Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Set between the events of Bumblebee and Michael Bay's first Transformers movie, Transformers: Rise of the Beast pulls in characters from Beast Wars: Transformers and The Transformers: The Movie without a basic understanding of either one while  not making much use of any of them. Instead, events around a genius archeologist intern (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier on hard times (Anthony Ramos) who attempt to keep a magic crystal out of the hands of the Terrorcons who want to use it to bring forth Unicron (Colman Domingo) who is somehow trapped in another region of space.

While not quite the clusterfuck several of the Transformers films have been, Rise of the Beasts is a mess. The Maximals don't make any sense shoehorned into the middle of the Transformers movie chronology, and attempts to do have unintentionally hilarious results. Not to be overshadowed by the big robotic gorilla with fake fur and similar name, the series continues the trend of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) being a total prick.

Remember when Cullen turned down a Robot Chicken parody because the character had so much meaning to him and didn't want to damage the brand? Well, after a few of these movies I'm honestly not sure what good will is left in the tank for the character or the franchise that isn't fueled completely by nostalgia at this point.

Along with the Maximals, a Scourge (Peter Dinklage) working as Unicron's bland lieutenant with characters the film doesn't bother to introduce and I have no need to remember, the script offers Bumblebee a couple moments, gets lost in the death spiral explaining the mystical glowing rock (which eventually becomes two mystical glowing rocks), and allows the rest of the characters fade into the background. The only Transformer that comes out better for being in the film is Mirage (Pete Davidson) who gets the Bumblebee role from the first film, playing chaperone to the humans.

While the film turned a profit worldwide, it's the lowest grossing movie of the franchise finding itself on home video only one month after its theatrical release. Given the horrifically bad beginnings of this franchise, a middling entry like Transformers: Rise of the Beasts can almost be celebrated. Almost. For those already paying for Paramount+ who can watch the movie for free, they'll get exactly what they paid for. Others, who have to purchase it on other streaming services, will inevitably pay too much for a franchise that continues to be less than meets the eye.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
  • IMDb: link

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