Stop Pretending Bayformers Optimus is a Good Character

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by agent j 15, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. agent j 15

    agent j 15 poopity-scoop

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Posts:
    1,334
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +498
    I see a lot of people talk about how Bayformers Prime is some new fresh take on the character, how his bloodthirsty nature is some new nuanced take on a man whose lost his home and friends to a millennia long war. Now of course this is all subjective and if you love Bayformers Prime, more power to you.

    But it’s all a lie.

    What follows is mostly my opinion, so keep that in mind before you try to kill me.

    There is so little “character development” with Bayverse Prime that feels like anything more than incidental change from the one liners they wanted him to say that I struggle to even call him a character. What does he want? What’s keeping him from obtaining it? What does he do as a result? The answer is - nothing. Bayverse Prime is such a nothing character. He doesn’t get more violent as a result of what happens, these movies just wanted Prime to be a badass.

    This is usually where people bring up Age of Extinction - and okay, I’ll give them that. They do actually try and give Optimus more of an arc here. But even then they fuck it up. So his arc is that he learns to trust humans again, yet by the end he still blows up Fraisier and doesn’t seem any different from the beginning of the film. What was the fulcrum point where Prime undergoes his major character change? There wasn’t one. Yes, he has more to say and do, and Peter Cullen does seem to be actually acting in AoE, but it’s all for nothing if he’s playing a poorly written character.

    The sad thing is a more brutal and psychotic Prime could actually be an interesting take on the character if they did it right. But his brutality is never framed as a character or story point, nor do any of the characters seem to mention it or be worried about it. That’s why it’s frustrating to see people here talk about what a “great character” Bayverse Prime is. He’s not. Charlie is a great character. Bayverse Prime is a CGI action hero.
     
    • Like Like x 21
  2. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Posts:
    3,768
    News Credits:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +3,133
    I'm pretty much in agreement. I think a lot of fans tend to look for deeper meaning in the stuff they love, even if it wasn't really intentional. I see no message about PTSD or a broken hero, or anything like that, as a lot of fans claim. (Aside from maybe some stuff in AOE, as you mentioned). I honestly think Optimus is mainly a vessel for Bay and the filmmakers to have cool action scenes with. Which is fine, he wasn't a hugely nuanced character in G1.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. 96megatron

    96megatron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Posts:
    1,540
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +2,749
    He didn't have malice intent when he killed Attinger though. Had he killed him because he was the one behind the whole thing I'd agree. But he defended Cade. And Cade in turn defended Optimus from Lockdown. I did find Charlie a bit too angsty for my taste. And Bumblebee Movie a bit too hypocritical with its blatant sexism to men. Men are sexualized and are useless. Women are sexualized in the Bay films but are intergral and help change the tide of war. What did the hot guy do and nerd who took his shirt off do exactly?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Posts:
    18,357
    News Credits:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Somewhere over Macho Grande
    Likes:
    +7,153
    I like and appreciate Bay Optimus.

    And people need to let go and GTF over it.
     
    • Like Like x 16
  5. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Posts:
    5,856
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +5,537
    He's my favorite dark comedy relief.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Posts:
    9,795
    News Credits:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +2,476
    A Bayverse Optimus with character development. . :drool: 
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. fu2kimus

    fu2kimus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Posts:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    182
    Likes:
    +365
    He’s no worse than any other Prime in my opinion, Primes never been that nuanced apart from in the comics.

    I agree though, that people are reaching a bit when they go to the ptsd angle. There’s one reason this Prime is tougher, and has a shorter fuse, and that’s because he’s the action hero in a big budget action movie, involved in some kick ass battles. When taken in that context, and not compared to past cartoons, he’s not that blood thirsty a character. He takes the bad guys out, and does it in cool ways, but so do lots of other action heroes.
     
  8. Pichomp

    Pichomp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Posts:
    693
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +2,410
    I love Bayverse Prime! He’s a giant metal version of the Punisher, only funnier (Garth Ennis Punisher... not that Netflix garbage).
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. CyberstormSM

    CyberstormSM Turbo-Revvin' Young Punk

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Posts:
    1,832
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Likes:
    +3,547
    Not to be rude or anything OP, but does this really warrant it's own thread, especially with it being just a response to an already preexisting thread?
     
    • Like Like x 7
  10. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Posts:
    6,852
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Likes:
    +2,160
    I’ve been saying it for a while now- Optimus is portrayed like the hero of a monster movie. Take Hugh Jackman from Van Helsing or Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead.
    They chop up their enemies with no remorse or regard, and even when they go off the deep end, their actions are considered normal for a normal person put into an extreme situation, BECAUSE THEIR ENEMIES ARE NOT HUMAN.

    And that’s how the Decepticons are shown (in the Bay movies). They’re not people like the Autobots. The vast majority of them are literal monsters disguised as robots. That’s why the general public doesn’t care when Prime & co. mince them up & dismember them. They’re killing monsters, not fellow cybertronians.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  11. AOEGalvatronRox

    AOEGalvatronRox Collector

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Posts:
    986
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +1,861
    It seems like, when folks criticize the fact that Prime killed Attinger, they seem to completely ignore:
    1. He was defending Cade, who was cornered by Attinger and...
    2. The dude orchestrated the deaths of several Autobots. Prime trusts humanity again, but that doesn't mean he had to trust Attinger.

