In 2007 Michael Bay decided to take a crowbar to my childhood. It was a brave choice, and I salute him for so thoroughly destroying a cartoon that I'd enjoyed previously. I've moved on since then. Seen some good movies, had a few laughs. However, as we get closer to the second version (due out in late June of 2009), I want to offer one bit of constructive criticism. Maybe Bay and I can still salvage this thing. My idea might require reshoots and/or CGI inserts. Megan Fox might have to be called back from whatever photo shoot they've got her locked up in. But it will be worth it.
I want Dinobots. Mechanical dinosaurs. Put them in the movie. My logic is as simple as it is irrefutable ... but we'll get to that in a second.
The real problem with the 2007 version was that it was serious about things it shouldn't have been serious about (human relationships) and totally dismissive of the things it should have taken way more seriously (the robots). Why were the T-Formers sneaking around someone's lawn? They are giant mechanical robots. If someone's parents discover them, they can just speed off. Or destroy the whole place with missiles. Or whatever. Then we were evidently supposed to care about whether Shia and Megan made a love connection. Ugh.
Now look, I realize that whole entire idea of mechanical robots who transform isn't exactly high level literature. There's a certain level of silliness that comes with the project. But when I was a kid I guarantee you I wasn't giggling at myself as I played with Megatron. I was figuring out if I could possibly rob a 7-11 with him. I had menace in my eyes, like every ten-year-old kid I knew -- playing with toys was fun -- but only because it was serious. This is where the fights came in, where you'd argue with your little brother about why Optimus Prime couldn't possibly win a fight with Devastator. We were preparing for later in life, when we'd need to play the game of "life." We played with the toys because they were cool. We never argued about whether or not a really hot girl would need a ride from Bumblebee.
So then, back to my original premise. The Dinobots. They are the most obvious and strikingly ridiculous thing the original Transformers series had to offer. It makes no sense that a mechanical robot would transform into a dinosaur. The whole premise of the Transformers was the clandestine war they waged that sometimes embroiled humans. But by and large they were trying to fit in, to pass as cars and trucks.
Well, except for Megatron. He was a giant gun which wouldn't have gone unnoticed in most municipalities. That was another terrible change the film made. If Megatron is so bad-ass then make him a GIANT GUN! Ugh for the second time.
But how in Sam hell would a giant Brontosaurus fit in? Would humans come across it and think "well, hey now, there's a living dinosaur." It would be like me dressing as a pumpkin to avoid being carved for Halloween. A dinosaur would definitely stick out, no matter where the discovery was made. They were Transformers who violated the central premise of being a Transformer -- the ability to cloak all that powerful robot goodness in mechanical camouflage.
So I say we throw the Dinobots in to the story just like the show did so many years ago. It would make the whole thing silly, which Bay would love, but it would also be oddly counter-culture cool. All in one subversive act. I'll put up with another 30 minutes of humans if you give me 10 minutes of completely insane Dinobots. You'd be giving a shout-out to the real fans who wanted to see a giant mechanical T-Rex as well as the people who just want a big dumb action movie. And the intellectuals out there would have all sorts of fun with it. If Michael Bay accepts the absurdity of the situation he's placed this franchise in (depending on the humans) then Dinobots are the only true way out. It will place the emphasis back on the T-Formers while keeping the kid appeal. There is no loser in this equation. It's genius, right?
I think this is a fair deal. Let's do this thing. Bay has a zillion dollar budget. Throw a few bucks at the evolutionary fictional robots.