(this is from an old collection of humor essays of mine called I Slept With Your Imaginary Friend and I thought I’d put it back up here because it makes me laugh)
What the shit is up with Transformers and go-Bots? I mean, aside from the usual nonsense. All right, I have three big issues just this second and they apply to both bunches of robots that are, wouldn’t you know it, in some form of shape-shifting disguise.
First of all, all these fucking robots fly all the time. Just in their basic robot forms. They all fly. All the time. No propulsion visible, nothing – nope, they just damn well fly. And yet! And fucking yet, a bunch of them transform into jets or helicopters or some shit. Why? Why the hell would you be all “Hey, I can fly, but I’ll transform into something else that flies!”
It isn’t like they ever had a dogfight. Aerial combat for these big dumb robots was generally flying in a straight line or turning a little bit. If anything, they seemed somehow more maneuverable as robots. What? I know! It’s crazy! And don’t tell me that they flew faster as jets. The flames we see, which in cartoons signal jet powa!, are in their motherfuckin’ feet! Fools! If that’s faster, just turn them on when you’re a robot.
Don’t tell me they can’t. Watch Transformers or some Go-Bots. I’ll wait. Back? All right, you know what they do? They transform back into robots and fire their foot jets to land. Why? I don’t know because they can fucking fly when they’re robots but apparently sometimes they forget this. Still. They can use the damn jets whenever. But they don’t.
All right, that covers the first big “What the fuck is wrong with this picture” moment for me, but I want to move on to the other one. The really useless, odd fucking things they transform into. This was pretty much all Transformers – Go-Bots never got beyond one or two basic vehicle concepts. No, the Transformers got fucking strange.
Like there’s one that can transform into a microscope. I am not gonna look up his name, I don’t care that much about him as a robot. But let’s call him UselessFuck. We see that their optics can zoom in, again, all the time, but this badass had to go and make his entire shtick that same ability. Use. Less.
Then you have Megatron, who transforms into something that needs to be used by someone else. How incredibly silly is that? He becomes a gun. A handgun. Christ, that’s the meaning of heartbreak, isn’t it? The Decepticons want to revolt, all they have to do is pop the clip, slide off the barrel, and leave the dismantled fucker on the ground. Good going, boss man.
And then we come to Night Train. Or Astro Train. Whatever it was. I think Night Train is a malt liquor, which means the guy’s name was probably Astro Train. Now this fool transformed into two modes: a train and a space shuttle. Wait, what? Imagine how this goes in battle:
“Night Train, quick we have to go!”
“I’m Astro Train, Night Train is a malt liquor!”
“Whatever, dumbass. Leaving. Us. Now!”
“So? What can I do?”
“Transform into a train!”
“Do you see tracks anywhere?”
“Oh, well uhhh, space shuttle?”
“Do I transform a launch pad or booster rockets? Nuh uh.”
“Shit, can you transform into some god damned malt liquor then? Might be more useful!”
“Fuck you, you turn into a hand gun!”
Yah that’s right, he is perfectly useless in both forms – unless they’re escaping Cape Canaveral or happen to be right near some train tracks going exactly where they need to go. Handy guy, that one.
But really, here’s where this whole thing burns me. We established that they can all damn well fly, right? But fully half of these robots, Transformers and Go-Bots alike, transform into cars and trucks. Note that I didn’t say flying cars and trucks. Nope. They transform into things that limit their ability. Well that’s smart, isn’t it? Why would you do that? What kind of handicap is that, and how does it make sense from a whole “defeating the bad guys and saving the planet” angle? To give up a crucial ability? To what end? You look like a Porsche?
Fuck the Porsche. Fly, motherfuckers! Fly free!
If I had a choice between, say, taking the bus and flying under my own power, I would not be taking a bus, all right? But the Go-Bots and Transformers not only take the bus, they go out of their stupidass way to become the bus in the first place.
How did this go down, do you think?
“Optimus Prime, hey Optimus?”
“Yes, Ironside? ….Ironside? Michael Ironside? You transform into a fine actor!”
“No, Ironhide, you idiot.”
“Oh, my bad. What is it?”
“Well, I was thinking. I transform into a minivan, right? But, like, what if we’re driving on a cliff and the Decepticons shoot the cliff out from under us?”
“Why, we transform into robots and fly to safety!”
“Right. About that. See, I was thinking, maybe if I didn’t transform into something ground-based, slow, and lumpy I could be more effective. Like, we could transform into things that flew! Then we wouldn’t need to go back and forth just to save ourselves from falling all the time.”
“Don’t be stupid. That isn’t how it works.”
“Shut the fuck up. I’m Optimus Prime, you minivan motherfucker. Shit. You should be so lucky to transform into Michael Ironsides. That guy can act.”
“Can he fly, too? Because if so, I would happily switch.”
And don’t tell me that they transformed to hide or fit in or some shit. Because last I checked, minivans don’t shoot lasers. They never hid. First episode they’re found by humans. “In disguise” my ass. So why not just be robots? Flying, laser-shooting, badass robots?
More than meets the eye. Right. If by “more” you mean “so much dumber” or “drunker” or perhaps “less able.”
Transformers. Less able than meets the eye. Transformers. Robots in useless disguise. Autobots wage their far-too-complex and militarily unsound battle to destroy the evil and yet somehow even-dumber forces of the Decepticons.
I know it doesn’t scan. But it also doesn’t fucking transform into malt liquor, all right?