I have nothing against robots, per se. Some of the greatest antagonists in sci-fi have been fearsome automatons like those found in Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series, or the Terminator, or the...Battle Android Troopers (B.A.T.s) from G.I. Joe. I guess. And although robot offerings in recent years have been uneven, ranging from excellent (the Cylons from the revamped Battlestar Galactica, WALL-E) to "meh" (General Grievous) to craptacular (I, Robot), we don't seem to be in any danger of suffering robo-overload à la vampires and zombies.
Which brings me to the subject of the Transformers. As you're probably aware, the third entry in Michael Bay's cacophonous trilogy -- Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- comes out tomorrow. It's guaranteed to make mad, phat, stupid money, since the only other movie of note opening this week is the sure-to-be-insufferable Larry Crowne, in which Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts make us all wish theaters handed out handguns along with 3-D glasses, the better to end our suffering.
But three movies? Is the epic narrative of giant robots beating the shit out of each other so complex it requires almost eight hours of running time to tell it? Aren't there any other robots worthy of the big screen treatment? Why, I believe there are.
This isn't a comprehensive list of robots who need their own movies, so feel free to leave your own suggestions.
Sure, he's been featured in made-for-TV specials (Bender's Big Score, for example), but if any bending unit deserves the R-rated big screen treatment, it's the cigar chomping, booze swilling, sociopathic bending unit from TV's Futurama. Who knows? With the right script, he might finally realize his dream of killing all humans.
These mutant-hunting robots are a critical part of X-Men comic and animation history, not that you'd know this from watching the movies, where the only glimpse we see of them is an early Danger Room sequence in The Last Stand. Standing three stories tall and capable even of destroying Wolverine, the only knock against them is they don't have bulging, glistening pecs like Hugh Jackman.
"Just an automated vaccuum cleaner," you say? Was the Shadout Mapes from Dune "just a housekeeper?" Was Mrs. White from Clue "just a maid?" The Roomba sees everything and knows all your filthy secrets. Is it so far-fetched to think future murder mysteries might not end with the accusation, "The Roomba did it?" Your cat doesn't think so.
HK-47, Knights of the Old Republic
One of the best parts of LucasArts' already superior video game was the assassin robot HK-47, who repeatedly refers to humans as "meatbags" and offers a nice counterpoint to dorks who insisted on playing the game from the "good" perspective. HK-47 was built by Darth Revan, a Dark Lord of the Sith, and his pre-game exploits would undoubtedly offer better entertainment than any of the Star Wars prequels.
If you weren't around in the 1970s, you'll just have to trust me when I say Bigfoot was huge. Like, Justin Bieber huge. He was the subject of countless documentaries, tabloid covers and TV shows, not the least of which was The Six Million Dollar Man. In it, Sasquatch was a robot created by aliens to guard the location of their Pacific Northwest base. I don't know how much of that you'd want to use in a feature film, but I think we could all handle a little more Bigfoot in our lives.
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Ha ha, just kidding. Man, the GoBots sucked ass.