Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Thoughts On The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

It’s funny, when it comes to movies, I’m actually not that hard to impress.

While I consider myself well-versed in the world of film, at the end of the day all it really takes to peak my interest, is:

A): A decent cast.

B): A decent concept.

and C): The promise of people punching one another at some point in the movie.

In some cases that last one, if represented well enough, is the only excuse I need to see a movie, regardless of how dumb or crappy it is.

I rented the shit-fest that was Unknown purely in the hopes of seeing a handful of Liam Neeson related beat downs.

I saw Fast Five solely for the purpose of seeing Vin Diesel and The Rock (not Dwayne) bro-out and put each other through particle board walls.

Pictured: Either The Rock is about to get suplexed, or Vin Diesel's in the process of getting Speared. I honestly can't tell...

And when it comes to The Dark Knight Rises, as utterly incalculable as the build-up has, and will continue to be for the next 6 months or so, at the end of the day I will see it because it, unlike any other movie in film history; will deliver the long anticipated spectacle of Batman and Bane duking it out on the big screen.

That these 2 titans of comics are to be portrayed by capable actors such as Christian Bale and Tom Hardy respectively, is merely the icing on the cake.

I find this funny. Does that make me less of a man?

Christopher Nolan’s track record when it comes to cinematography and fight choreography suggests that the ensuing bout will be clumsy and edited through a meat grinder, but even so, I’ve been waiting to see this fight brought to life on the silver screen since I was 6 years old; and crappy or not, I will not be denied.

That being said, Batman and Bane grudge match aside, what did I think of the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises?

Well, to answer your question, I felt it was quite good by most standards, but much too enigmatic and fractured in it’s presentation to pack the same visceral punch that the later trailers for The Dark Knight did.

Here’s a refresher in case you need it:

I’d prefer not to compare the 2, as it’s obvious the people cutting the trailers for these movies came at it from very different tonal and thematic standpoints; but I feel it needs to be said that, to me, The Dark Knight really did have some of the best trailers of all time.

Everything, from the shot selection, to the music cues, to the overall pacing of the trailers for The Dark Knight was absolutely spot on.

What’s more, thanks to the dialogue-heavy nature of the trailers, as well as his untimely death, an absurd amount of buzz was generated for Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker, (*Sigh* “Why So Serious?”) not to mention the overall plot of the film was made crystal clear.

Though it sounds silly in this cynical age of ours, in many ways I feel the catchphrases and buzzwords of The Dark Knight actually served to make it’s advertising campaign both effective and memorable on the whole.

The trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has a lot of neat shots in it, promising quite a few interesting set piece moments, however, perhaps due to the lack of dialogue, many of these shots are difficult to interpret from a purely visual standpoint.

Early on we see the reflection of a man with a cane approaching a shiny dinner platter while Alfred drones on about the Wayne dynasty:

Pictured: I have no fucking clue. Maybe a Ra's Al Ghul flashback?

At some point we see someone stumble onto the set of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet:

Pictures: Ballrooms + Flower Petals = Hamelt. It's science.

Later, we see a bearded Bruce Wayne wandering around what appears to be the prison equivalent to Discovery Zone:

I know it's probably supposed to be a prison, but honestly, I kind of wanna' play on it...

There’s that French lady from Inception n’shit.

A FOOTBALL FIELD was just DESTROYED! WHY ARE YOU SMILING!?

There’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Pictured: Joseph Gordon "Still Not Sure Where To Put The Hyphen" Levitt.

There’s A SHIT TON of rappeling.

The Dark Knight Rises: A Story of Men On Ropes.

And then we have Anne Hathaway as a mean lady that may or may not be Catwoman.

Seriously, if you take into account the fact that maybe, just maybe, the people viewing this trailer haven’t been blogging about every step of the script writing process, or staring at leaked production photos for the past several months, (oddly enough, not me!) then this trailer basically offers no hint as to her role being that of Selina Kyle.

Oh wait excuse me, she’s wearing a mask at a masquerade ball that, if you look really hard, has cat ears:

Direct quote: "WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

Sarcasm deployed, mystery solved.

Much like Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face, unless you’ve been following the production or are familiar with the Batman universe, chances are you’d never know Anne Hathaway was supposed to be Catwoman in this trailer.

Indeed, I’m curious to know what this trailer meant to people who aren’t familiar with Batman outside of the movies.

In many ways, when I watch this trailer, I feel my perception is skewed by the fact that I already have an attachment to and understanding of many of the characters based on their comic book equivalent.

When I think “Bane,” I already have an image in mind of what I expect from him.

When I hear Tom Hardy speaking through his mask I say to myself:

"I can see how people could find that hard to understand, but goddamnit that sounds like Bane!"

When I see scenes from the trailer like the prison break, I think to myself:

"Nice. That looks straight out of Knightfall!"

To the average Batman virgin however, I’d imagine imagery such as this would be provocative, but purely in a “oh, so that’s gonna’ happen at some point” kind of way.

Hell, I’m willing to bet the average Bat Virgin doesn’t have the slightest clue as to who or what Bane even is.

What I think I’m trying to say, is that the style of editing and presentation of this trailer is enticing, as anything with a budget and pretty pictures can manage to be, but at the same time I feel frustrated by the numerous vagaries it throws in my lap.

As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of the J.J. Abrams-style marketing.

It’s not that I prefer my trailers to spell their plots and structure out to me, I simply value coherence and context over sound cues and pretty pictures.

Much like all of Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters, The Dark Knight Rises appears to be an audio-visual powerhouse, though in some ways it appears a little less so at this point.

The set pieces looks suitably big, but the color palette appears more gray-ish and natural than The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, and curiously enough, despite it being an almost comical trademark of his, there’s not a single (gorgeous) overhead shot of a cityscape.

Instead he decided to pull a 180 and do an INVERTED overhead shot for the poster!

That last part troubles me, as I’m a big fan of Nolan’s wide open establishing shots, particularly in outdoor scenes, and though it may just be the editor’s doing; there are none to be found in this trailer.

Perhaps the strangest thing though, at least to me, is the fact that they re-used the mood building drone AKA The Joker’s theme from The Dark Knight in this trailer.

I always thought of that particular piece of music as “belonging” to The Joker, which made it somewhat puzzling to hear played over a trailer for a film that, almost certainly; won’t feature him.

Despite everything I’ve said about this trailer, both good and bad, at the end of the day it’s a very good piece of advertising for a sequel that, unfortunately, benefitted from some of the best advertising and pre-release buzz in recent memory.

Not only that, it’s only the first trailer, for a huge movie that isn’t dropping until late in the summer.

As good as the advertising for The Dark Knight was from the get go, the 2nd trailers for it, Iron Man, and Inception were all MONUMENTALLY better than the first, which leads me to believe the same will likely be the case with The Dark Knight Rises.

In addition to this, one also has to consider the fact that virtually all of Christopher Nolan’s blockbusters up to this point, while heavily advertised, also did well to avoid showing a great deal of the major story beats and action set pieces.

I mean hell, neither the teaser nor the trailer saw any mention of Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox, nor any of stuff from the prologue sequence that made the rounds through theaters last week.

I don’t know about you, but up until it’s release I really thought the “truck flip” from The Dark Knight trailer was going to be the climax of the movie.

Instead, the entire skyscraper based finale of the movie ended up playing that role, while never once being hinted at in the trailers.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that though I may seem overly critical, in truth I’m just a fanboy hoping for the best.

In the meantime though, as weird as it seems, I think I actually liked the almost universally panned teaser for The Dark Knight Rises somewhat better than the trailer.

True, most of the footage was borrowed from Batman Begins.

True, Commissioner Gordon’s dialogue was hard to understand.

True, virtually nothing Commissioner Gordon had to say was even worth hearing in the first place.

BUT, at the very end of the teaser, there is a single, barely 2 second shot that made it all worth it:

Pictured: All I needed to see.