    I personally see nothing wrong with the way Prime has been portrayed. He's a badass war veteran who is pretty much done with the Decepticons and, at one point, humanity.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  12. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    77,537
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +22,235
    You realize that doesn't lend credibility to Optimus' murder of him, right? The fact that he had a personal grudge against Attinger is worse for his character than if he had done it only to save Cade.


    As long as people keep trying to say a rug isn't a rug, people are entitled to refute that claim.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  13. Rob

    Rob IDW FOREVER

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    3,200
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    307
    Likes:
    +538
    Deep bro deep :) 
     
  14. AOEGalvatronRox

    AOEGalvatronRox Collector

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Posts:
    986
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +1,861
    He did do it to save Cade. It’s just been a personal head canon that a small part of him also did it because the dude killed some of his Autobots. It’s pretty understandable why Optimus didn’t just say “You’ve killed my Autobots, but freedom is the right of all sentient beings, and that goes for you, too.” I’m not sure why Optimus having a personal grudge against the human who MURDERED several of his comrades is somehow a problem, but okay.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Ding dong THE BAYVERSE IS DEAD!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Posts:
    32,172
    Trophy Points:
    392
    Location:
    Moxxi's Bar
    Likes:
    +8,384
    Then why did he not also murder Tucci's character who was wholly complicit with melting down Autobots (and only Autobots) for much of the film?

    Prime didnt have that kind of reaction when he learned Sentinel had sold out the entire Autobot faction to the Decepticons and lied about it purely to keep believing he deserved to be treated like a God and shouldn't have to clean up his own damn mess. And he held Sentinel in high regard - Attinger was some douche in a suit with no personal connection to Prime.

    Name one thing Megatron has actually done (besides ripping Jazz in half) that was more violent than Prime at his worst. Hell, Megatron NEVER PERSONALLY KILLED A HUMAN up to that point either, not as explicitly as the films highlighted Prime doing so. Prime killed one instead of simply intervening without going for the death card - what could Attinger do against Prime putting an obstacle between him and Mary Sue Cade? What does that say when the guy who is all about saving the humans has a higher human kill count than the guy who has been trying to exterminate mankind does?

    EDIT: okay forget the kill count thing, I had forgotten Megatron takes out the sub when he resurrects in ROTF. Still, the fact Prime HAS a human kill count at all when he's supposed to be protecting humanity should be alarming...unless suddenly Hardwired became a shining symbol of transformers fiction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    • Like Like x 3
  16. BB127

    BB127 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2018
    Posts:
    33
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    22
    Likes:
    +67
    Wow, this entire time I didn't know that I was really just pretending that my own, individual opinion is right. Who knew?

    No one is pretending they think a character is good if in their opinion, the character is good. The title of this seems pretty hostile, lol.
     
    • Like Like x 8
  17. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    13,847
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +3,163
    I would add that, while his role in killing Autobots is a factor, it's not revenge. Optimus has already gotten past that impulse by that point in the movie. Remember that previously, the Autobots wouldn't kill humans because we were weak and defenseless. Attinger made that no longer the case. If humans can fight and kill Transformers effectively on equal or better terms, then there's no more reason for kid gloves. Killing him wasn't premeditated murder either. It was the killing of an active, genocidal enemy combatant who had declared war, and it was done in the defense of a comrade. Absolutely no different from killing a Decepticon at that point.

    I'm not gonna pretend these movies are superbly written or have any deep character development at all. But some of the complaints people come up with are grasping at fucking straws. It's a bombastic movie with a below average script that relies on effects over storytelling, not an affront to truth, justice, and the American way. Take it or leave it for what it is and move on--especially now that we seem to be getting better ones anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Posts:
    77,537
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Location:
    agile house
    Likes:
    +22,235
    So in your head canon he did it out of petty revenge?

    How very noble.

    Because that's not who Optimus is. That's who other, lesser Autobots are, but if Prime wants to stand tall and spout meaningless platitudes about freedom and humanity and blah-blah-blah in that monotone generic trailer narration way, he'd better adhere to his own rhetoric.

    Otherwise you get this headcase who flips-flops between being in incorruptible sentinel of justice and Dirty Harry wannabe who kills as the first and only solution to every problem. The dude literally never attempts diplomacy once in the films. Not once. Every problem Prime has solved as been with violence and murder, or at the very least intimidation.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  19. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Ding dong THE BAYVERSE IS DEAD!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Posts:
    32,172
    Trophy Points:
    392
    Location:
    Moxxi's Bar
    Likes:
    +8,384
    Plus, if any character should be a Dirty Harry type, it should be GRIMLOCK. Prime being a goody two shoes while Grimlock is all about ends justifying means while generally staying on the morally good side (and at times crossing the line into the gray mural ground if necessary) is the crux of their relationship.

    Plus, it's kind of ironic that MEGATRON is the one using diplomacy in TLK while Prime is supposedly evil but doesn't really act any differently to his normal self.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. transf0

    transf0 “Well Connected” The GOAT

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2017
    Posts:
    820
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    147
    Likes:
    +833
    Twitter:
    YouTube:
    :popcorn 
     
    • Like Like x 4