Transformers: Rise of the Beast Review: Trash Or Watch It

Transformers: Rise of the Beast focuses on Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, as they discover a forgotten key that can help them get home. Optimus must team up with humans and the Maximals to stop Scourge and the planet-eating Unicron.

Transformers: Rise of the Beast
Transformers: Rise of the Beast Youtube Link

Transformers: Rise of the Beast Characters / Roast

The movie introduces Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos), an ex-US military soldier who struggles to hold down a job while taking care of his single mother and younger brother, who has sickle cell disease. Noah’s luck takes a turn for the worse when he briefly turns to a life of crime but ends up encountering an Autobot named Mirage during a robbery attempt. They embark on a chase scene where Noah meets the rest of the Autobots and learns that the fate of the world depends on preventing Scourge from obtaining the other half of the key. Initially wanting to destroy it, Noah has a change of heart after realizing his similarities to Optimus Prime. Noah is a depressing character who gives up too easily and often needs pep talks from his younger brother. Since it’s set in the 90s, they adopt codenames, Sonic and Tails.

The final fight of the movie carries the weight of the world, with Unicron inching closer to swallowing the planet. Noah has a Power Rangers moment, where Mirage transforms into a battle suit in a clunky CGI transformation.

Elena (Dominique Fishback) is a talented intern working at a museum, where her academic knowledge is usually stolen by her manager, who takes credit for her work. While there is a racial aspect to their work relationship, it’s best not to get into that. Elena is a token character who comes across as bland and boring. Due to her extensive reading, she manages to draw a code that deactivates the gateway preventing Unicron from entering the planet. A code that ancient robots forgot and just like keeping the key safe. In today’s day and age, she isn’t eye candy she wont appear on any maxim magazines and her acting isn’t worth paying attention to.

Mirage (Pete Davidson) is the hip and relatable Autobot who develops a fondness for humans and sees the advantage in teaming up with them. Mirage and Noah’s relationship mirrors the dynamic between Bumblebee and Sam Witwicky in the 2007 Transformers movie, with the difference being that Mirage sacrifices himself for Noah and transforms into a battle suit. Unfortunately, the execution falls short, with the effects looking as bad as the power suits from the G.I. Joe movie featuring Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans. The sacrifice ultimately feels underwhelming.

The rest of the Autobots, include Arcee, Bumblebee, and others that aren’t even important enough to name, then it was the Maximals: Rhinox, Cheetor, Airazor, and Optimus Primal. I hate that the Maximals didn’t get enough screen time; the only one that had more screen time ended up becoming evil I thought the hype would have been once they transformed, but no, the thunder was stolen by a deceased bumblebee who came back to life after having his soul snatched and literally turned the tide of the battle.

Scourge (Peter Dinklage), a servant of Unicron and leader of the Terracons, receives upgrades that make him slightly more powerful than Optimus Prime. His menacing presence and the detailed fight scene between the Terracons and Autobots at the museum was noteworthy. Scourge took out Bumblebee in a predator fashion, taking his symbol as a trophy, fueling Optimus Prime’s revenge mode. Ultimately, however, he met his end at Prime’s hands.

Unicron, the world-eating giant mechanism, can be seen as a metaphor for capitalism, which repeatedly fails. Each time Unicron shows up, he just takes a peek at Earth, and before he can get a taste, the gateway is closed in front of him. It’s not a surprise that he would keep failing; Unicron’s smaller, unoriginal copy-and-paste bots flooded the battlefield, but ended up losing. After a while, Unicron should just give up on Earth and drift aimlessly in space.

Thoughts

If you’ve seen one Transformers movie, you’ve seen them all. The original voice of Optimus Prime returns, delivering his iconic lines, calling all Autobots and speaking stoically. The villains pose a threat until the end of the movie, and the world-ending event on Earth abruptly vanishes, never to be mentioned in future installments. Both the Autobots and the audience may start feeling worn out after a while. The post-credit scene shows Noah receiving a card that leads one to believe he’s going to be invited to the Men in Black, but it turns out to be a G.I. Joe invitation. Considering how poorly Snake Eyes movie performed, the studio should have scrapped the scene altogether. “Creed 3” director Steven Caple Jr. made this film, he has potential. Just not for this movie. I was really hoping to get a good Beast Wars translation to the screen, but it didn’t happen. The nostalgia of being a kid and wanting to collect the figurines wasn’t enough to propel me into adulthood to buy figures that were only on screen for around 10 minutes.

Transformers: Rise of the Beast gets a 4 out of 10

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