Batman in the rain, taking a deep breath, while Bane slowly approaches from the foreground.

The whole thing was crap up until then, but that last shot instantly sold me.

The trailer, while bigger and much more coherent, didn’t have this shot or even a suitable equivalent.

True, it featured a few shots of Batman and Bane throwing down in the snow, however I felt the subtlety and dramatic implication of the teaser shot did more to appease the fanboy in me than the entirety of the full trailer.

That’s just me though.

Do I ever need a reason to post this? Didn't think so...

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Remember That One Time The Rock Threw Stone Cold Off A Bridge?


Honestly… I think the context of this clip is better left unexplained.

All you need to know is:

Yes, The Rock did indeed throw Stone Cold off a bridge.

Yes, they tried to sell this as the “Death of Stone Cold.”

And yes, I miss the Attitude Era just as much as you do.

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Evaluating The Rock’s Return To The Ring

Pictured: The Rock is back, and he brought his new salt and pepper beard and gaudy-ass tattoos.

So, I watched Survivor Series this past Sunday.

I haven’t watched Raw or Smackdown in at least 5 years now, but like many seasoned wrestling fans; I’m always looking for an excuse to get back in the loop.

Unfortunately, given the general dearth of genuinely interesting or talented wrestlers in the organization these days, said reasons are scarce at best…

That being said, when it came to tuning in to Survivor Series this past weekend, much like Rikishi, I did it for The Rock:

If memory serves me, and I know it does, I believe it’s been about 7 years since The Rock last stepped into the squared circle for a legitimate wrestling match.

Sadly, despite sporting a spectacular physique, the years have not been kind to ‘ole Dwayne’s in-ring coordination.

That’s not to say his main event performance wasn’t all that bad, (it wasn’t) rather it was just a little bit disappointing to see one of my heroes slowly succumb to the horrors of bad knees and premature old fart-ism.

Despite lacking the same explosiveness and distinctive spasmatic body language, The Rock did about as well as one could expect following a 7 year layoff.

Upon entering the arena, I was kind of shocked with how little applause The Rock garnered from the live audience.

Maybe it was just my puny speakers, but it seemed to me like the crowd should’ve been louder given the gravity of the situation.

Then again, maybe my expectations for contemporary wrestling fans are a little too high given the current state of the WWF.

In any case, The Rock milked his entrance and got more applause than John Cena, so it’s all good in my book.

As one would expect in a tag match featuring a returning legend of the industry, The Rock entered the ring last, served as the initial tag partner of his team, and finished the match.

Facing off against The Miz and R-Truth, The Rock’s first moments in the match were, in my opinion; his best.

By the way, if you had asked me if the man formerly known as K-Kwik would ever headline a pay-per-view in the 21st century, I’d have told you “no fucking way.”

Funny how shit works out like that.

Anyway, in matches like this, where 2 mid-tier heels are pitted against a legend with an aura of invincibility, there’s really no logical way for the heels to build momentum against him without resorting to dirty tactics or shenanigans.

Pictured: "Shenanigans."

In going with this line of thinking, The Rock did well to cast an imposing shadow in the ring, bulling his neck and standing rigid and tall.

Basically, he straight up looked untouchable when standing next to the 3 other A-listers in the ring.

At the opening bell, The Rock cut loose with a series of rapid fire armdrags on both of his opponents.

I’ve always said there needed to be more armdrags in wrestling, so this brief sequence did well to satisfy the Rick Steamboat fan in me.

From there, The Rock basically cleaned house, knocking both men out of the ring at one time or another, and employing the first of his many signature move in the form of a somewhat flacid DDT.

It wasn’t so much the DDT itself was lacking, rather it was the gut kick preceding it that, quite literally; fell short.

Fell short as in straight-up missed the mark ala Randy Orton:


This failed gut kick would do well to sum up the whole of The Rock’s in-ring performance at Survivor Series.

To be blunt, he seemed tentative to me, like he held concern for potentially harming his fellow performers.

Strange, considering the amount of contact and brutality that was commonplace during The Rock’s heyday.

