Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is supposedly the first of a new trilogy and it has got off to a mixed start. It’s set in the early 1990’s and has taken parts of a storyline from the 1986 animated film which introduced Unicron the planet munching monster.
The rebooted series is on a timeline way before Michael Bay’s films mostly likely in an attempt to recapture the popularity of Bay’s first films but also wildly veer away from Bay’s style of film making.
Rise of the Beasts looks so vastly different to Bay’s oversaturated bright visuals, it can sometimes seem a little ‘grey’ that may be a relief to many fans but I do enjoy Bay’s visuals on the big screen.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is set around the Autobots headed up by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) in search of something called a “transwarp key” a piece of technology which, in the wrong hands, would allow planet munching monster Unicron (Colman Domingo) access to earth.
One of Unicron’s abilities is that he can possess other robots and he does so with chief Terracon Scourge (Peter Dinklage) a seemingly invincible killing machine.
The Autobots are aided by allies the Maximals they are robots who can take the shape of various Earth animals and are headed up by the Gorilla formed Optimus Primal, yes that’s his name! Considering the film is called Rise of the Beasts the Maximals are really underused and very much a sideline to the Autobots who take center stage.
The obligatory humans, as always accidently dragged into Alien warfare are a young army veteran Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) and Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), an archaeologist and researcher of mysterious objects.
With Anthony Ramos taking center stage of the two, he is paired up with Autobot Mirage (Pete Davidson) The pair are introduced when Ramos steals a Porsche and unwittingly finds himself hurtling down the streets at speed in a car he can’t control.
Noah and Mirage’s relationship provides the comic relief of the movie there are some solid gags and Pete Davidson is excellent as the street talking, joke telling Autobot.
The film feels like it is trying to please too many generations of fans on the one hand it uses storyline from 80’s cartoons appealing to nostalgic ageing millennial’s. On the other hand and especially the final battle scenes at the end, it suddenly feels like an avengers movie. The visuals are reminiscent, but also the character arc of Noah Diaz, his scenes at the end will make a certain MCU character pop into your head.
Hopefully this does well enough for the studio to continue with it’s plans to take this forward and there is a rather clumsy attempt to set up a Hasbro Cinematic Universe.
With the underuse of the Maximals there is plenty of room to focus on their story. This first movie should have been a stronger start but it’s still worth watching on the big screen.
You can watch Transformers: Rise of the Beasts in theaters now.