Slime Rating: ***1/2
Note: This review contains language that may be unsuitable for everyone. If I were to rate it, I would give it an R.Cast List
Not exactly the entire cast but most of the major players. I'm sure I missed a few but who knows, I may add more as I get time...
Let me just say that I both love and hate this movie for various reasons, but it's about time it gets a ribbing. Things I've Learned from this Movie
Giant robotic planet-eating machines can sneak up on planets with ease.
Whenever confronted by a hostile situation, just repeat, "ba weep graw weep ninni baw" or something like that.
Giant robot planets really really hate the Matrix trilogy
Cybertron has (well...had) two moonsNotable Quotes
Springer: "I've got better things to do today than die"
Megatron: "you're an idiot, Starscream"
Megatron: "Constructicons, merge for the kill!"
Prime: "One shall stand; one shall fall"
Prime: "I thought you were made of sterner stuff?"
Starscream: "I nominate myself as the new Decepticon leader!"
Soundwave: "Soundwave superior; Constructicons inferior!"
Hotrod: "'till all are one"General Observations
Well this was the big climax in the world of the Transformers during the big boom of the 80s. After pretty much wiping out the competition of the knock-offs (the Gobot losers) on a daily basis for after school cartoon domination, they retained the championship of the robot wars. Well, after two seasons, and a plethora of new toys …I mean characters, they decided to hit the big screen…and make some totally nonsensical decisions in the process, especially as far as characters go.
The characters and toys we got to know over the last year or more were suddenly gone, destroyed, or just faded out, and replaced by a horde of new guys (and a gal) we were supposed to just like-at-first-sight. Um…ok. Evidently certain toys of the die-cast construction era weren’t selling so well anymore, and the “company” decided to change things up pretty drastically, and shift the focus from Earth to Space, and shift from die-cast to plastic construction.
This movie was the turning point for the change in conflict as well as the 2 seasons before the movie focused on the battle between the Autobots (taking the form of Earth cars and trucks) vs the Decepticons (mostly jets or other miscellaneous devices); the season after the movie changed focus to Autobots vs. aliens as the Decepticons became more of a nuisance than a threat.
From their beginnings over the course of the series, each faction grew to include stranger and stranger transformers in order to sell more toys, including animals like dinosaurs and insects, to radically different concepts like futuristic cars, futuristic jets, to their eventual fall from grace, transformers who didn’t even transform (pretenders!).
Well, things came to a head in this movie. They decided it was time to clear out the dead weight, which was both a blessing and a bane. We got to see the demise of some rather not-well-selling toys…I mean characters such as Brawn, Prowl, Iron Hide and Ratchet on the Autobot side, and a few insecticons and the older jets on the Decepticon side, with the rest just kind of fading out, even the most popular ones. This wasn’t a total bad decision in every case, but the retarded robots they decided to keep were total b-team. I mean, did Percepter really sell that well? Bumble Bee got to stay around (although shoved to the back)?
Not to mention, we had new b-team members shoved in our face: Arcee? The green triple-changer who I rarely remember transforming in the movie…Wheelie, Hot Rod, the ever annoying Blurr, and Kup, the guy booked as a badass vet but of course, we’ve never seen him before. Grimlock was originally booked as a badass who rivaled Prime, but now he’s just comic relief. What a shame.
But of course, the worst sins of this whole movie is the change in leadership of both factions. The Decepticons supposedly had the same leader but with a new body, however his personality was totally different. Damn I missed the original Megatron, but at least Galvatron could fire on his own I guess. No, by far the worse blunder they could have imagined was killing off Prime, everyone’s favorite hero and the robot most likely selling the most toys. Everyone loved Prime. By the time they brought him back in the series, ages later, it was far too late to undo the damage they had done. Prime was replaced by a few temporary leaders who didn’t know s**t, but they finally settled on a new guy that, again, we had little knowledge about, so it was hard to get attached. Had they used one of the Autobots who was an actual vet, perhaps we would have bought it.
And what about all the other missing robots? They just didn’t show up for the big war? Powerglide, Sideswipe, Tailgate, Hoist, Mirage, the ariel-bots, the protectabots, and other gestalts –where were they? Did Omega Supreme, the difference maker just say “f**k ‘em” and turned off his com? Where the hell was Skyfire?