In any case, following the DDT, The Rock would later go on to execute a slow, but ably performed kip up, followed by a impressive, and very likely MMA inspired leg submission on R-Truth.

I’ll have to find out what that move was called, cause quite frankly, it was awesome.

Oh yeah, around this time the crowd started shouting, “You still got it!”

That was also awesome.

From there, the match turned into a snore fest for me, as once The Rock tagged in John Cena, the match degenerated into a one-sided beat down of the no-selling wonder.

Seriously man, I paid to see The Rock, and instead, I got stuck with 30 minutes of John Cena failing at getting his ass beat, bookended by 2 minutes of awesome Rock action.

That being said, I’m writing this article about The Rock, so I’ll be foregoing any detailed explanations of the non-Rock segments of the match.

All you really need to know is that it sucked.

Oddly enough, The Rock’s big finish at the end of the match was actually probably one of his weaker moments.

As tends to be the case with big-time wrestlers, The Rock has an ungodly number of signature moves and finishers.

During the climax of a match, many wrestlers like this *cough!* Hulk Hogan *cough!* tend to run through all their big moves like a series of bullet points.

Everybody knows it’s coming, but it’s a big part of what you pay to see when it comes to pro-wrestling.

In the case of The Rock, this involved his trademark slap punch combination, a DDT, a Rock Bottom, and a People’s Elbow to top it all off.

The weird part was, and this may have had something to do with a lack of energy in the room, but The Rock’s big finish seemed a little bit lackadaisical.

Once again, it may be a combination of bad knees and improper conditioning, but The Rock’s punches lacked the same jittery energy they used to.

As also mentioned before, his DDT fell short of the mark a second time, with the gut kick once again whiffing by a country mile.

His Rock Bottom felt wimpy.

And most electrifying move in sports entertainment or not, his People’s Elbow failed to get a rise out of me.

Despite performing well overall, The Rock seemed most uncomfortable doing the simplest and most familiar moves in his repertoire, the ones that made him famous.

In all, The Rock seemed at his best during the more heavily choreographed portions of the match at the beginning, which isn’t surprising given his recent time spent performing action scenes in Hollywood films.

He didn’t embarrass himself, and he certainly did well enough to make me glad to see him back in the saddle, but at the end of the day, it was strange to see a Rock faded to the point of being, almost human.

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Remember That One Time Rikishi “Did It For Dah’ Rock”?

Oh, how I long for the days when wrestling was still fun.

These days it seems like the WWF is more interested in plugging it’s seemingly endless supply of Twitter feeds than it is the art of pro wrestling, steel chair shots, and vehicular assault…

Oh well, as they say:

Back in the early 2000’s, the WWF made the somewhat bold decision to push the previously semi-mute Rikishi.

Originally Fatu of the Headshrinkers back in early 90’s, Rikishi’s path through the WWF saw him play a number of stereotypical heel characters ranging from Samoan to Middle Eastern, however it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that he would gain a significant following.

Joining forces with the Backstreet Boys inspired tag team Too Cool, Rikishi gained popularity largely due to his surprisingly fleet-footed dance moves involved in the crew’s victory dances.

Somewhere down the line though, Rikishi began to eclipse the popularity of Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty, (yes, those were in fact their names) resulting in him distancing himself from the group and being given the privilege to speak on the mic every now and again.

In a shocking heel turn, it would later be revealed that at Survivor Series ’99, Rikishi had run Stone Cold Steve Austin over with a car.

Boldly playing the race card, this story angle would involve Rikishi lashing out at the WWF backstage politics, alluding to the ongoing tendency of Samoan wrestlers to be cast as mid-tier “monsters” while white performers enjoyed the spotlight.

While many could look at this storyline as being silly and over the top, it’s impossible to deny the historical truth of his statements.

Probably the most entertaining thing to come out of this incident, (well, besides the whole vehicular assault thing) was the moment when Rikishi confesses to having “done it, for dah’ Rock.”

You see, Rikishi and The Rock, along with most of the Samoans on the planet, are actually cousins in real life.

