For a while, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts looked like another Bumblebee – a Transformers movie that doesn’t have any of the charms of the Michael Bay movies but actually tells a decent story about the characters that it doesn’t. you really care. For the first 45 minutes to an hour, we get the most engaging and understandable version of the story about an ordinary person who accidentally befriends an alien robot that is secretly driving a car. But then the real plot kicks in, and suddenly we’re watching a Michael Bay Transformers movie – but without Bay’s action movie skills.
When Michael Bay directed the Transformers movies, they weren’t exactly the pinnacle of storytelling. In fact, they have terrible stories that never even make sense when put together — each new movie opens with some revelation that makes every previous movie even less meaningful. mean more than they did. But they’re also Michael Bay movies, which means (aside from Revenge of the Fallen) they have loads of insanely engrossing action and generally look sickly even in the non-action parts.
Rise of the Beasts, from Creed II director Steven Caple Jr., looks nothing like terrible or anything like that. It looks like a big budget, CGI heavy job. There’s no flair, no signature to it. And so a big deal is that the story sucks, because the making of the film doesn’t enhance the experience to make up for that.
But there used to be The core of something interesting here, and it starts with Anthony Ramos and his character, Noah Diaz. Unlike previous live-action Transformers protagonists and humans, Noah lives in a run-down apartment and leads a life most of us would find quite familiar – he’s broke, he’s was stressed, and his younger brother needed treatment for sickle cell anemia. they cannot afford. And this movie is set in 1994, so the situation could be even worse than it is today, depending on where you live.
But when we see Noah take his brother to the hospital, he refuses to be treated because they still lack those medical bills – and so Noah and his friend Reek (Tobe Nwigwe) try to Try to solve this problem by stealing a car. But there’s a big problem: As you might expect, the car that Noah stole was a Transformer named Mirage.
Mirage, voiced by Pete Davidson, is yet another version of the Live Action Robot formula, which up until this point has regarded Bumblebee as the human protagonist’s main friend while almost never letting him go. I speak in my own voice. Mirage is on the opposite end of the spectrum: He is never silent.
It’s a great thing, both Ramos and Davidson are hilarious, and the movie is really engaging throughout the season – for this montage, up until Noah’s first encounter with the evil Scourge, it feels It feels like a legit good movie. But we don’t have much time to enjoy it before the plot becomes overloaded with new Transformers who need a lot of explanation to explain why they’re even here. This time around, we don’t have any Decepticon baddies, but we do have two new factions, each requiring its own interpretation of the lore.
Scourge (Peter Dinklage), the commander in chief of Unicron, the world cannibal, is on the hunt for a MacGuffin known as the cross-campaign key that happens to be on Earth (it’s strange that it keeps happening like that). which), and the beasts of the title, Maximals, are guarding it. Even with all the explanations, they never really determined why the Maximals brought the key across the length to Earth and then never moved. That’s just what Transformers do, obviously.
At the same time, we also have another main character, Elena (Dominique Fishback), who plays an important role in the plot as she is an archaeologist with all the historical knowledge involved. But Elena doesn’t meet any other major characters until we’re halfway there, and the movie really doesn’t know what to do with her beyond its basic function of directing people to the plot. For the majority of the movie, Elena is just there.
The big problem with the story here is the same as it always has been: In addition to selling tickets, these movies also try to sell you toys. In the mind of at least some of the powers that be at Hasbro and Paramount, the quality of the storytelling is probably irrelevant. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has five trusted writers, and it certainly feels like the story is being pulled in at least several different directions.
In the end, the Maximals made guest appearances in their own film. They don’t even appear in the first half of the film beyond the prologue, so the film’s major conflict ends up being like Optimus Prime vs. More scourge, with the ape Optimus Primal and his group of animals mostly an evil gang. of helpers like the Dinobots in Age of Extinction.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is not a terrible movie, but there are few particularly good points. After a promising opening, it turned into another generic CGI action festival that left me dumbfounded. But if you’re going to focus your major franchise on a pair of rising actors, you can actually do a lot worse than Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback.