DOTM felt strangely degenerate

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by QLRformer, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. QLRformer

    QLRformer Seeker

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Posts:
    14,728
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +1,625
    The Autobots and Decepticons have on the whole been fairly black and white in the past two films:
    “If Megatron finds the cube, he will use its technology to transform Earth’s machines, and build a new army. And the human race will be extinguished.” 2007
    “If Decepticons had their way, they’d destroy the whole universe! If the Fallen finds the Tomb of the Primes, your world will be no more.” 2009

    The two films had showcased the theme of good vs evil, black and white, “Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons”. All well and good. We obviously know who the good and bad guys are, the only thing is how the battle plan and actual fight works out, more or less. Then comes this in DOTM:
    “You see, my fellow Autobots, we were never going to win the war! For the sake of our planet’s survival, a deal had to be made with Megatron!” Sentinel Prime
    “When it’s not your war, do business with the side that’s going to win.” Dylan

    The film’s themes are of betrayal and treachery: of duplicity committed for the sake of the bigger picture and surviving it. Both Sentinel Prime and Dylan assume the Decepticons had the better chance of winning the Transformers war, so Sentinel did the deal to ensure Cybertron would be able to be repaired and Dylan served the Decepticons so that he would be spared when they took over Earth.

    This slides things into degenerative, “shades of gray” territory: sometimes when looking at the outcome one has no choice but to give up your own morals and principles, for the sake of victory/survival or doing the right thing.
    “You chose sides, you chose wrong! You think you’re a hero, YOU THINK YOU’RE A HERO?” Dylan
    “You could never make the hard decisions! Our planet WILL survive!” Sentinel Prime

    With gray shades, the war is no longer a clean or clear-cut one: winning is now a matter of which side is more brutal/has the better advantage. And this IMO spoils things: good is bad, bad becomes good? Does one sympathize with the Decepticons because they want to rebuild their broken world, or for Megatron when he fights the big bad, does one boo Optimus when he takes down Sentinel and Megatron?

    Take for comparison a film like CAPTAIN AMERICA, where the heroes/villains were clearly set and ethics were black and white; even though there was a defector (Dr Zola) it was clearly someone who went to the good guys who’d give him a chance of redemption, if possible fairly and mercifully. With this film you change to either side, it doesn’t help: Dylan gets to live only as long as he does the Cons’ bidding and Megatron gets executed for a good deed. Hell, at least ROTF dealt with ex-Decepticons Jetfire and Wheelie and provided an element of redemption, but DOTM provides no quarter or mercy to either side (and there was an excellent opurtunity to do so, as the novelization showed).

    An arguably more worrying effect is that the good guys have no choice but to come down to the bad guys’ level and sacrifice their own morality/integrity. Even though the Autobots had no choice, they do horrible merciless things like tearing apart a helpless pilot and exploding heads; extremely notably, Optimus Prime does some fairly un-Optimus deeds like letting Chicago residents die to prove a point, tearing off his brother Megatron’s head and cold-bloodedly shooting his father/mentor Sentinel Prime in the head.
    In the first film Optimus mourned Megatron’s death, in ROTF he took his revenge on the Fallen but spared Megatron (though to be fair the Fallen was the big bad, and Megatron made a fast escape) but the third film has him so betrayed, so provoked beyond endurance that he would let Chicago become a killing field and scrap Megatron instead of accepting his truce offer. That is a heck of a comedown for Optimus, classically seen as a moral beacon for Autobots and TFans. The fact that he had to resort to subterfuge, as well as finally lose control and slay his “closest ones” – something he never did in the other TFilms – is a sad thing to have to see.

    This was meant to be the final TFilm, and so escalated things to beyond repair or return, but it still just doesn’t work for me and simply exhibits how different DOTM is from the other two TFilms. I don’t know if people can understand my points, but DOTM just felt so morally decayed, that it wasn’t so good to enjoy.
     
  2. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Posts:
    24,233
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    367
    Likes:
    +1,105
    That's not "degenerate" as much as it is "complex" or "morally ambiguous".

    Degenerate was the leg-humping, human-lubricating robits of TF1 and ROTF.
     
  3. shockwave2005

    shockwave2005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    2,632
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +18
    Agreed.

    However, as to the actual topic here - While I do enjoy straightforward Good vs. Evil stories, I liked DOTM's more ambiguous tone. Sometimes things just can't just be that easy.

    First of all, things must be given context:

    We see a slightly less hardened Optimus, who could have possibly doomed Earth to Megatron's rule if Sam had done as Prime asked. Prime's plan was less than perfect.

    Megatron surviving the events of ROTF was complete luck - fortunately Megatron only had HALF of his head blown off. If he had stuck around after Prime finished off The Fallen, he would have surely been next on Prime's list.

    This is the third attempt by the Decepticons to wage war on Earth - which is a fully functioning planet filled with life, unlike Cybertron, which is now a wasteland and devoid of life.

    Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots had no choice but to fake their own departure - Decepticon spies were EVERYWHERE. As soon as they landed back in the ocean, they made their way back to Chicago to stop the Decepticons doublecross on the human race.

    I'm guessing by "Closest Ones" you mean Sentinel and Megatron. Optimus had no choice, as Megatron's "truce" was a joke - he wanted total control of Earth, Cybertron and the entire universe.

    As for Sentinel, there is absoultely NO WAY that any government on the planet would have let him live after what he did, and Optimus is not about to betray his oath to protect them.
     