Playing up this angle, Rikishi was revealed to have hit Stone Cold with the car as a means of bolstering The Rock’s popularity, and putting a fellow Samoan in power.

While I actually didn’t mind this angle all that much, given the fact that nearly a year passed between the time when Stone Cold was hit, and the time they actually revealed who the perpetrator was, it’s more than likely that the behind the scenes writers put the whole thing together out of desperation or lack of ideas.

That being said, at the very least, this whole incident provided The Rock with a shit ton of material for promos and smack talking.

To this day, “I did it, for dah’ Rock.  I did it, for dah’ people” forever sticks in my mind as one of the funnier things The Rock’s ever said, as well as perhaps my fondest memory of Rikishi as a character.

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Remember When Stone Cold Started Saying “What?”

It’s funny, as much as I’ve loved watching the WWF over the years, particularly in my youth; I can actually pinpoint a few fairly specific elements/events that lead to me completely turning my back on wrestling for nearly a decade.

First and foremost, was the general dearth of quality talent in the mid-2000’s.

Both The Rock and Austin had just left the company, and while guys like Chris Jericho, Triple H, Kurt Angle, and, *sigh* Brock Lesnar did what they could to carry the torch, the void left by the 2 legends was just too damn big.

Moreover, by this point the WCW and ECW guys had fully integrated into the roster by this point, resulting in much of the hype and mystique surrounding some of them giving way to the reality of their somewhat eroded in-ring ability.

In short, when the big 2 left, I stopped tuning in for the whole show, instead checking in just to catch the main events from week to week.

Next, was the fact that the quality of the storylines were beginning to flounder at times with atrocious bullshit like the “Katie Vick Incident” becoming increasingly commonplace.

It’s a long story, but in case you’re wondering, the “Katie Vick” storyline involved Kane accidentally killing his girlfriend in a car crash years back, resulting in Triple H mocking her memory by… Dressing up like Kane and fucking a mannequin:

Like I said, long fuckin’ story.

Not worth going into.

Finally, and I might be alone on this one, I feel like the nail in the coffin for my relationship with wrestling in the early 2000’s just might have been Stone Cold’s adoption of “What?” as his new catchphrase.

Listening to Stone Cold, be reduced to a mic toting clown and stumble his way through his promos every week, shouting “WHAT?” at random intervals, was more than a little annoying.

Truth be told, I was never really a diehard Stone Cold fan, largley because he often feuded with The Rock; who I actually was a diehard fan of.

I always “liked” Austin, but he was always 2nd or 3rd banana to The Rock in my book.

That being said, Austin’s “What?” catchphrase was absolutely maddening to behold.

Not only was he not nearly as funny as I think he was expected to be, but to hear the crowd shout “What?” at every pause, in every promo, often times out of synch with the man himself, or worse yet; during promos that he was neither a part of nor mentioned in, was one of the most annoying weekly occurrences I can recall in wrestling.

Well, outside of watching X-Pac do his Bronco Buster twice a fuckin’ night…

Filed under: Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Remember That One Time Arnold Schwarzenegger Bitch-Slapped Triple H?

It’s funny, unlike a lot of other moments in wrestling that have graced this page, I honestly can’t recall the context of this clip.

Based on the physical conditioning of both Arnold and the wrestlers, I’d say this happened in the early 2000’s, meaning Arnold was likely there to promote End of Days, The 6th Day, or maybe even Collateral Damage.

In any case, as is the norm during guest appearances on wrestling, Arnold got a chance to bust a head or 2.

That being said, in an odd triple-threat match between the waste of flesh known as Test, The Rock, and Triple H, Arnold apparently had an axe to grind with Triple H.

Why he decided Test was less deserving of his wrath than Triple H is entirely beyond me, as we all know Test was a sack of fuck who’s talent consisted of being tall, Canadian and, uh, blond.

... And apparently he's also dead. Sorry, Test fans!

Anyway, during the match Arnold attempts to do commentary on the proceedings, only managing to sound like a drunk Austrian gorilla in the process.

