnes of bass – this film’s going to be awesome!

Me Grimlock My Little Pony

My excitement has only grown from catching glimpses of news and pictures of the new film. Dinobots? Yes. Oh yes. The giant standee in our local Cineworld of Grimlock bellowing in rage at Optimus Prime’s decision to ride him into battle made my knees go weak. The Dinobots have always been huge fan favourites, even when portrayed as educationally subnormal in the original cartoon series. Mostly, comics have avoided making the same mistake. I don’t know which of his chums are also in the film, though I hear they’ve renamed Slag to Slug. That makes no sense, especially for a film series that’s already had gross racial stereotypes with appalling names: Skids and Mudflaps (to their credit, Skids is a proper G1 character, but he wasn’t the arse end of an ice cream van). The latest IDW comic Dark Cybertron explains the name change as Arcee (the lady-bot) having pointed out its offensive connotations.

Feminism, humanity or even the basic characterisation of any human character is unlikely to arise in this latest Baysploitation epic. At nearly two and a half hours long this stands a good chance of establishing entirely cardboard stereotypes who will be crushed by huge transforming robot shooting and punching action. I don’t even want people in a Transformers story (even improbably spined pouting people) – make the ‘bots good enough and with enough personality and no one will care about the fleshlings anyway. Bay makes massive, explodery, terrible films… but Grimlock… Transformers… these I love more than any narrative failings.

It’s going to be brilliant.



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