‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Review: Here We Go Again

‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ is an action, sci-fi movie which was recently released in theaters. It is the seventh installment in the Transformers series and features the introduction of several new and returning Autobots. The movie is set in the year 1994, which makes it a prequel to the original movies.

The story is as follows; when a new threat to the Earth in the form of the Terrorcons arrive to Earth seeking to conquer it for the world eating dark-god Unicron, the Autobots are faced with protecting the Earth while defeating an opponent unlike anything they have faced before. With the help of two humans named Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) and Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), as well as a whole slew of animal Transformers aptly named Maximals, the Autobots face their biggest threat yet. 

Overall critics on the movie were mostly positive. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 54% approval rating with 91% positive reviews from audiences, citing: “Thanks to some genuine human drama between the set pieces and palpable affection for the title characters, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is one of the franchise’s more enjoyable outings.”

Besides Rotten Tomatoes, film critic Graeme Guttman stated: “There are a few bright spots in Rise of the Beasts, but these are largely overshadowed by a lot of generic parts that would not be out of place in any of the previous six Transformers movies.”

As for my personal opinion on this film, I have to say that it does fulfill its aim of being an action-packed movie about robots, but not much else. Following the release of the trailer, I was excited to finally see the female Autobot Arcee in action, as Transformers has had a strange lack of female Transformers in the past six films.

What more, the film gave us not one, but three female Transformers. This shocking amount of female representation bodes well for the film and is a good addition to the already large cast in the Transformers franchise. Aside from Arcee, the second is the Maximal Airazor, a peregrine falcon Transformer. As for the third female Transformer — well, you’ll just have to see for yourself when you watch the movie.

The sassy voices of Mirage and commanding tone of Optimus Prime also serves well for this franchise, giving it the nostalgic feel of the old films. The addition of Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback as the human protagonists pushed the credibility of the movie further. To not disclose much, the two play very crucial roles in the story not unlike the roles of Sam Witwicky in the first Transformers film.

I have to take a moment to commend their amazing acting talents here. While having been a big fan of him since the days of Hamilton, it was amazing to see how he had grown from being a smaller character to stepping into the shoes of a main protagonist. Dominique Fishback, who is a new face in the film industry, gave fans of Transformers a breath of fresh air with her talent and acting abilities in a big blockbuster movie. In my opinion, both the human actors did very well with the roles that they were given, and overall, made the movie that much more enjoyable to watch. 

However, let’s take a moment to review some of the negative aspects of the film. I can’t say I disagree with the critics’ take on the story being generic. As I was walking into the cinema hall I remember wondering if the film was going to be as generic as the last few movies have been, and the short answer is: Yes, it was. Simply put, there is nothing more to the story than whatever you’re getting.

Having watched the other 6 Transformers films, I can honestly say that its story seems very much like a cut and paste of the original format that has worked for the Transformers series all this time. It follows a human meeting an Autobot, who then gets taken on a journey to save the world by that Autobot. That’s not to say that the format doesn’t work, rather that it feels overdone. If there are more films in the future, I’d love to see something different or maybe a story that focused solely on the Autobots and less of the humans.

The Verdict

Overall I’d say that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts does live up to its hype and is a good watch for you and the family. As it is, the action scenes will leave you astounded for many days to come and leave you wanting more from the Transformers franchise. With amazing acting and stellar attention to detail, I would say that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is absolutely worth a watch.

If you are a new fan of the Transformers series, don’t worry about simply making the leap, as this film’s storyline does not bear any connection to the other entries and is simply a stand-alone. But if you are a hardcore fan of the storyline like I am, Transformers might leave you a little disappointed by the repetitive storytelling format. Regardless, it’s still a worthwhile watch if only for the cool fight scenes. So head right on in, and roll out!

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