See below for example of said rantings:

At some point, Arnold finds that the carnage and brutality of the in-ring antics is not up to his MANLY standards, causing him to throw a steel chair into the ring; seemingly just for shits and giggles.

I suppose you could make a case for Arnold having intended for Stone Cold (the guest referee) to use to the chair, but I choose not to believe that.

I prefer my Arnold sadistic and douchey.

DOING IT WRONG.

Following several chair shots and much mayhem and chaos, Triple H approaches the announcer’s table and takes a swing at Arnold!

Using his awesome skills in the field of, uh, leaning away from punches 5 seconds before their thrown, Arnold then proceeds to counter with the mightiest of MANLY strikes, a BITCH SLAP across Triple H’s bearded face!

Belting the master of “Suck It” to the floor, Arnold then proceeds to mount Triple H’s chest and punch his ass into submission.

Most celebrity guests on wrestling are lucky to get in a punch, let alone a sloppy tackle, but Arnold being Arnold, he got a chair shot by proxy, a bitch slap, and a whole mess of punches.

I love it…

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Remember When Stone Cold Stunned The Entire McMahon Clan?

This was a classic wrestling moment of the modern age that I’m very proud to say I got to see when it first aired.

At this point in time, Steve Austin was basically on his way out of the wrestling industry, such that this moment could be seen as one of his numerous last hurrahs in the WWF.

Stone Cold was a pivotal, if not the pivotal figure in the birth and ascension of the Attitude Era of wrestling that I was raised on, however in all honesty; he was never really a favorite of mine.

I liked his swagger and I admired his wrestling ability, however my allegiance to The Rock, a man whom Austin frequently feuded with; has basically been unwavering since day one.

Like I said, Austin was great for the organization, and a terrific wrestler to boot; but for whatever reason he just never appealed to me as much as some of the other guys out there.

I suppose it didn’t help when the guy adopted “WHAT!?”, perhaps the single most annoying and persistent catch phrase I can recall in recent memory; as his calling card.

Despite whatever problems I might have with Austin, I still watch his shitty direct to video movies out of principle.

I have a weakness for shit-ily titled movies starring former pro-wrestlers.

The clip at the top of this post represents perhaps the finest example of the WWF phenomena that was “Austin Stunning The McMahons.”

Vince McMahon and his family used to get Stunned pretty much twice a week, but the clip above represents perhaps the only instance when he managed to get each and every one of them consecutively in one segment.

Truth be told, he really should’ve Stunned Triple H (Stephanie McMahon’s husband) as well just for good measure; but oh well.

I think the best part of this segment, was the use of Austin’s signature beer toss throughout.

Even if you couldn’t give 2 shits about wrestling, it’s hard not to laugh at the sight of Austin getting progressively more and more drunk as he Stuns his way through the McMahon clan.

Also, it needs to be said that Linda McMahon’s reaction to the Stunner is perhaps the single worst sell of it I’ve ever seen.

The best selling of the Stunner of course belongs to The Rock:

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Shawn Michaels Is Hilarious… But I Don’t Think He Knows It.

Shawn Michaels is easily one of my favorite wrestlers of all time.

His in-ring ability and timing is some of the best of all time, and though he was never on par with the likes of The Rock or Randy Savage on the mic; (to be fair, no one is) few could deny he could cut a good promo.

That being said, as demonstrated in the clip above, no man; no matter how awesome, can escape the hilarious effects slow-motion.

It’s like an undeniable fact of universal physics.

Any voice, sped up or slowed down, automatically becomes comedy gold.

Oddly enough, slow-motion Shawn Michaels is one of the more hilarious examples of said phenomena.

Something about the way he and other wrestlers, most notably HHH; linger on their words, and stretch out their syllables, just makes them sound really fucking funny when slowed down.

Truth be told, slow-motion HBK doesn’t sound all too different from the real thing, however the change in his speech cadence, results in him sounding more than a little drunk.

Just take a look here:

While HBK has always had a goofy side to him, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud at anything he did outside of the edited clips above.

