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Review: Transformers - Rise Of The Beasts
Unite Or Fall.
A nineties globetrotting adventure that introduces the Maximals, the Predacons, and the Terrorcons to the existing battle on earth between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
I’m not going to lie to you, when I learned that we were going to get a brand new Transformers film, I rolled my eyes. Like many a critic and audiences I had a blast with the first live action adaptation from way back in 2007 (God I feel old referring to my year of High School graduation like that) but grew tired and bored of everything that came after. Even the addition of Anthony Ramos as the lead human character couldn’t make me more excited. So I admittedly went into this new addition to the catalog of the series’ films with pretty low expectations.
So were my low expectations warranted? At parts they were. Some of the eye-rolling, childish humor from previous entries remain. There’s Autobot characters that show up for a scene or two and are easily forgotten about, again just like in previous entries. The villains are weakly written and hardly that interesting, say it with me, just like previous entries. And like previous entries we get too much exposition and some weakly written dialogue. There’s also a really forced child character into the movie that was clearly a play to get the kids who drag their parents to see this to identify with someone even though said character isn’t in the film that much.
And yet the film did do some things that the other entries were missing. For one Anthony Ramos’ incredible charisma as a lead shines through as our lead Noah. For my money he’s the best lead of the series yet. Pete Davidson of all people infuses some great voice work and personality into the Autobot character Mirage, making him the first new Autobot character in forever that actually stood out to me, and that I wanted to see more of. The new additions that are the Maximals also have some potential and I would be very interested to see if we get to know them better. There’s even an interesting arc in this entry in which we see how Optimus Prime comes to trust humans.
To add to the positives the visual effects work in this is the best of the series by far and I’d even argue has a shot to be in my personal five at the end of the year. The battles are actually comprehendible unlike the past entries, and the final climatic battle is the best of the series by far. And to top it all off the globetrotting aspect is pulled off in a way that this actually feels like a true adventure film. It struck me as the film went along that I actually think many a parent dragged by their kids to see this would truly enjoy themselves.
Perhaps my expectations were set too low and has bias my review, but this was easily the best of these Transformers films since at least the first one and honestly I think I might rank this one over that one. Even with its clear flaws, I had a blast with this and I did not expect to say that about one of these ever again. I give Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts an initial solid B+ grade. I think audiences are really going to enjoy themselves with this entry and the franchise may be headed in a more fun direction after a decade and a half of mediocrity.