Saturday, July 05, 2014

Spoiler Alert!

Okay, so you got this far. The title didn't keep you from reading the rest of this post, so I'll assume you're the devil-may-care type who likes to dance on the leading edge of popular culture. You want to know what's new before it's new. You don't want to hear about what happened at the water cooler on Monday morning, you want to be there on Friday afternoon when they're delivering the water and the guy who drives the truck saw a rough cut of the latest blockbuster at a screening for guys who drive water trucks and he can tell you that the big news is that Optimus Prime flies. I know, right?
Never mind that that whole robot that turns into a truck thing was pretty spectacular, and if you drove a water truck for a living you might periodically fantasize about how that truck could turn into a giant robot to help you unload those great heavy bottles of water. And defend humanity against the threat of other robots that turn into household appliances and very expensive cars. Which is just great, since the threat of being overwhelmed and destroyed by a race of giant robots that have a penchant for turning into everyday objects has never been greater. It does make me wonder, however, why the fact that their leader has been hiding this rather impressive light under a barrel. Optimus Prime can fly.
If you were the leader of a group of giant robots who landed here on earth and weren't necessarily geared toward global domination or destruction, it makes sense that you might want to remain discrete. If your version of discrete includes showing up as a Peterbilt 379 truck with flames painted on the cab. He's a robot in disguise, get it? If he showed up as a space shuttle or a Boeing Dreamliner, it would be such a giveaway. Talk about your spoiler alerts.
If I had known that the dinosaurs got loose before I went to see Jurassic Park, I think I still would have gone. Twenty-five years ago, Michael Keaton let slip in an interview with David Letterman that it was the Joker who killed Bruce Wayne's parents, they still managed to sell some tickets. I was one of those who waited in line. I still wanted to see it. I can't say that I felt the same way when I saw Optimus Prime fly. My son points out, correctly, that the leader of the Autobots has flown before, but I argued that it took a special expansion trailer that he had to have nearby so that he could, well, fly. The fact that this is something that I would spend any time at all discussing should make clear that I am that person sitting in front of his computer waiting for the latest news on the Hulk's new purple pants and the search for just the right Aquaman. How can this possibly matter?
Why, in a world torn by religious and racial tension, with economic and ecological catastrophes occurring with frightening regularity, would I spend any time at all worrying about giving away secrets about a movie depicting the exploits of giant robots who were sent here ostensibly to save us from ourselves? Because, if any of this turns out to be some sort of wild coincidence or conspiracy, it could be very important inside information to know that Optimus Prime can fly.

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