At least they learned a thing or two by the time the Beast Wars series came out: gradually kill characters off and gradually bring them in so viewers actually get to know the characters.Story Background
The series started out original enough: Robot warriors from their home world of Cybertron ran out of energy so they searched the galaxy for energon. They fought each other in giant star ships and crash landed into Earth. They lay dormant for millions of years in a volcano (although humans never noticed the ship sticking outside of the mountain). One day one of the Decepticons woke up and reawakened the rest of his comrades.
The ship’s computer does some scans and gives each of them a new Earth-like form to transform into, as for some reason, they need it as a disguise. Instead of wasting the dormant autobots and ending the series before it begins, they leave, looking for their crashed ship, hidden in the sea. The Autobots come to eventually and they duke it out on Earth for two seasons, usually over energon. Sure they both added some heavies to sell more toys…I mean to add more personalities to their armies.
The Autobots recruited some dumb but strong Dinosaur transformers and a group of jets, as they had a clear disadvantage being grounded. The Decepticons recruited some insect bots and a group of cars, so they could frame the Autobots for speeding or something. They both recruited a few gestalts, or groups of 5 similar robots who merged to make one big one. Autobots had the Ariel bots to war with the Decepticons’ Stuntacons. Starscream rebelled at one time, creating his own group of military vehicles who merged into Bruticus, who at one time beat Devastator’s ass, until the Stuntacons showed up. Of course, almost none of these gestalts heavies showed up for the big war, but evidently the writers figured the kid audience wouldn’t notice.Good
Unicron, the planet destroyer
Prime going Rambo on the Decepticon army
Prime vs Megatron: Live on Pay Per View! –the big showdown we’ve been waiting for –kick ass
Autobot house-cleaning: ridding of the dead weight autobot
Soundwave verbally putting down the constructicons
Dinobots vs Devastator
Spike’s minimal appearance
Casseticon wars (but they do fight to the backstage area out of view)Bad
Daniel, Spike’s Bastard Son
The ever annoying Blurr
Prime f**king dies?
Not getting to witness the battle royal to determine new Decepticon leadership
No Blaster vs. Soundwave?!
Devastator throwing some walls around
Starscream blasting off his own foot but forgetting that little fact in the following scenes.
Megatron conversion to Galvatron
Good decepticon personalities transformed into Sweeps clones
The two cybertronian moons no one ever noticed before
The Autobot matrix never mentioned before
Unicron sneaking up on some transformer planet we don’t care about
The absence of nearly all of the old school transformers after Starscream bites itUgly
Kickback (Insecticon) getting his face ran over by Kup and Hotrod –ouch!
Starscream’s short-lived command of the Decepticon and his immediate demise
The soundtrack “you’ve got the touch!”
Grimlock as comic relief
Junkions and their “great” quotations
Quentisons –five heads of retardation
Ultra Magnus Leadership Policies
Devastator no-selling a couple massive shells to the head
Unicron no-selling an exploding moon in his mouth!Movie Recap
- intro moments
We open with some transformer planet we don’t know or care about. Suddenly a giant planet destroyer “sneaks up” on it and devours it whole. Then the Star Wars-esque scrolling begins, explaining what’s happened up to this point.
Next we notice Laserbeak eavesdropping on Prime’s plan to send Iron Hide to Earth from one of the never-before-seen moons of Cybertron to deliver some energon. This sequence is just a set up for a thinning-of-the-roster we get to witness pretty soon.Thinning of the Has-Beens
Prime sends Ironhide and his old friends (the ones who coincidentally aren’t selling toys) on a secret shuttle mission to Autobot city but thanks to Laserbeak, Megs gets the scoop. Megs makes a dig at Starscream because Laserbeak never fails unlike his other troops and plans accordingly to this new recon information.
Megs, Starscream, and a couple Constructicons hijack the shuttle en route and get the jump on the old school Autobots. Megs does the obligatory transformation into gun mode and Starscream fires him, ripping into Brawn and he drops like a fly –funny no one ever died that fast in the show. A Constructicon gets a nasty shot in on Prowl and he drops, overselling his injury with smoke rolling out of his face. That constructicon should watch trying to outdo Megs like that. That was some terrible strategy for the two old bots running face first into Megatron gunfire. Guess they deserved it then.
Ironhide and Ratchet at least take some cover, but since their toys don’t sell for s**t (and how could they – do you remember how lame they were? there face was a windshield with a sticker on it for cryin’ out loud!) they go down with just a few shots…and no retaliation.
See, I know some kids were watching and rather devastated (no pun intended) at watching some Autobots die, but it was rather gratifying for me. The only thing I didn’t care for was they couldn’t do any damage in retaliation before going down – a total squash match. Oh, and let’s not forget the “rockin” tune playing in the background as the autochumps get theirs.
