Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Review

Written by Lee Roberts

If you have not seen Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and you do not want any spoilers, then you do not want to read this review. I won’t give away everything or even that much of the movie, but there are going to be some spoilers that I can avoid just to explain why I liked and did not like the movie. If I didn’t do that then the review would basically be, I saw a movie with robots that turn to cars that fight other robots that turn to cars while also having some other robots that turn to animals in it and oh yeah some humans. Yep, boring, so, one more time, spoilers will follow.

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If you watched Transformers: Beast Wars in the 90s, like me, then you should have been happy to finally see the Maximals on the big screen looking like real life Transformers. If you are wanting to see the “live action” of the Predacons from Beast Wars as well, then you will be disappointed because they are not in this movie. I won’t list all of the Transformers appearing but I was very happy with seeing Optimus Prime in his original G1 Freightliner form and seeing Arcee as a “live action” character. What I wasn’t too thrilled with was getting another movie with Bumblebee. Yes, I like him, a lot, but he’s been in every movie and even had his own movie, how about giving a different Autobot a chance at the big screen.

Putting aside which Transformers appeared or didn’t appear in this movie, let me say that I did enjoy the movie.

Putting aside which Transformers appeared or didn’t appear in this movie, let me say that I didn’t enjoy all of the movie.

Sure, those responses are true for most 99% of the movies people watch. After all, you can please everyone with everything but I think in this case, a few tweaks would have put this closer to being able to please me with it. One of the biggest issues I have with the movie is the lack of any real character development. When we get introduced to the human characters of the Diaz family, Noah the main male human character, is the big brother to sickly Chris, and their overworked, underpaid mother, Breanna, I thought something will happen with their story. Nope. Nothing. Why is Chris sick? Don’t know. What is is sick of? Don’t know. How old is Noah compared to Chris? He looks like he’s in his 20’s but Chris looks like he’s around 13-15. We are shown fast that Noah has knowledge of electronics, so that should play into the plot at some point. Nope. Well, it does right after we see him working on a cable box but after that, beyond mentioning he’s good at tech, nothing. How or why does he know tech or is good at it? Don’t know. Maybe he learned it in the military. Oh yeah did I mention he was in the military? No, ok, sorry, hey, Noah was in the military. Ok, I’ve mentioned it, time to move on and just kind of bring it up a few more times in the same manner and that is what happens.

What about the other Diaz family? What about Chris, how will he play into the movie? Hmm, well, he pops up where he talks in a walkie-talkie to say to Noah, you can do it. Then there is the mom, who only appears at the start and end of the movie and never mind that her eldest son has left his younger sickly brother alone and don’t tell her where he has went while the world looks like it is coming to an end, but hey, not why would that matter.

Then there’s Elena Wallace, an intern at a museum in NYC, who apparently knows everything about all the artifacts, where they are from, when they are from, where they are being held, and can casually look at them and know if real or fake. Oh, she’s also has a boss who knows absolutely nothing about any artifact. Ok, I know I’m supposed to just go with it cause it’s a movie about alien robots but come on, what museum would ever hire someone that would be in such a high position that they are the ones taking care of the artifacts that are priceless and that person know not one thing about artifacts. I understand if it was the Autobot artifact because that’s not human made, but she would have known more than an intern. But ok fine, we get it, Elena knows her stuff, but how does she learn it? Oh, she just does. What will she do with this knowledge? She will look at some writing on a statue and on the stone and will know what they are used for and what order they go in. Yep, she just knows. What else about her? Well, she will kind of sing or say some lyrics to a song when she is nervous, and now we have the character of Elena Wallace.

Here’s the thing with the characters, human and robots, I never get a real sense of urgency, danger, or need. I never felt like Chris was going to die, I didn’t ever feel like Noah or Elena was in danger in the fights, and the Autobots/Maximals was talking about the danger of the situation but I never felt like they where in any real danger of it happening. I know the good guys are going to win, but they should have at least have given a sense of it possibly happening.

But for me the worst part of this movie was how Optimus Prime’s attitude was so different than any other version of him. Optimus Prime is and always has been the ultimate Transformer who under no circumstances lets himself fall into a us or them situation. He is the robot version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, where he will do what is right no matter the outcome to himself. In this Prime was basically a screw the humans, it’s about me and the Autobots. This is something he would never do. He don’t have to agree with them and he’s had times of mistrust of humans, rightly so, but he wouldn’t ever choose to let himself gain at the expense of the humans.

Ok, one other worst part of this for me before I say why I did really enjoy it, even though it might not sound that way, is the under use of the Maximals. I grew up with the Transformers in all their iterations and I loved the Best Wars the most. I have been wanting a live action form of the show since the first Transformers movie came out. Getting to see the Dinobots was so great and getting to see the Decepticon Constructicons was really great, (I had some of the set when I was a kid and loved it, kind of want to get it again but can’t afford an original set), but I wanted more of a Beast Wars movie that included the Autobots. Instead, we get an Autobots movie that has some of the Beast Wars in it.

Now for the good and why I did actually enjoy it.

It’s the Transformers! Yes, they are not the best when it comes to plots or character development, and it would have made the movie better if they did give more of that, but what it does do the best at is give us some realistic looking Transformers. I got to finally see the Optimus Prime of my childhood, (minus his trailer), look real on the big screen. I got to see the Beast Wars animation come to life, kind of, on the big screen. Even with the points I made above, and I made them first because I hope by this point you are still with me, that they are now said and done with and now out of mind, leaving only the good parts to be said and to be remembered.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was a lot of fun to watch. Seeing Unicron at last was amazing and I love that they made him as he should be, so large that he makes a planet look like tennis ball to a human. The Terrorcons were evil enough that they would be scary if they had been real, (though maybe they should have been a bit more evil I think), anyways, still, very cool. There was a decent amount of humor that didn’t feel too forced or out of place. And when it came to the ending, oh, I can’t wait for that movie to be made. That movie better get made!

Overall, this was, to me, the best of all the Transformers movies. I enjoyed it the most, it was really fun to watch, and the CGI was once again astounding.

About the author

Lee Roberts