  4. Arashistorm

    Arashistorm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Posts:
    2,414
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +2
    sounds kinda off to blame Chicago's whole death ground thing being Optimus' fault. The Decepticons were going to kill the Autobots no matter what, as seen with Starscream shooting down the rocket they were supposed to be on. Chicago was already f*cked up before the truce offer, so that can't be on Prime's shoulders either. He didn't just let the Decepticons take over Chicago to prove a point, they HAD to let it happen in order for them to survive and get one final strike at the Decepticons who had already proven that they are willing to go to any lengths for their own benefit...

    As for Prime offing Megatron in the end, out of all the crimes Megatron did, all the harm he caused, working with Sentinel to destroy the world that they now live on--it was justified enough. Sure it was a bit... aggressive, but the whole point of the last 40 minutes or so in Dark of the Moon was that it's war time, no more time for discussion because the Decepticons made it so
     
  5. NEST SOLDIER

    NEST SOLDIER IRONHIDE'S DRIVER

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Posts:
    1,025
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    First of all, the Decepticons were not so much driven by restoring Cybertron as they were by the possibility of controlling it for their purposes of conquering the galaxy.

    Second, Sentinel Prime, for whatever reason, decided to capitulate with Megatron in an effort to save his planet; not his people. Sentinel's motivations were selfish and short sighted, not heroic and right. He betrayed everything that his people, his legacy, stood for. He hid behind the title of Prime and murdered his own ( Autobots on the Ark) to fulfill his selfish plans.

    Third, The Autobots did not abandon their moral and ethical standards, they fulfilled them in vanquishing an enemy bent on annihilation of anyone and everyone who stands in their way.

    Optimus was deeply affected by Ironhide's death, and this singular event , IMO, pushed him over the edge, and convinced him that they could no longer afford to remain on the defensive against Megatron and his forces.

    From the beginning, the Autobots would only fight if necessary to accomplish their mission of retrieving the All Spark; now the stakes are much higher. The cube is gone, it's power and knowledge are not, but all of that will remain useless unless they save Earth, for only here can they begin the process of restoration to save their race.

    Optimus didn't back down from making the hard decisions; he simply made the right ones to save us and them.
     
  6. CKPRIME

    CKPRIME Lighter of Darkest Hours

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Posts:
    3,214
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +1,382
    After everything that Megatron did, it makes more sense for Optimus to kill him. He can't be trusted. He killed Optimus in ROTF and in DOTM shoots Sentinel in the back. There is a reason they are called Decepticons.
     
  7. optimegatron

    optimegatron Not over, not finished.

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Posts:
    2,440
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +8
    You just pulled an overthought movie thread, and made it great. I enjoyed reading it because it's relatable and original. Also, you did an excellent job explaining how things connect, and how dark the movies, especially DOTM, are, if you think about it. Well done.
     
  8. Silk Spectre

    Silk Spectre The Evil Queen

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Posts:
    2,386
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Likes:
    +0


    It tried to be those, but I don't think it succeeded. The storytelling and characters were not strong enough to successfully support complex and ambiguous themes. It ended up as a hollow nowhere's land for me.
     
  9. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Posts:
    18,843
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    297
    Likes:
    +2,836
    People who see life as black and white in terms of absolute good and absolute evil are the reason the world is such a mess.
     
  10. Overlord Balder

    Overlord Balder Voices Slugslinger!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,306
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +5
    Not exactly related, but I once wrote a long [and probably overthought] essay on this matter, I'll quote it here to showcase what I think on the whole moral ambiguity:

    [there were two other paragraphs, but they're unrelated]

     
  11. Rewind Eject

    Rewind Eject Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Posts:
    1,104
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +4
    I should really see if you already posted in threads before viewing them because when you've come first, I have nothing to say but "Yeah, what he said".

    Anyways, I like the third one because of the ambiguity. In a war, not all nice guys are going to fall on a single side nor will the jerks, monsters, or any other way to classify people. That's why they say "War is ugly" because there aren't any winners just a side who lost less. In this case, the Autobots inched towards the way the decepticons generally do things, losing their morals. But, Optimus wouldn't make the decision that Cybertron is a goal worth any means and thus proved that he wasn't as lost as Sentinel.
     
  12. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Posts:
    28,171
    Trophy Points:
    357
    Location:
    Moxxi's Bar
    Likes:
    +1,791
    Okay, this is getting to be a bit of a concern for me.

    Just HOW MANY threads does the OP create daily? About 12 of the threads on the front page for the movie forum are his.
     
  13. roccondil5

    roccondil5 sculptor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Posts:
    540
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Likes:
    +0
    You know, I was actually commenting with a friend of mine that the OP now has a direct link to his threads on the main page. He said , yeah, looks more like the QLRformer forum than the movie forum.
    :) 
     
  14. Bountyan

    Bountyan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Posts:
    16,524
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +1,230
    I liked DOTM more because of the moral ambiguity.
     
  15. daitarn red

    daitarn red bionic hero

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Posts:
    4,444
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +2
    it sentail prime falut - he want bring cybertron to earth like in g1 tfs ulmite doom mini saga
     
  16. MindChamber

    MindChamber Multi-Media-Masta

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Posts:
    428
    Trophy Points:
    182
    Likes:
    +24
    you cant talk yourself into believing anything, if you think about it hard enough
     

Share This Page