Starscream whines about Meg’s strategy while he clearly doesn’t understand it – whiney and cowardly as usual …this is not the Starscream from the comics…but I digress. Ironhide pulls the “I’m not actually dead yet” and gropes Megatron’s leg like a groupie and Megs does the right thing and blasts him with his shoulder cannon at point blank range.Battle for AutoChump City
Meanwhile…some transformer named Hotrod, whom we’ve never met before is fishing with Daniel, also whom we’ve never met before. Apparently Daniel is Spike’s bastard son as his mother is nowhere to be found – must be cashing in on the kid element. They head up the mountain to watch the shuttle land, while passing Kup, another transformer we’ve never met before. Damn…a lot of new faces all the sudden. Daniel looks through a scope and notices a hole in the shuttle and wouldn’t ya know, f**kstick Starscream is standing right in front of it in plain sight!
Hotrod checks it out with his autoscope and starts firing, confusing old vet Kup and suddenly Megs yells, “Decepticons attack!” and we see Decepticons emerge from all over. I don’t remember them all being onboard but oh well. Blitzwing jumps down and goes into tank mode, shoots some earth out from under Hotrod, gets ready for a deathblow, but then the vet, Kup, interferes. They transform and head back to Autobot city before it transforms.
Some B-team members inside gather up and transform the city. Starscream chases a few but flies too low so he gets his foot caught in some transforming metal …he has to shoot his own foot to escape –what a metaphor for Starscream…too bad he forgets about the injury in the next scene.
Ultra Magnus orders Perceptor to tell Blaster to radio Prime so he does. Megs gets wind of this and sends Soundwave to intercept. Soundwaves ejects all his cassetticon robots and they attack the radio tower but not before the transmission is sent. Percepter, being the wuss bag that he is, starts getting an arse-beating by these smaller robots until Blaster releases his own cassettes. They all fight each other to the backstage area and we the audience are disappointed because we don’t get to see Blaster vs Soundwave after all.
Megs orders the Insecticons to munch the doors down but that plan ends up not working out too well when Kup and Hotrod run their faces over, ramping them into the city. Megs has had enough so he orders the Constructicons to merge into Devastator. Devs starts smashing the wall and Springer, the green triple changer who doesn’t transform (I don’t remember it in the movie anyway) launches a couple shells at Devs but they have no effect. Devs tosses a chunk of wall at the gun turret.
We see all sorts of laser fire and flash shots of dead Autobots that we never got to see actually fight. We gather that several Autobots die and several Decepticons get injured, but we’re not for sure since we haven’t glimpsed several from each side. I gather a few are hanging in the Autobot arc (Powerglifde, Mirage, Hoist, Sideswipe, Seaspray, Cosmo, Tailgate, Sunstreaker, Omega Supreme, etc.,) and some of the Decepticons must be hanging at the underwater base (Nemisis ship?): the Combaticons, the Stuntacons, etc.). Well, the war seems like it’s over as the autobot city starts smoking. Megs rallies the troops, “their defenses have been breached!”Prime Goes Rambo
But all the sudden, Prime’s ship, loaded with reinforcements arrives on the scene. Prime’s no dumbass; he keeps heavies like the dinobots with him for security. He orders them to destroy Devastator…and this is a fight they love. Guess Prime forgot to radio the big gun, speaking mainly of Omega Supreme, the difference maker.
Devs gives incoming Grimlock a kick to the face, then powerbombs Sludge, but then takes a spear to the gut from Snarl just before dropping some wall onto Swoop. Then we cut back to Prime hulking up like Hogan, transforms into the big rig, and runs over a large group of Decepticons we may or may not have noticed before. He does all this to one rockin’ tune, “you got the touch…you got the power…yeah!!!” – he plows Thrust, Dirge, an insecticon (I think), and a few others. He transforms and does an awesome cartwheel blasting away at enemy troops. He goes into total Rambo mode and lays some smack down, in effect doing more damage than the rest of the Autochumps combined. Saturday Night’s Main Event
Then he wheels up on Megatron and lays down the ultimate challenge – one on one to the death.
Megs lays down some rules and he and Prime go at it. There’s some cool action here as we see a leg sweep, some major punching, some cheating, some double-fisted punches, a few kicks, etc. Prime goes to get his gun to finish off old Megs but Hotrod notices Megs cheating and tries to interfere. What a dumbass – good guys should never interfere.
