“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is a 2023 sci-fi action film based on Hasbro’s Transformers toy line, specifically inspired by the Beast Wars storyline. It serves as the seventh installment in the Transformers live-action film series, directed by Steven Caple Jr. and written by Joby Harold, Darnell Metayer, Josh Peters, Erich Hoeber, and Jon Hoeber.
The film stars Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, and features voice talents including Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, Pete Davidson, Liza Koshy, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Colman Domingo, Cristo Fernández, and Tongayi Chirisa, alongside returning franchise regulars Peter Cullen, John DiMaggio, and David Sobolov.
Noah Diaz and Elena Wallace unite with the Autobots and the Maximals in the film to thwart the impending arrival of Unicron, a planet-eating Transformer. Their mission is to prevent the Terrorcons and an army of Predacon scorpions, led by Scourge, from acquiring the Transwarp Key.
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” follows the same story beats as its predecessors in the Transformers live-action film franchise. Once again, we witness the age-old conflict between the forces of good and evil, with both sides vying to obtain a significant object of power. In this case, a particular item becomes the central focus of the narrative, sought after by both the Autobots and the Terrorcons.
While the general storyline may not introduce groundbreaking elements, the film stands out for its execution, positioning it as the second best installment in the franchise after “Bumblebee”(2018). Building upon the success of its predecessor, “Rise of the Beasts” skillfully weaves together the human characters and their involvement in aiding the Autobots. The couple of human characters play a pivotal role in assisting the heroic robots in their quest to acquire the coveted object, bringing an element of relatability and emotional engagement to the plot.
While the film may not break new ground in terms of its narrative, it excels in delivering a compelling cinematic experience within the established Transformers universe. With its skillful execution and strong character development, “Rise of the Beasts” successfully captures the essence of the franchise, making it a notable entry in the series. Fans of the Transformers films, especially those who appreciated the quality of storytelling in “Bumblebee,” will likely find this latest installment to be a satisfying addition to the franchise’s legacy.
Characters and Performances
Anthony Ramos’s portrayal of Noah Diaz and Dominique Fishback’s performance as Elena Wallace in “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” injects a much-needed emotional connection into a franchise that has often struggled to establish such bonds with its human characters. Ramos brings depth and sincerity to his role, allowing viewers to empathize with Noah’s journey and the challenges he faces alongside the Autobots. Similarly, Fishback delivers a compelling performance as Elena, effectively conveying her character’s motivations and forging a strong connection with the audience. Their performances help to anchor the film and provide a relatable entry point for viewers amidst the larger-than-life robotic battles.
Another notable aspect of the film is Peter Cullen’s portrayal of Optimus Prime, which showcases an intriguing character evolution. In previous installments of the Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime was often depicted as a near-saintly figure, embodying unwavering trust and faith in humanity. However, in “Rise of the Beasts,” Cullen’s portrayal presents a different side of the iconic character. Optimus Prime initially harbors mistrust towards humans, reflecting a more guarded and skeptical leader. This character change adds depth and complexity to Optimus Prime’s journey, allowing for a fresh exploration of his relationship with humanity and the challenges he must overcome.
Pete Davidson’s portrayal of Mirage also brings a refreshing dynamic to the film. In contrast to the usual camaraderie between Bumblebee and human characters in previous Transformers live-action films, Mirage takes center stage as the Autobot forming a friendship with the humans in this particular installment. Davidson’s performance breathes life into Mirage, capturing his distinct personality and highlighting his interactions with others. Mirage’s unique role and Davidson’s portrayal add an enjoyable element to the film, offering a new perspective on the Autobot-human dynamic within the Transformers universe.
However, while the performances of Ramos, Fishback, Cullen, and Davidson leave a lasting impact, it must be noted that some of the other characters in the film do not resonate as strongly. These characters fail to make a significant impression, lacking the depth and development that would allow them to truly stand out. While the focus on the aforementioned characters contributes to the emotional and narrative core of the film, the remaining characters struggle to leave a lasting imprint on the audience, resulting in a less impactful overall ensemble.
In “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” the action sequences deliver an impressive visual spectacle that surpasses the standards set by the previous Michael Bay-directed Transformers live-action film series. The action-packed moments in the film are visually appealing and engaging, capturing the attention of audiences and keeping them on the edge of their seats. Whether it’s the intense battles between the Autobots and Terrorcons or the thrilling chase sequences, the action scenes in “Rise of the Beasts” are crafted with meticulous attention to detail, resulting in an overall improvement in the quality and excitement of the action compared to the earlier films.
During the climactic war scene, there is a distinct sense of familiarity that draws parallels to the monumental climax of “Avengers: Endgame”(2019). While this inspiration may not be a negative aspect, it does contribute to a sense of predictability. Nevertheless, the execution of the climactic war in “Rise of the Beasts” is skillfully done, effectively capturing the grandeur and intensity of the conflict. Despite the predictability of certain story beats, the film manages to maintain a level of excitement and engagement, ensuring that viewers are still captivated by the unfolding events.
One particular scene in “Rise of the Beasts” underscores the connection to “Avengers: Endgame” by featuring a moment where Mirage provides Noah Diaz with a gadget that grants him an ironman-like suit. This deliberate nod to the iconic superhero franchise adds an extra layer of familiarity and draws a parallel between the two universes. While this scene may serve as an homage or a subtle reference, it also reinforces the inspiration drawn from “Avengers: Endgame,”further highlighting the influence that the Marvel film had on certain aspects of “Rise of the Beasts.”
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” showcases impressive visual effects that stand out, particularly when compared to the majority of Indian visual effects (VFX) productions. The film’s visual aesthetics elevate the viewing experience, demonstrating a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. The team behind the VFX work deserves commendation for their efforts in creating a visually stunning world for the Transformers.
One notable aspect is the realism achieved in the depiction of the robotic characters. The Transformers themselves appear incredibly lifelike, seamlessly blending into the live-action sequences. The level of detail and intricacy in their design, combined with the seamless integration into the physical environment, makes the robots truly believable and immersive. This level of realism enhances the audience’s engagement with the film, as it feels like the Transformers are genuinely interacting with the human characters and the world around them.
Furthermore, the VFX shots throughout the film are executed with great skill and precision. The action sequences are visually dynamic and engaging, featuring smooth transitions and seamless integration between the real actors and the computer-generated imagery. The VFX team’s meticulous attention to detail ensures that every explosion, transformation, and interaction feels authentic and impactful. These well-crafted VFX shots contribute to the overall immersive experience, allowing the audience to be fully immersed in the thrilling world of the Transformers.
In conclusion, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” successfully delivers an engaging and entertaining addition to the Transformers live-action film franchise. The film follows familiar story beats, but its execution stands out, making it the second-best installment in the series after “Bumblebee”(2018).
Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback deliver compelling performances, providing the much-needed emotional connection to the human characters. Peter Cullen’s portrayal of Optimus Prime showcases an intriguing character change, while Pete Davidson’s Mirage brings a refreshing dynamic to the film. The action sequences are visually captivating, surpassing the standards set by previous films in the franchise.
The climactic war, inspired by “Avengers: Endgame,” is well-executed, even though it may be predictable. The visual effects in the film are commendable, with the robotic characters appearing remarkably realistic and the VFX shots crafted with skill and precision.
Overall, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” offers an enjoyable cinematic experience, combining engaging performances, thrilling action, and impressive visuals, making it a worthy addition to the Transformers universe.