Transformers is not a bad movie. Considering it’s predecessor, a cartoon based on a toy line, it has a pretty meaty plot that gives some credence to the whole idea of sentient, autonomous robots with camouflaging technology that alters their entire physical being.
Transformers 2 was not a good movie but I also won’t go straight to bad. It was clearly hindered by a short production schedule (see my previous article on why I hate this.) combined with the Writers Guild strike that didn’t allow for any rewrites on set or after the date of the strike beginning. But they got some good ideas in and actually fleshed some human characters out some more.
Transformers 3 was a big head scratcher. In the first 5 minutes of the film, it basically unravelled all the character development that number two had managed to build. Sam Witwickey (Shia LaBeouf) was deeply devoted to Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) at the end of number two. And why wouldn’t he be. Thrown together by circumstance, they endured life threatening attacks on them and the proposed annihilation of the entire world. All the while being the human ambassadors to an alien race. They were the only confidants each other had. And they were both attractive. Then comes movie three and Mikaela has left Sam and he has accidentally and miraculously wooed Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whitely), the only Victoria’s Secret model working at the UK embassy.
The problem with this change of romance for Sam is that it’s totally out of character from what we’ve been taught about Sam. (At this point let me say, I know that Megan Fox and director Michael Bay had a falling out that caused her to leave the series.) But Sam is now a whiney, out of work, shell of a person. How would he woo a cereal box?
Originally, my answer was to only watch two of the movies and treat them as the only films in the series. Transformers was a must and then pick, 2 or 3. If you pick 2, the story goes on, the characters develop from where we left them, there is satisfaction in the end of the humans story. If you choose 3, it’s like a grindhouse film that is missing a reel. Something clearly happened in a big way, Sam is no longer with Mikaela and Megatron is reborn and recovering in Africa. Crazy but it’s alien robots hiding on earth fighting over a Rubick’s Cube.
Now they are making Transformers 4. What better time for Michael Bay to suck up his pride and try and prove to the world he’s not a complete dick. Make nice with Megan Fox and center the story around her.
Mikaela, given her mechanical skills and her father’s shady past, was given an assignment by Optimus Prime. She has been searching for another wreckage in the jungles of South America. To keep Sam safe and the government from intercepting and interfering, she broke things off with Sam as a smokescreen. Given that they need to continue to protect Sam and have him accept protection, Optimus and Mikaela agree to reprogram a protoform into Carly, making her both his girlfriend and secret protector. This protoform storyline can be loosely based on that of Sari Sumdac from the Transformers: Animated series. At the end of the film, when all is revealed to Sam, a joke about never consummating their relationship can reduce the gross factor for the audience and let Shia be sweet, pining and goofy all at the same time.
The wreckage that Mikaela is searching for: who cares? Probably Dinobots because they are awesome. But the crux of the first act needs to answer, even retcon, the majority of the third movie. All the while they can be pushing this story forward to include all new humans and all new robots with Mikaela and Prime being the audiences anchor to the new film.
It’s a better bad idea than what they’re probably going to do.