For years, the Transformers franchise has been a bit of an odd sheep amongst Hollywood films.
Despite being one of the most successful franchises of all time (raking in a combined $4.8 billion from six films so far), most of these movies aren’t rated very highly.
Now blame this on the now signature-style of Michael Bay’s directing or the fact that review aggregators are disconnected from the general audience, every new Transformers movie usually does blockbuster numbers regardless.
The Transformers movies are based on an iconic toy line from 1984 which features alien robots who had the ability to turn into cars or animals. The toys were split into the ‘Autobots’ and the ‘Decepticons’.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the newest entry into the franchise that follows the template that was set by its predecessor Bumblebee. Instead of shooting a bunch of explosions and fitting a story around it à la Michael Bay, Bumblebee focused more on the connection between the Transformers and the human counterparts in the movie.
Rise of the Beasts attempts to do this, but fails to achieve that same connection.
The movie picks up in 1994 Brooklyn, where we join ex-military electronics expert Noah Diaz played by Anthony Ramos. Diaz attempts to steal a Porsche 911, which turns out to be the Autobot known as Mirage.
The duo joined by archaeologist Elena Wallace played by Dominique Fishback and the rest of the Autobots travel around the world to find the Transwarp Key, the latest MacGuffin from the Transformers franchise. They are pursued by the obviously villainous Terrorcons.
The action like always is very CGI-heavy, but still fun to watch. But unlike Bumblebee, the plot doesn’t back up the action enough.
The ride’s still fun, but the audience is never clear about the destination or why we need to get there.
Ramos and Fishback give adequate performances and the Transformers themselves are fun to look at, now sporting a more toy-accurate look circa 1984. But more than that, it’s a very forgettable affair.
The one thing you could count on in these movies was a rousing speech from Optimus Prime that could rally the dead to fight on your side. But sadly, that was also missing in this edition.
Verdict: If you have nothing better to do, you could have some mindless fun at the cinemas with Transformers: Rise of the Beast.
– Deviprasad Nair