Movies, Toys

Jealous of G.I.Joe’s Wretchedness, the Transformers Movie Tries to Catch Up

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Meet Wheelie. The R/C car transformer. Who speaks like Clamps from Futurama, who himself spoke like a thug from the ’40s Looney Tunes cartoons. Except Wheelie is constantly talking and mutering to himself, as if he was a parody of Joe Pesci’s criminal from Home Alone.

His awfulness knows no bounds.

Now I know the idea of giant transforming robots from space isn’t the most serious idea, people. By why of god’s green earth is Michael Bay going out of his way to make it goofier? Why does he keep lowering the bar? 

The folks who give me shit about wailing on the awfulness of the G.I. Joe and Transformers movies because the ’80s cartoons were themselves goofy are missing the point. Yes, we know there were episodes where Soundwave took over a disco. But there were enough good episodes and enough basic awesomenesss that we stayed fans of these series more than two decades later. I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable for fans to want the movies of our favorite childhood franchises to show the good parts of those franchises. We’re older now. We understand that robots from space likely don’t and probably shouldn’t have silly voices. We know that what seemed goofy in the ’80s cartoon as kids will seem incredibly stupid and insultingly retarded in a live-action movie.

So why doesn’t Michael Bay know this?

And one last thing: In the iincredibly scant TF mythology generated by the first movie, the Autobots learned to talk through radio signals (except Bumblee, who was retarded). The fact that Jazz was inexplicably black was odd enough. How can you possibly justify an alien robot who not just speaks, but actual is, a shitty Joe Pesci impersonation? You can’t. You just film a lot of explosion and not give a shit. Fuckfucker.

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.