Well, except for maybe that one time when he made a fool out of Hulk Hogan by overselling his moves:

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Remember When The Rock And HHH Had A Head-Busting Contest?

No explanation necessary.

Just 2 terrific performers at the peak of their powers, giving the crowd a show through some simple; but truly brilliant physical comedy.

At the end of the day, wrestling’s supposed to be fun; and that’s exactly what this clip represents.

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Optimus Prime Is An Asshole

ASSHOLE.

*Caution! This article contains spoilers for ALL of the live-action Transformers films!*

Before you lose your shit and start calling blasphemy at the title of this post, please take heed and understand the face that the above phrase is only in reference to the live-action Michael Bay version of the character.

I grew up watching the original Transformers.

Optimus Prime was, and is; one of my biggest heroes.

That being said, after (finally) watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I can honestly say, with an absolute degree of certainty; that Michael Bay’s take on the character barely qualifies as a “in name only” representation of the original Optimus Prime.

Much like the Roland Emmerich take on Godzilla, commonly known as GINO or "Godzilla In Name Only."

Watching Optimus Prime evolve, or should I say, degenerate; from film to film has been a horrific and sickening process.

The original character of Optimus Prime was that of a regal and clean-cut goody goody.

He was noble to the point of being kind of a tool, he rarely was at the forefront of combat, deferring most of the dirty work to his Autobot cohorts, and in every case, regardless of how practical it may be; he did whatever he could to stand for peace and altruism.

He was an admirable role model for impressionable young children, and one that, in a perfect world, would still hold up to this day.

The first live-action Transformers movie, a mediocre film overall, but easily the best of the trilogy; took many liberties with it’s interpretations of many of the Gen 1 characters, however when it came to Optimus Prime, it mostly got it “right.”

In Transformers 1, Prime was every bit as regal as his old self, with the sole exception of a few uncharacteristically goofy moments.

One of his finer moments in the film came at the very end, when Prime attempted to sacrifice himself and the All-Spark.

Sam, being the mental giant that he is, instead decided to kill Megatron with it.

He never once suggested using it to destroy Megatron, nor did he ever seem at any point prepared to outright kill his lifelong rival.

While his character was never developed to the point in which anyone could really care about him, it was nonetheless very appropriate to have Prime mourn the death of Jazz at the film’s conclusion.

Really Prime’s only really odd moment was during his battle with Bonecrusher, wherein he basically decapitated the severely outmatched Decepticon without giving it a second thought.

While somewhat shocking, dealing with his opponent at the time, quickly and efficiently; was cause enough justify Prime’s course of action.

Even so, while it was cool to see Prime cut loose and kick-ass, it’s hard for me to associate the phrase “stone cold killer” with him.

Which brings us to the train wreck that is Revenge of the Fallen.

Pictured: One of the innumerable problems that made up the blasphemous pile of poo that was Revenge of the Fallen.

Probably the worst in the trilogy, Revenge of the Fallen’s version of Optimus Prime was worse than the first film, but in my opinion; not quite as bad as the 3rd one.

Not all too different from his Transformers 1 counterpart in speech and mannerisms, the one really noticeable change in his character came in the form of a gung ho, “kill them until they die from it” attitude.

I’m guessing it makes me sound like a pussy to say so, but I was downright shocked to see Optimus blow Demolishor’s head off at the beginning of the movie.

It's all in good fun until someone gets hurt...

While far from the dumbest or most offensive sequence in the movie, seeing a childhood hero think nothing of executing a defenseless opponent just seemed really fuckin’ wrong to me.

Similarly, it came as a shock to me that Prime would brutalize and utterly obliterate The Fallen at the film’s conclusion.

The world was no longer in danger, and in his “Super Saiyan Prime” form, The Fallen seemed to be no match for him; so in my mind it seemed kind of odd for Prime to go the extra mile to butcher and obliterate his opponent.

Sadly, that last part is a direct quote.

