The Transformers franchise has been around for almost four decades, starting from the animated series in the 1980s to the live-action movies directed by Michael Bay in the 2000s and 2010s. The movies have been a huge commercial success, grossing over $4.8 billion worldwide, but they have also been widely criticized for their lack of plot, character development, and coherent action sequences. After the disappointing reception of Transformers: The Last Knight in 2017, many fans wondered if the franchise had run out of steam and ideas.
However, in 2018, a spin-off movie called Bumblebee was released, which focused on the origin story of the yellow Autobot and his friendship with a teenage girl. The movie was praised for its nostalgic tone, heartfelt story, and improved visual effects, and it seemed to revive the interest in the Transformers universe. Now, in 2023, a new sequel has arrived, titled Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which promises to take the franchise in a new direction and introduce a whole new faction of Transformers – the Maximals.
The Maximals are animal-themed robots who have a connection with nature and Earth’s inhabitants. They are led by Optimus Primal, a lowland gorilla bot voiced by Ron Perlman, who has a different philosophy and personality than Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots voiced by Peter Cullen. The Maximals join forces with the Autobots to stop Unicron, a planet-sized villain who wants to devour Earth and everything in it. Unicron is aided by his Terrorcon henchmen, who are monstrous and savage robots that can transform into various creatures.
The movie is set in 1994, giving it some distance from the events of the previous movies and allowing it to explore a different era and culture. The human protagonist is Noah Diaz, played by Anthony Ramos, an electronics wiz and ex-soldier from Brooklyn who becomes involved in the Transformers’ war. He is joined by Elena Perez, played by Dominique Fishback, an archaeologist who has a connection with an ancient artifact that Unicron is after.
The movie is directed by Steven Caple Jr., who previously helmed Creed II, and written by Joby Harold, Darnell Metayer, Josh Peters, Erich Hoeber, and Jon Hoeber. The movie has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, with some praising its action scenes, voice cast, and homage to the Beast Wars: Transformers animated series from the 1990s, while others criticizing its clichéd plot, bland characters, and lack of originality.
So, is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts worth watching? If you are a fan of the franchise or the Beast Wars series, you might enjoy seeing your favorite characters on the big screen and witnessing some spectacular battles between robots and beasts. If you are looking for a fresh and innovative take on the Transformers universe or a compelling story with memorable characters, you might be disappointed by this movie. It is not as bad as some of the previous movies in terms of quality, but it is not as good as Bumblebee either. It is a decent popcorn flick that delivers what it promises – nothing more, nothing less.
You can watch the trailer for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts here and find more information about the movie on IMDB.