Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is a thrillingly great time that embraces its history while carving its future. It’s a riveting franchise return that many will fall in love with and a great summer movie joyride.
The seventh entry into the live action Transformers franchise is directed by Stephen Caple JR. (Creed 2) with Joby Harold, Darnell Metayer & Josh Peters having penned the screenplay. It follows the Autubots as they are forced to team up with the Maximals in defeating a threat bigger than anything either have faced in both their pasts or futures, Unicron – the chaos bringer and his soulless Terracon army.
Our Autobots and Maximals respectively get their long awaited time to shine! Often being sidelined throughout the Michael Bay Transformers movies, they get the spotlight with the majority of the movie focusing on them. On the Autobot side, Peter Cullen commands the screen as Optimus Prime in what is possibly the best we have ever seen him. He’s hurting but never beaten, kind but fearsome, strong, but gentle & here we get to see huge development in him that previous entries of the series mostly passed on the opportunity to do so.
Alongside Prime, Pete Davidson’s Mirage is exceptionally enjoyable to watch as the rebellious rookie to the team, it’s almost impossible to believe he wont soon become a fan favorite. As for Bumblebee, while he may not be as prominent in the movie as many hope or as many have come to expect, when he is on screen, he’s a scene stealer with one specific moment briefly showcased in the trailers & marketing.
As for the Maximals, Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman) is fantastic throughout the film & easily the most defined & fleshed out of his team whereas Airrazor (Michelle Yeoh) is a great addition with surprisingly more to do than I had first thought.
The movie’s story is simplistically thin to where no one should have a hard time following it like they may have with this series in the past. I truly respected & admired the creative team’s willingness to finally truly begin diving into the lore of this series.
Our villains are all a force to be reckoned with, both intimidating in their sizes, voices & appearances but in their actions & mindless motivations too. Peter Dinklage’s Scourge is particularly terrifying & cunning in a way we haven’t seen since in the franchise since the Bounty Hunter Lockdown back in 2014’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction.
Regarding the action this time around, as always for this franchise, is a highlight. Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts merges the coherent & smooth camerawork of Bumblebee with the scale & spectacle extravaganza of Michael Bay – Although admittedly, at times without the weight to the action that he brought – Stephen Caple JR. truly has the touch when it comes to making riveting, engaging & wildly fun smackdown moments. They are glorious to witness on the big screen & you are served an entire feast of it throughout the film’s triumphant & earned third act climax.
Now, Transformers is the foundation of my life, essentially. I care for it very, very much and I find there’s always something to at least appreciate. But, that doesn’t mean it’s free of its flaws, and Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is no exception to that. The visual effects, while by no means ‘bad’, are at times inconsistent and unpolished throughout the movie. This may be a result of more robot screen time than ever, or more likely, a lower budget than the series is used too. But whatever the reason, it is a noticeable itch on the visual appearance of the film.
Secondly, after a great first act, the second act hits weak and it is where problems begin to float to the surface such as the film’s script and over reliance on contrivances and exposition whom, unfortunately, the second human lead in the film, Elena Wallace, portrayed by Dominque Fishback falls into. However, I want to stress this is down to the script’s use & direction of the character & by no means Dominque herself, who is still great in the movie with what she has to work with.
Additionally, due to how much is going on, some characters & threads are left behind to try and keep up. Most notably is several of the robot cast, Arcee, Wheeljack, Cheetor and Rhinox. While good in the film when they are, they lack an individual defining moment or any sort of real look into their personalities, unlike that of almost everyone else. Going forward, it would be great to expand on them as both as characters and warriors.
Despite its flaws however, this is another great step in the right direction as the franchise aims to catapult itself back on track. As a moviegoer, I had an incredibly fun and entertaining time watching. As a Transformers fan, I felt at home. Steven Caple JR. directs Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts‘ to greatness & delivers a triumphant continuation of the foundation Bumblebee laid.
It’s a thrilling, heartfelt, humorous & action packed joyride with fantastic performances from (notably) Peter Cullen, Anthony Ramos & Pete Davidson respectively, that moviegoers may love while hardcore fans may adore.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is now playing in theatres.