Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - Movie Review

The Movie: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

The Director: Steven Caple Jr.

The Cast: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Luna Lauren Velez, Dean Scott Vazquez, Tobe Nwigwe, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, Liza Koshy, John DiMaggio, David Sobolov, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Pete Davidson, Cristo Fernández, Tongayi Chirisa

The Story: During the '90s, a new faction of Transformers - the Maximals - join the Autobots as allies in the battle for Earth.

The Review:
I think by now we all understand what we're going to get from a Transformers movie. The formula has been in place since the first movie and there hasn't been much deviation from it ever since. Robots appear. Humans meet them, are astonished, and become unlikely companions and eventual heroes. Optimus Prime struggles and then suddenly becomes invincible to save the day. Bumblebee does some really cool stuff. Lots of explosions.

This movie is no different and that's both a good and a bad thing. There's a sort of comfort level attached to watching a Transformers movie as well as a lowered set of expectations. I mean, if you're showing up for Shakespearean drama or anything that might be considered awards worthy outside of the special effects then you're most likely going to be disappointed. There are so many cliches and tropes scattered throughout the screenplay, it was very painful at times, laughable at others, and all of it just solidifies the fact that we watch these movies to see giant robots fight each other and that's it.

Which brings me to the question I always have about these movies is why do we have to have humans involved, they just get in the way of all the fun action. I mean, I get it, the filmmakers feel that general audiences won't connect emotionally with or have as much interest in a movie that doesn't have actual people involved and, while they may be right, not one of these movies, maybe the first one, has ever done a great job of incorporating humanity into the big, flashy cybertronian wars. It just leads us down the obvious and inevitable path of aforementioned tropes and cliches and is generally more awakward than anything else.

I don't know how much else you really need to know about this movie from my perspective. Sure the special effects are all super glossy and shiny and big robotic things explode all over the place although I will say none of it felt special. You know how the first time you see optimus transform, everyone geeks out, well not so much in this movie, it just sort of happens. There's a couple action moments that are also intended to hit hard and cause cheers and such but none of it really landed like that for me or the rest of the audience I watched it with.

There is one moment pretty much at the end of the film that got by far the biggest reaction of any other moment in the entire movie and I highly recommend sticking around for this one big payoff. This and some other stuff that happens of course sets up further adventures because there's no way we won't see more from this blockbuster, money making franchise. Till all are one, I guess.

The Verdict:
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the blockbuster movie equivalent of kids playing with toys in their backyard. It's silly, it rarely makes sense, and you're just there to see the big robots do big robot things.

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