Megs grabs Chump-Rod in a headlock and uses him as a shield while he blasts Prime in the ribs where he cut him up just prior. This sends Prime down to the dirt and Megs casually tosses Chump-Rod aside. Of course, Prime can’t let Megs steal all that heat before he croaks so he delivers a double-fisted axe-punch to Megs, which sends him over the edge and bounces him off a few levels.Retreat
Starscream and Decepticons surround Megs and Screams gives Megs a good kick while he’s down. Screams, instead of displaying leadership qualities like he’s always boasted and commencing the attack, he orders Astrotrain to help them retreat. They might have had a shot with Prime out of commission since he’s the only one who actually dealt any real damage.
They load up in Astrotrain and Soundwave helps Megs aboard, as he’s always been the loyal one.
Kup and the Autobots celebrate as Prime turned the tide. No Kup, he f**king won the war for you ya wuss! Anyway, flash to the scene that pretty much made the entire franchise jump the shark as we watch Prime die. But before he does, he opens his engine compartment to reveal a giant disco ball babbling something about the Matrix. The Entire Franchise Jumps the Shark
Some Psychologists say that when you die, all your synapses fire and you have delusions and hallucinations (white lights, angels, buddhas, subconscious memories, etc.) and here Prime is babbling about a really overrated movie with two s**tty sequels. He gives the plot device…I mean the Matrix disco orb to Ultra Magnus, another large truck transformer who’s totally unworthy of leadership, but not before Chump-Rod touches it and it lights up –hmmm a little bit of foreshadowing? Prime dies, turns grey, and Daniel cries.Decepticon Battle Royal
Out in space…on Astrotrain…there is a bit of a problem. They seem to have too much weight that might keep them from reaching Cybertron. Instead of just flying to the spacebridge they used in the last two seasons to get there, Astrotrain recommends they jettison some weight. Starscream suggests dumping all the troops who got their ass beat so they do. He tosses Megatron off last. He wastes no time and declares himself the new leader of the Decepticons.
This starts a battle royal that we don’t get to watch really, but we do get some quick insults back and forth as Soundwave totally burns the Constructicon “inferiors” heh. Meet Unicron
Cutaway to Megs and the other broken-down Decepticons floating towards something rather huge out in space. This something huge is none other than Unicron and he has summoned Megatron for a purpose.Recap Continued
… - might be a bit sketchy as I’m writing this mostly from memory…
Last time, we left off with Megatron and the other beaten-down Decepticons floating through space after being tossed out of Astrotrain. Meg’s barely-functioning carcass floats into Orson Welles…er I mean, Unicron. Unicron talks some smack and basically tells Megs he’s now his b***h. Megs is reluctant at first but the prospect of oblivion isn’t too appealing. Here’s where Megs is given a new body and given new troops and a brand new ship. Megs, now known as Galvatron, is instructed to destroy the Autobot Matrix (or the Matrix movies, or both) carried by Ultra Magnus. Galvatron agrees and takes his new plastic clone-like henchmen back to Cybertron to gather more troops.
Galvs makes it back just in time to interrupt Starscreams coronation as he must have won the battle royal that the rest of us missed. I wonder how he managed that? At any rate, Galvatron busts in, Starscream recognizes him, and Galvatron transforms into a giant cannon and shoots Starscream down and then steps on his crown. This is the moment the entire series jumps shark because after this scene, you won’t see too many old school transformers as they are pushed to the back. The rest of the Decepticons hail Galvatron as Starscream wasn’t their favorite transitional Decepticon champion. We'll miss you Starscream, as you actually had a unique personality and brought a lot of conflict to the show. Too bad the interesting upper echelon of the Decepticons gets replaced by a bunch of clones and a yes-man futher contributing to the decline in the ratings.
Back to Unicron …seems Uni is a bit hungry from creating new bodies and making deals that he decides to eat Cybertron’s moons. Unicron “somehow” sneaks up on the moonbase and swallows it whole, along with a few Autobots. The Autobots resort to suicide bombing in the second moonbase and try to blow up the moon in Unicrons mouth but it doesn’t even phase him.
The Decepticons, fresh with new leadership (sorta) and new troops, hit Autobot city again. I guess Galvatron has more strategy than Cobra Commander ever had, as this is exactly what I would have done considering they gave it quite a pounding just a few days before (or the night before …something). But the Autobots are dumb – instead of having refortified in the meantime with heavy hitters like Skyfire, Omega Supreme, or the Gestalts, they just sit there and mope about Prime.
