Transformers: Rise of the Beasts I Review by: Amanda Guarragi
The Transformers franchise has had some hits and misses over the years, but nothing stuck after Dark of the Moon. Director Michael Bay has had its moments, but there’s only so much you can do with the same robots fighting for the cause with the government…again. When the first Transformers film was released in 2007, the technology was well beyond what people had imagined and was impressive for the time. Now, it’s almost as if it all feels overdone and oversaturated that a film about fighting robots doesn’t make a move at the box office like it used to. After some dull instalments, excluding Bumblebee, the release of Rise of the Beasts almost feels like too much of a push to revamp the franchise.
Director Steven Caple Jr. takes audiences back to the 90s with a new faction of Transformers - the Maximals - joining the Autobots as allies in the battle for Earth. The design for the Maximals looked good. But the issue is that there was no distinction during the fight scenes. The Maximals, Terracons and Autobots should all have different fighting techniques; sadly, that wasn’t shown at all. The main issue with all Transformers films is that there is a generic “save the world” story, and it’s just an exposition dump with Optimus Prime relaying the information. There was sure a lot of dialogue and not enough action for a movie about fighting robots. Even trying to create an emotional storyline between Noah (Anthony Ramos) and his little brother Kris (Dean Scott Vazquez) couldn’t make anyone connect to these characters.
On top of all that, the historical aspect of the artifact had Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback) as the most important person in the film. She studied the markings of half of an artifact and knew where the other half was. Fishback was used for plot purposes and was one of her weakest performances. This leads to the pacing of this film, as the runtime is two hours and sixteen minutes. A film that is supposed to be action-packed should not move at a snail's pace and have extremely long runs of uninteresting dialogue. The highs were high, thanks to Pete Davidson’s lively voice acting as Mirage, but the lows were low. It did take time to find its footing, but the second act dragged its feet and made it tedious to sit through. There’s only so much you can do with this franchise, and the choice to revamp it is interesting.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is sadly another weak entry in the franchise. Many have had a love/hate relationship with the franchise. On the one hand, they may be fun because of the nostalgia and robots fighting. And on the other, they are also painstakingly dull for no reason. The first two films had a balance between humans helping the Autobots and developing an instant friendship with them. Everything else past those (again, excluding Bumblebee) has just felt empty, with no real connection to the characters everyone loves. This instalment also suffers from trying to set up something else entirely, and it’s shocking to see where they want to take this moving forward. Unfortunately, Rise of the Beasts felt very long, and there wasn’t enough Bumblebee for my liking.
Review by: Amanda Guarragi
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