I was really looking forward to this film, especially being a 90s kid, growing up watching the war between the Maximals and Predacons in the Beast Wars: Transformers animated series. I was very excited but unfortunately, after watching this film, I came out very disappointed with the final product. Ever since the end of Michael Bay’s vision of Transformers ended and the spectacular Bumblebee reignited the faint AllSpark of interest of this franchise with its engaging storytelling and character development, I was ecstatic to see what lay ahead. Sadly, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts took steps backwards rather than a step forward. This review will definitely have a few spoilers so please read forward at your own risk.
One of the major positives of the movie is Peter Dinklage’s Scourge. Honestly, I can’t remember a villain from Transformers that was this menacing since Lockdown from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Everytime he made an appearance, I held on to the edge of my seat. In the goal of creating a credible threat, Scourge was great. As well as the larger than life Unicron, who we all hope to see more of.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts also continues to ditch Michael Bay’s cinematography style of shaky cameras and creates truly theatrical panoramic fight scenes in all of its glory. Additionally, the Autobots, look fantastic and are a huge step up from Michael Bay’s designs. I was never a really a huge fan of Michael Bay’s Autobot and Decepticon designs because they strayed too far away from the original concept that we all grew to love and played with.
Now, this movie has been out for a couple of weeks so I do still want to warn everyone of this major spoiler but it got me too excited to not talk about it, and it is…drumroll please… G.I. JOE AND TRANSFORMERS CROSSOVER. When I watched the scene of Noah flipping up a business card and it said G.I. JOE, I was in awe. I just felt that G.I. Joe and Transformers, although separate properties, having a crossover between them makes absolute sense. I mean I am sure a lot of us had those two toys when we were kids and always imagined them being in one universe, now we might not have to anymore!
I can not wait to see what lies ahead.
Now here comes the not so spectacular parts of the movies. I felt the film lacked a cohesive storyline. At one point we are focusing on Noah’s crisis of being a team player, Elena wanting to be recognized as being prestigious archaeologist, the Autobots going back home, the Maximals landing on Earth and briefly mentioning on how they started cooperating with the humans but not fully explaining why Optimus Primal is named after Optimus Prime. The plot started getting very muddled and it was hard to devote interest to any of the characters because they didn’t have much time to shine or fully explore their development. Of course, being a 90s kid, I was very disappointed at the lack of appearance of the actual Maximals themselves. I would have loved to see more Cheetor and Rhinox and even Airazor actually transforming. I wouldn’t have minded if the Autobots took a step back from the spotlight and actually were reversed in the roles of the Maximals in the film and showed up halfway in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
In addition, they also sidelined Bumblebee by “killing” him off but we all knew that wasn’t going to stick because this is supposed to be the prequel to the previous Transformers films so it didn’t feel like anything was on the line because we knew Bee was going to be back. I have to admit that when Bee returned from the “dead” in this film, it was very cool but I don’t think it was the payoff that they were hoping for.
I really wanted to love this movie because I was very excited to see the Maximals again but unfortunately this movie, although named Rise of The Beasts, hardly featured very much of them. I am still very excited to see the potential of this franchise now with crossing over with another franchise. Let’s hope this isn’t the last time we will see Optimus Primal and the gang!
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