Actually, they pull a Cobra Commander and retreat by blasting off in space ships instead of heading back to the safety of the ark and most of the season 1-2 Autobots. Galvatron and crew shoot one of the shuttles down, sending it down to some planet of metal we’ve never heard about, apparently kinda close to Earth (or at least our solar system). The other shuttle feigns death by exploding the back half and they continue their course to a planet of junk.
But Unicron can see all –he strong arms Galvatron into following them there. Kup, Hot Rod, and the Dinobots back on some robo-piranha planet get separated. Kup and Hot Rod fight a squid while the Dinobots get lost (go figure). After the fight with the Squid, Kup and Hot Rod encounter Sharktacons who take them to Judge Judy with five faces where they get sentenced to death. These weird creatures have 5 faces and look somewhat like hot air balloons. They don’t fight at all but they don’t seem to shut up. They sentence some schmuck to a pool of Sharktacons. This poor guy looks like the guy from the beginning of the show – what a s**tty day for him – first his planet gets eaten, he barely escapes, then he gets arrested, and finally eaten by sharks. Great lesson for the kids – life effing sucks.
Dinobots meet a feminine guy named Wheelie who just happens to hang on shark-infested planets while Ultra Magnus, Springer, RC, and Spike’s bastard son scope out some junk. Back at Night Court, Kup and Hot Rod are thrown into the shark pool but they transform and make a whirl pool. (I’m so tempted to make the “jump the shark” pun here but I won’t.) They manage to escape only to get another beating from the horde of sharktacons until the Dinobots conveniently show up and scare the hell out of them. They convince the skarkies to turn on their masters and they all leave. We’ll all learn a great more about these hot air balloons in the seasons to come.
Back to the planet of junk, the Decepts attack yet again. Galvatron knows that in any strategy war game, you keep the pressure on and keep your enemies running and on the defense. Spikes bastard son manages to get the only offense in, which is pretty sad. Ultra Magnus gets shot down and fails to open the Matrix. Galvatron gladly takes the Matrix and makes a nice necklace to show off to Unicron, but he’s not impressed. They leave.
The Autobots find Ultra Magnus beaten down and find themselves face-to-face with some TV-line-spouting motorcycle guys who all look the same. They seem to quote a lot of commercials, which only annoys everyone. Somehow, Hot Rod, Kup, and the Dinos land a ship they stole from the balloon guys and do some universal greeting, which is interesting considering they couldn’t possibly have known where their friends were or much less how to pilot an alien craft. They make friends with the “junkions” by doing their greeting and they all dance to Weird Al. Oh, yeah, the Junkions rebuild Ultra Magnus and bring him back to life, which is interesting because they could have went to get Prime’s body and had them do the same thing but oh nooo, they didn’t think of that. Dare to be stupid indeed.
Meanwhile, Galvatron grows an immense pair and tries to blackmail Unicron with the Matrix, yet it won’t open for him either. Unicron gets p**sed and decides to make the transformers pay – he transforms himself into a giant of a giant robot and commences to smash on Cybertron. All Decepticons attack Unicron and Uni swallows Glavatron after taking a couple shots that didn’t phase him.
Income the Autobots, crashing their ship into Unicrons eye. The junkions come along as well just to give Unicron a ship to smash up. Inside Unicrons head, the Autobots get separated. These guys can’t keep it together at all. Hot Rod runs into Galvatron inside Unicron’s head and they have a mediocre fight, but Galvatron keeps the upper hand. Finally, Galvatron chokes Hot Rod while the other Autobots save their friends from some internal torture chamber within Unicron. Well, Unicron will swear it’s not really “torture” but more like, aggressive interrogation.
While getting the choke, Hot Rod can reach the Matrix movie and he unleashes some magic power within wich starts to f**k ol’ Unicron up three ways from Sunday! It also somehow injects a massive amount of steroids into Hot Rod, growing him much bigger, then we get to here Prime’s voice babble about Roddimus Prime (how creative). He hulks up like Hogan used to in his old wrestling matches and gives Galvatron the toss out of Unicron’s other eye.
The Autobots try to head out of Unicron as he starts to explode. They make it out and Uni’s head pops off in orbit around Cybertron. They even grab Spike and some remaining Autobots from season 1. Afterwards, the Autobots somehow got control of Cybertron as the Decepticons seemed to have vanished. Then Roddimus gives this lame speech about the end of the war and spouts his new catchphrase, “till all are one” whatever the hell that means.
The End… Now sing a long everyone, “you got the touch! You got the power!!!! Yeaaaah!”