I know the title can be a bit controversial with you lot, as you are hard-core G1 fans. But hear me out before you shoot me, OK? I grew up in the 80s and 90s, like some of you. But I don’t have as many fond memories from the Transformers cartoons. The reality is, I was way more into Athena no Seinto and Robotech than I was into Transformers. I did watch a few episodes here and there, and that’s why when I saw the first Michael Bay Transformers movie, I did not cry “THIS IS AWFUL”. I honestly liked it. The whole moral stuff and character development from the cartoons passed me by when I was young, so the fact that they were not present in the films didn’t bother me. A bonus is that I own the film on YouTube thanks to one of their online promos they did a few years ago when they gave it away for free.
“I wouldn’t even want it for free!”, I hear you say. And I get it. I really do. I’ve seen live-action adaptations of stuff I loved from other media that ripped the heart right out of what the source material wanted to do (I’m looking at you, Dragonball: Evolution). So, if you say “Michael Bay set Transformers on fire and we should get G1 films from people who care!”, I hear you. I believe you.
But the fact is, I’m not the only one who likes them: US$ 4.4 billion dollars in revenue on a $972 million-dollar budget (franchise total) tells me so. International markets in particular (that is to say, other than the US and the UK) are dying to see Michael Bay fast-panning Transformers action. Age of Extinction alone brought in almost US$ 1 Billion form international markets (and over that cool US$ 1 billion if we count North America, too). Sure, The Last Knight “only” brought in US$ 640 million, but that is as much as MCU’s Dr. Strange, or Iron Man 2!
Do I wish we had better scripts? Yes! Less LeBouf? Hell, yes! But at the end of the day, I go into a Transformers movie to see action and eat popcorn. I know I am in the very, very visible (but paying) minority on this site, but I get my existential kicks from places other than films about robots (well, other than Chappie which kicked my heart and brain into outer space).
So, before I go, I leave you with this: if you, like me, love a franchise (in this case Transformers) and hate seeing it go to ruin, don’t go to the movies. Speak with your wallet. But please, don’t attack the people involved in the films. You may not like Mark Whalberg or his character in the franchise, but I’ll leave you with this, just in case I can change your mind: