AS A KID growing up in the 90s, one of the things that I looked forward to during the weekend was the Beast Wars: Transformers cartoons. It was just beyond awesome for me to watch giant robot and animal hybrids duking it out for supremacy.
The Maximals are very close to my heart and my hopes were high coming into the early screening of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. I’m happy to say that I had a roaring good time throughout the roughly two hour movie.
Back to the 90s
As a standalone sequel to 2018’s Bumblebee, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is once again a blast from the past as the film takes place in 1994. The film’s main cast is led by Anthony Ramos as Noah Diaz, an ex military tech expert, and Dominique Fishback as Elena Wallace, a museum intern and bonafide history nerd.
While the main cast is fairly new to the industry, the voices behind the many Autobots, Maximals, and Terrorcons are as star-studded as they get. The legendary Peter Cullen headlines the cast alongside Hollywood greats Michelle Yeoh, Ron Perlman, John DiMaggio, Peter Dinklage, and many more.
But the breakout performance of the movie belongs to Pete Davidson as the Autobot Mirage. His witty and candid delivery lightened up every scene he was a part of. The banter between Ramos and Davidson throughout the movie helped keep the movie light and a good time from start to finish.
-Minor Spoilers Ahead-
Adventure Across The Americas
The story of Transformers: Rise of the Beast is nothing too out of the ordinary with the almighty Unicron looking to devour worlds - Earth included. From the streets of New York to the Machu Picchu, the sets of the movie were definitely a visual treat.
The fights were well animated and didn’t have any nauseating or headache inducing moments despite having watched it in 3D. Cinematographer Enrique Chediak did away with the normal camera shaking Alfonso Cuaron-inspired fights that have become ubiquitous in action scenes as of late and this allowed me to enjoy the metal crunching fights in the movie even more.
The overall animation of the movie was crisp and I highly suggest fans of the Transformers franchise to watch in 3D for a memorable experience.
Unfortunately, there were some weak story beats in the movie such as the forced romance between leads Ramos and Fishback. While it doesn’t take away from the overall great experience of the movie I totally felt that they could just have done away with it altogether. Token romances are something we don’t really need anymore in 2023.
The dialogue throughout the movie was filled with wit, humor, and plenty of excellent pop culture references and it really helped keep the cliche doomsday storyline move along at excellent pace.
Overall Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a worthy followup to the Bumblebee movie and with producer Michael Bay’s focus on chaotic, vibrant, and aesthetic action the franchise is looking to be in great hands if this movie was any indicator...Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a totally enjoyable experience despite its well-worn story tropes.