Thoughts about Drift


News broke recently that Drift is the mysterious Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse in the Transformers 4 movie. The rumors were confirmed after extensive analysis of the only reliable source online: 2014 Halloween costume solicitations. Yes, there was a photo of a costume for “Drift”, who looked very much like a samurai.

So that’s that.

This put me in one of two minds:

  1. I am definitely putting off that eBay bid for Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon (who is metal as all heck) until I find out what the inevitable Bludgeon repaint of Drift is going to look like
  2. This could be the best thing or worst thing ever.

I’m not one of those fans who hate Drift. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t around during his IDW debut, when fans ragged on him for being a stereotypical Japanophile. However, I’ve quite enjoyed his appearances in the MTMTE comics, where he’s a laid-back second-in-command who is willing to sacrifice himself if it meant the safety of the crew. Plus, that toy they released of him, which was basically the first new G1 Transformer in ages? It is a hoot. The slim chest plate and the sword scabbards are plenty awesome. (And you can store his big sword in a slot on his back! How cool is that?)

However… Michael Bay’s characterizations are a bit broad. I don’t think he’s racist, by the way. He is one of the few directors out there who was bold enough to do a buddy cop movie where both are African American. However, there’s a reason he got piled on for Skids and Mudflap. It’s not just that, either. Jazz was a non-entity beyond his, um, swagger. Que (who was Wheeljack?!?!?) was a doddering one-dimensional elderly man. And Alice, the pretender from the second movie, had no character beyond “being sexy.” Whenever Bay gets a hold of a robot character, it’s just that one dimension and that’s it.

And as cool as it is to see that Drift’s in the movie … part of me is a little leery that, as an Asian American, I’m going to be all, “Oh. Now I see why people were cheesed off.”

P.S. — Also, nuts to all the people complaining that a character named for “drift racing” is a Bugatti. They’re robots in disguise, people! It’s a car that no one would suspect.

P.P.S. — Though I’m almost certain that Bay’s thought process for the auto selection in this movie was, “Which sort of cars do I want to ride around in so I can pick up starlets for the premiere parties?”

P.P.P.S. — That said, Nemesis Prime is a pretty awesome looking vehicle.