As much as I adore everything that is Godzilla, and as much as I enjoy watching intelligent rats stage crazy-ass sword fights; Transformers: The Movie was far and away my favorite of these movies.
While some (read: Orson Welles) would criticize Transformers: The Movie as being an hour and a half long toy commercial, for kids who grew up watching it; there’s no denying that it had a charm to it that made it truly special.
More than that, Transformers had a severity to it, a real sense of life and death stakes that made you, especially as a child; truly give a damn.
Say what you will about it being a feature length marketing device, in my book any movie that goes out of it’s way to kill off nearly every major character in the franchise within it’s first 20 minutes has at least some semblance of legitimate dramatic merit.
Hell, of all the retarded-ass kid’s movies that I used to watch, Transformers: The Movie was one of the only ones my mom was willing to sit down and watch with me.
Combine the film’s rather morbid tendency to be cruel to it’s main characters, with decent animation and a kick-ass glam rock soundtrack; and you’ve got a recipe for success.
It’s interesting to note that, for me at least; Transformers: The Movie represents most of what I know and love about the original Transformers cartoon.
I was born a few years after Transformers began to fade from the mainstream, and as such; I really didn’t see much of the TV series outside of a re-runs on the “Power Cube” every once in awhile.
If it weren’t for me having an older brother that was around to experience the Transformers phenomenon first-hand, I don’t think I would’ve had nearly as strong an association with the Generation 1 stuff.
Thank God for my brother, otherwise I would’ve been denied the pleasure of growing up watching the 2nd MANLIEST MAN moment in all of movies EVERY FUCKING DAY!
While one could (and indeed should) argue that the live-action Transformer movies are overlong and meandering piles of tripe Elmer’s glued together with eye-fucking CG and rejected elements from the National Treasure movie’s scripts; the 1 thing I think we can all agree they did right, was Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime is one of the most admirable and heroic characters in all of fiction.
Steadfast and noble, he is the picture of stoicism and bravery that we all wish we could live up to when the chips are down.
In short, Cullen is Optimus Prime.
While the live-action movies flipped the charming minimalist aesthetic of the Generation 1 cartoon on it’s head, and often failed to allow him the opportunity to speak with the same regality by feeding him hokey lines; just hearing Peter Cullen’s voice come out of the CGI Optimus Prime was all I needed to see that even Michael Bay couldn’t completely fuck up his character.
As shitty as the live-action Transformer movies are, at least 5 minutes of them contain scenes of Optimus Prime being just as I remembered him.
That doesn’t forgive the 2 and a half hours+ worth of crap contained in the rest of the film’s running times, but even so; it counts for something.
That being said, our 2nd MANLIEST MAN moment is perhaps Optimus Prime’s finest moment, that of his heroic, and tragic; last stand against Megatron and the invading Decepticon forces:
Words can’t describe the EPIC MANLINESS of this moment.
At this point in the movie, the Autobots are really taking a pounding and don’t know how much longer they can hold out.
The vast majority of the Autobots from the first season of the TV series are killed off during the conflict, leaving Ultra Magnus and a ragtag group of Autobots, both young and old; to defend Autobot City.
As the Dinobots struggle in battle, Optimus Prime steps from the shuttle; grimly surveying the destruction of his people’s Earthbound sanctuary.
With any eerie sense of finality lingering the air, Optimus Prime transforms and rolls out; for perhaps the last time.
CUE AWESOME FUCKING INSPIRATIONAL ROCK SONG.
Pimp that he is, Optimus’ first move in battle is to RUN THE FUCK OVER Thrust.
From that point forward, the difference in power and capability between Optimus and the rest of the Transformers becomes readily apparent.
Still in truck form, Optimus is fired upon by several Decepticons; with all of the incoming laser blasts having no effect other than maybe singeing his paint job.
Leaping into the air and simultaneously detaching his trailer, Optimus does a MANLY gravity defying flip through the air, all the while CAPPING THE FUCK out of every Decepticon in sight:
Make no mistake, this is Optimus Prime at his PIMPEST and most BADASS.
With the majority of Megatron’s heavy hitters out of the picture, Optimus corners the evil robot and issues perhaps the MANLIEST of MANLY ultimatums:
Despite that EPIC-NESS, the 2 continue to exchange AWESOMELY MANLY remarks until, inevitably; Megatron claims he will kill Optimus with his bare hands, then proceeds to spear Prime’s ass to the ground.
Cutting back to the fight, Prime manages to toss Megatron into a wall, whereupon the devious Decepticon takes an opportunity to go back on his previous declaration and toss a sharp rod into Prime’s hip.
Immediately capitalizing on his opponent’s moment of weakness, Megatron lifts his arm blaster and fires several volleys at Prime.
Deftly slipping the incoming blaster fire, Optimus rushes Megatron and cracks him with a wicked right cross, knocking the Decepticon leader to the ground and severing the blaster from his forearm in one fell swoop.
Ever the sneaky bastard, Megatron once again makes use of a foreign object, picking a beam saber off the ground and swiping it across Prime’s stomach.
Sparking from the gut, Prime clutches his wound and staggers backwards, prompting Megatron to leap into the sky and initiate one of the single coolest shots in cinema history:
With an AUTOBOT SHORYUKEN, Optimus manages to counter Megatron’s overhead assault, only to end up being mule kicked in the chest by Megatron’s immediate retaliation.
With both fighters off-balance, the 2 robots slam into each other and tie up in a grapple.
As Megatron threatens to tear out Optimus’ eyes, our hero nevertheless manages to overpower the evil robot, grab him BY THE EARS; and toss his ass a CITY FUCKING BLOCK.
With Megatron severly injured and face down on the ground, Prime retrieves his blaster rifle and points it at Megatron.
Acting very much out of character, the ruthless and dastardly Megatron pleads for mercy.
Rightfully suspicious of his nemesis’ uncharacteristic behavior, Optimus is ultimately robbed of an opportunity to gauge a proper course of action as Hot Rod jumps in from out of nowhere and tries to subdue Megatron, only to end up being held as his hostage.
Grabbing a blaster pistol he found hidden amid the rubble nearby, and with Hot Rod now being used as his human shield; Megatron fires a volley directly into Optimus exposed stomach plate.
Too strong and too brave to take a knee, Optimus withstands the first shot, only to be felled by the 3 that follow.
Ditching his hostage, Megatron stands over Prime and taunts him at gun point, with the words:
“It’s over Prime…”
With those words, Prime; summoning the last of his strength, rears back and uncorks the MOTHER OF ALL DOUBLE AXE HANDLES directly into the Decepticon emblem of Megatron’s chest.
His chest plate shattered to pieces, Megatron falls off the nearby ledge, bounces off the balcony below, and crumbles onto the ground below.
With their leader utterly defeated, the battered and beaten forces of the Decepticons flee from Earth; leaving the Autobots to tend to their own.
Shortly thereafter, Optimus Prime would die, and Megatron would begin life anew under the guise of Galvatron.
Anyway, this has been our 2nd MANLIEST MAN moments in all of movies.
Check back tomorrow for the reveal of moment #1!