A statement that was made about exhausting the battle between the Decepticons and the Autobots has to be one of the more ridiculous things that’s been said lately since it’s very easy to exhaust a story idea when one eschews roughly half to two-thirds of the characters that people remember and ram the story into the nearest wall to see how big of a mess it can make. Tack on the efforts of Michael “Boom Boom” Bay and the fiery eruption that’s been the Transformers has been one rolling ball of burning metal for a while now. But as much as it might feel like mistake to compound the already confusing equation of Decepticons and Autobots with the inclusion of the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons (oh my), one thing feels right so far, and it’s tapping Ron Perlman for the voice of Optimus Primal. Another version of Prime, Optimus Primal can transform himself into a humongous, metallic ape, and is still every bit the leader that Optimus Prime is. In fact, the two will apparently get to meet in the upcoming movie. At this point one has to wonder why there’s still a human element to the Transformers, other than to provide some sense of scope and to make it clear that this is still earth that’s being used as a staging ground.
But next to Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman does have the type of voice that is deep enough and has just enough of a growl that makes it possible to see him voicing more than a few characters, not just Optimus Primal. But considering that Prime will be Peter Cullen’s role until he doesn’t want it, and at the age of 79 it sounds like he’s still going strong, which is amazing and uplifting all at once. But putting Perlman with Cullen sounds like a fan’s dream come true since these two playing Prime’s are bound to be a lot of fun to listen to, so long as we don’t keep getting long-winded speeches in the heat of battle that is. Much as he’s a loved character, Optimus Prime is given the strangest times to deliver a pep talk.
Listening to Perlman’s voice for so long, be it voice acting or live-action, has left a distinctive impression on a lot of people that this guy is either a true to life badass, or that he’s just that good at convincing others that he is. The upside of this is that Perlman is able to voice characters that sound menacing or are menacing, as he’s been doing for a number of years now. Even without his face being present, his voice is easily enough to convince those around him that he’s not to be messed with. The voice of Optimus Prime has always been deep, resonant, and commanding, and Optimus Primal has been no different since he appeared in Beast Wars, so thinking that Perlman’s attempt to take on the role is going to be a success isn’t hard to agree with. As far as the rest of the movie, well, that’s kind of up in the air at the moment.
There’s no doubt that the actors being selected for their roles are going to do their best, and that some of them will be great. But while the story has needed to shift to maintain the interest of the audience, it’s moved at a speed and in such odd directions that one can’t help but wonder if those making the movies have ever watched the animated series, or remember it that well. Such doubts shouldn’t really be possible when it come to the Transformers since the first movie had the look of something that was going to be great. But that was seen to fall flat as well, meaning that for all the good intentions and hype that the movies received, the jumbled mess that has become of it is less than a fitting result since fan reactions are divided at this time no matter how much positive spin people want to put on the idea. As of now it almost feels as though the Transformers should be completely redone rather than wade through the mess any further.
It’s a hard thing to say, but it’s a firm belief that continuing to try to restore this mess is going to take longer than many fans are going to be willing to stick around for. With Ron Perlman joining the cast it’s a sure bet that more people will be interested, but if this Transformers movie doesn’t deliver on the hype it’s already being given then it’s likely that more and more fans are going to start wondering when things will get back to a stable position that maks sense for the movie. If that can happen then things might even out. If not, well, people are still going to watch.