Articles: Eleven Things I want to see in "Transformers 5" (Part 1)
"Transformers Age of Extinction" opened up in many countries the past week and continues to open in others. Its $300 million worldwide take the opening weekend has all but cemented a fifth feature film being made. With that in mind, I thought about what I'd like to see in a fifth "Transformers" live action film (wow, I can't even believe I can say that!). The list below represents my opinions only, your mileage may vary. WARNING: this list contains SPOILERS for "Age of Extinction" so I highly recommend you see the film first before reading this list!
The Dinobots (and Grimlock in particular) has been a tentpole in terms of promoting the movie via trailers, toys and even cardboard cutouts in movie theaters. The fierce looking Dinobot is a striking image as he roars or breathes fire. The other Dinobots are no less impressive with their giant form and unique transformations. The shame of it is, we only got to see them for about twenty or so minutes in the movie (and keep in mind the movie clocks in at over two and a half hours long). The Dinobots definitely deserved more screen time. Every time they were on screen it was dynamic, electric and exciting. Had they been given more to do, I'm sure fans would've been losing their minds in their theater seats. This means simply that the Dinobots need to appear in the next film and serve as one of the cornerstones of the Autobot army so they are prominently featured!
2. Optimus Prime (as we knew him before)
Wait, what am I talking about? Optimus Prime (as voiced by Peter Cullen) was in every film so far! While this is true, the Optimus we saw in "Age of Extinction" was very much a different animal than what we had seen previously. This was a beaten down Optimus Prime whose spirit was low and even when he dusted himself off, he went on a mission of vengeance. He was more pathos driven Simon Furman era Optimus Prime than say, early G1 cartoon Optimus Prime. Prime is still a bit lost at the end of the movie as he heads off to (presumably) kick some "Creator" tail. It would be great to see a story arc that returns him to heroic form and not yelling "I'll kill you!" over and over.
By the end of "Age of Extinction" we learn that Galvatron is indeed Megatron reincarnated, not just in body but also in mind and spirit. With his Vehicon army defeated, the Decepticon leader stalks off to fight another day - and I definitely think we need to see him again. This is partly so we can hear Frank Welker voice the character again but also to introduce new machinations by the Decepticon leader. He's a potent force on the battlefield and he clearly has some insidious plans up his robotic sleeve. I'm eager to see some of them come to fruition. Also remember, there are a few Decepticons that "Cemetary Wind" still hadn't found yet at the beginning of this film. I'd love it if Megatron rounded them up as the start of his new army after the failure of the Vehicons.
Speaking of Vehicons, since most of them were destroyed in the final battle, I think it would be cool if there were a couple survivors that Galvatron somehow uses as a template to create more warriors. I really enjoyed the variety of designs on them and found myself wishing they had been given more time to emerge as characters instead of cyphers who served as gun fodder. I'm also fond of the science fiction trope of having technology run amok and this provides a fantastic platform to explore that idea.
5. Traditional Transformations
As much as I enjoyed the Vehicons, I was not a big fan of the way they transformed. I understand it distinguished them visually from the Autobots (and Lockdown), but it felt a bit cheap and really took transformation in a direction I didn't like. Transformers, be they cartoons, comic book characters or CG in general would transform by having parts move and shift around. It's a core concept that ties what you see on screen to the toys. When "Beast Machines" deviated from this, it provided an interesting story angle, but it remains one of the least favorite aspects of the "Beast Era" among fans. There's no doubt the next film will introduce us to more characters and I hope they all transform in a more conventional manner of parts shifting and moving around to form the alternate modes.