Transformers: A visual extravaganza with unforgettable action, but lacklustre characters
  • Release Date: 08/06/2023
  • Cast: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Peter Cullen (voice), Peter Dinklage (voice)
  • Director: – Steven Caple Jr.

“Transformers: Rise of The Beast” has two different types of Transformers: Autobots and Maximals, fighting against a planet-consuming evil, Unicorn. This evil entity has sent its most powerful henchmen, known as Terrorcons, to Earth to locate and activate a device that can open a portal through time and space, enabling it to travel to Earth and other planets.

The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are already on Earth and are searching for a way to return to Cybertron. They make a shocking discovery when a scientist named Elena (Dominique Fishback) accidentally triggers a portion of the device while researching prehistoric artifacts. This sets off a chain of events that pushes Earth to the brink of destruction and gives rise to an unlikely hero, Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos).

Noah is not only the hero upon whom the fate of the universe depends but also represents the human side of the conflict in the story. He is struggling to make ends meet and raise money for his ailing brother’s treatment but is unable to secure a proper job. Frustrated and cornered, Noah agrees to steal a high-value car. Interestingly, the car turns out to be an Autobot, and Noah is unwittingly drawn into the conflict that will define him and his future.

Spellbinding action and polished visual effects:

While this might be a no-brainer, there have been recent Hollywood films where the visual effects fell short and looked mediocre. However, “Transformers: Rise of The Beast” is not one of those films.

The visual work here is spellbinding and leaves no room for complaints. While we have become accustomed to the extravagant action sequences that Michael Bay has created for the Transformers franchise, the introduction of the Maximals adds a fresh and visually captivating element to the film.

I was particularly impressed by how the biology of real-life animals was combined with metallic prosthetics to create composite beings that retained enough of their natural attributes while still exuding the indestructible qualities of Transformers. The various transformation sequences were equally impressive, and the way these creatures were captured and portrayed in the final battle was mesmerizing.

Stunning action sequences:

Once again, the film delivers on the expectation of thrilling action sequences, which had become somewhat repetitive and dull in recent installments. The fights feel intense and the resulting damage appears irreversible.

The antagonist is exceptionally strong and holds his ground until the very end of the film. This not only adds character and excitement to the action but also ensures that the heroes can never rest easy, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout.

Several chase sequences in the film were thrilling. These sequences felt exhilarating because, for once, I could fully appreciate the fluid motion of the vehicles without being overwhelmed by fast cuts or shaky camerawork. The chase sequence that introduces the character of Mirage was the highlight of the film and will remain memorable long after the credits roll.

Peter Cullen and Peter Dinklage excel as the voices of Optimus Prime and Scourge:

Peter Cullen has been one of the reasons why Optimus Prime has become such an inspiring character. His voice modulation fills my heart with inspiration, and he delivers the same here. It is Cullen’s voice that gives Prime his gravitas. His nemesis, Scourge, is voiced by Peter Dinklage, and he brings a maniacal charm to the character that is enjoyable and adds fun to the film. Although Ron Perlman’s role as Optimus Primal is limited, I still appreciated his contribution.

Generic plot that lacks novelty:

The film follows one of the most generic plots that can be expected from a film of this nature. The MacGuffin here is the device that opens the portal, and it becomes the focal point of a battle between the Autobots, Maximals, and Terrorcons on Earth. Even on Earth, the device is divided into two parts and hidden using clues that the Autobots need the help of humans to decipher.

Once it is found, the Terrorcons take it away, leading to a major battle for the Autobots and Maximals to retrieve it. The story lacks depth, and I could predict every twist and turn, making it frustrating to sit through. A film with such creative visual elements needed a more substantial or emotionally engaging story, with stronger human connections.

Poorly developed human characters and unappealing actors portraying them:

This brings me to the poorly developed human characters in the film. Humans have never been the strong suit of the Transformers franchise, but at least we had engaging men like Shia LaBeouf and Mark Wahlberg, who could face danger head-on, or attractive and captivating female actors like Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who held our attention with their oomph and charm.

In this film, the human characters are uninteresting, failing to establish any connection with the audience. They are generic and unappealing. While they might be suitable for a realistic and dramatic film, for a film centered around talking and transforming robots, we needed charismatic men or captivating women to hold our attention.

As a result, my attention often drifted from the screen when these uninspiring human characters were left to their own devices. I never cared for their safety and wouldn’t have minded if they were killed off in the film.

Predictable but visually stunning climax:

The climax of the film is extremely clichéd and predictable. Bumblebee dying and coming back to life has become repetitive, losing its impact. Even Optimus Prime has died once and came close to death on a few different occasions.

However, it cannot be denied that the climax is executed on an epic scale, and the action sequences are visually stunning. With more emotional depth, genuine drama, and thrills, it could have become one of the most unforgettable climaxes. Unfortunately, that is not the case here.

Final thoughts:

If you watch this film, do so primarily for the action and the parts involving the Transformers. It’s important to note that while the film is marketed as a recreation of “Transformers: Beast Wars”, a popular TV show that thrilled kids, it only incorporates certain elements from it. The emphasis is more on the uninteresting and uninspiring human characters than on the Transformers.

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The film would have been better served if the focus had been on the Transformers, with humans playing secondary roles. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and we are left with two dull characters hogging scene after scene. What’s worse is that they aren’t even visually appealing. Despite these shortcomings, “Transformers: Rise of The Beast” is still worth watching once due to its action, impressive visuals, and fast-paced screenplay.

Rating: 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)

The views expressed in this article are that of the reviewer and do not reflect EastMojo’s position

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