I’m not at all opposed to killing in Transformers movies, however I do take offense to unjustified killing via the hands of Optimus Prime.

Killing Blackout during the 3-on-1 battle in the forest (arguably the best scene in any of the movies) came as a result of necessity I.E. defending himself and more importantly, Sam.

Decapitating a defenseless, and largely incapacitated opponent, was hard to justify outside of appealing to a bloodthirsty audience.

There was a phrase that Prime tossed around in virtually every episode of the old TV show, namely that of “Easy, Ironhide.”

This phrase was meant to separate Prime from his more bloodthirsty counterpart.

The phrase was used in Transformers 1, but somewhere down the line they decided to ditch it and the philosophical implications it brought to the table.

That being said, while Prime was obviously trending towards a more bad-ass persona in Revenge of the Fallen, in my eyes they took this much too far in Dark of the Moon.

"Peeeeaaace..... No Peace..."

Prime’s role in Dark of the Moon was somewhat diminished in comparison to the previous films in the series, however his behavior in the 3rd film was borderline offensive.

First off, and this applies to all of the Autobots; I found the idea of the Transformers rallying behind the U.S. military to combat terrorism to be more than a little insulting.

Throughout every film, Optimus Prime has declared himself to be an ally of humanity, making it completely absurd that he and the other Autobots would seemingly align themselves exclusively with the U.S., a single nation among hundreds of others.

I know these movies have obligations to portray the U.S. military in a certain way, largely due to multi-million dollar contracts with the armed forces; but attempting to trick kids into believing they’ll get to hang out with autonomous transforming robots when they sign-up is more than a little offensive.

Oh well, at least it’s not as dumb, or as blatant as Taiwan’s military ad campaign:

Moving on, it’s hard to deny that Prime’s gung ho/take no prisoners attitude from Revenge of the Fallen was turned up to 11 for Dark of the Moon.

Gen 1 and first film alum, Ironhide, as well as a handful of other Autobots are killed in the film, however at no point does Optimus Prime take a moment to reflect on their passing.

The death of any Autobot is always going to be a big deal, but for IRONHIDE, one of the most well known and beloved characters in the franchise to pass on without acknowledgment; is pretty fuckin’ lame.

What’s also pretty fuckin’ lame is hearing Optimus Prime arrive at the battlefield and declare bullshit G.I. Joe phrases like:

That’s a direct quote by the way.

I don’t care how many civilians the Decepticons kill, to hear the venerable leader of the Autobots order a fuckin’ genocide on the opposition is just plain fuckin’ wrong.

To make matters worse, Prime once again can’t seem to stop himself from killing everything in sight.

Countless (generic) Decepticons meet their fate at the hands of Prime in Dark of the Moon, however the really offensive deaths come at the film’s conclusion.

At the end of the film, Prime is severely wounded and faced with 2 opponents, Sentinel Prime and Megatron.

At one point Megatron proceeds to offer Prime a truce, whereupon Prime interrupts him and proceeds to tear his fuckin’ head off.

Following this, a mortally wounded Sentinel Prime crawls about on the ground and begs for his life, whereupon Prime interrupts him and proceeds blow his fuckin’ head off.

 

Apparently, negotiation is not one of the Autobot’s strong suits.

I don’t know about you, but shit like this grinds my motherfuckin’ gears.

It’s like the equivalent of a grossly unwarranted and unexpected heel-turn of a beloved face in wrestling.

The only difference is, in wrestling shit like that usually ends up paying off in the long run.

Corporate Rock, while hard to swallow in the first few months, was one of his better moments.

G.I. Kill-Master Prime, as well as any of the live-action Transformers films, will likely continue to be shitty as ever 10 years from now.

Anyway, I won’t be writing a review for Dark of the Moon, (it sucked) but I felt I needed to pound out this article, because I genuinely felt that this interpretation of the character was entirely “wrong.”

Oh well, I guess this is the kind of shit you have to expect from movies when the military is heavily invested in their making, the countries’ been at war for over a decade, and kids have been living off Call of Duty games and their imitators for the past 8 years.

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