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Review: 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts'

Edited by Sonious, GreenReaper as of Wed 14 Jun 2023 - 05:57
Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

transformersriseofthebeasts.jpgThe Transformers movies are hardly thought of as either particularly furry movies, or particularly good movies in general. Because of the latter, nobody has really argued the former, despite the fact that the Transformers are definitely anthropomorphic robots. If, as some furries argue, anthropomorphism by itself is of interest to furries, the near complete lack of said interest in this franchise from furries would seem to contradict that hypothesis.

But, as far as Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is concerned, some of the robots turn into animals instead of cars, as is traditional in the series. So, Acadamy Award winner Michelle Yeoh voices Airazor, a giant hawk robot, for instance. So that’s kind of neat.

Transformers: Rise of the Beast is the seventh film in the Transformers series of movies, and the second prequel movie not directed by Michael Bay, this one being directed by Steven Caple Jr. I have seen the first two of Bay’s movies, but tapped out after that.

I didn’t feel like I was missing much need to know information.

The plot involves the animal robots, the Maximals, hiding a magical space travel device on Earth from planet-eating bad guy Unicron. I am vaguely aware that this character was the antagonist of the animated movie back in the 80s (which I also never saw), but he’s not actually the antagonist of this movie. His main henchman, Scourge (voiced by Peter Dinklage), is instead.

We also get a pair of human protagonists that nobody really cares about. One is an archaeologist Elena (Dominique Fishback) who accidentally discovers half of the magic space rock. The other, Noah (Anthony Ramos), is really our main protagonist. He has a sick brother, and to pay for medical bills, he finally decides to help steal a car. The car turns out to be an AutoBot named Mirage (voiced by Pete Davison). So he joins the adventure.

The Maximals are the guardians of the two halfs of the key, and they have been hiding the other half in Peru for the last couple thousand years. Besides Airazor, there is the leader Optimus Primal (voiced by Ron Perlman), a gorilla, plus a cheetah and a rhinoceros who exist, mostly. They may be the title Beasts “rising”, but the movie still spends and inordinate amount of time on the humans, and when it’s not on them, it’s still an AutoBots centric story.

There is a final battle, and to give the Bay movies their proper due, at least they usually set their final battles somewhere interesting. Here, the fight is staged on a volcanic ash plain, meaning everything is a boring grey landscape. The robots keep shooting their guns at each other, despite the fact that they are apparently harmless to one another. The special effects are fine, good even, but not particularly well utilized in the climax. Earlier action scenes did feature more interesting locations, to be fair.

One improvement over the Bay movies is that, despite the Maximals being part of local culture that takes an archaeologist to track them down, they aren’t made some kind of “ancient astronaut” explanation for every Pre-Columbian accomplishment on the South American continent. The Nazca lines, a favorite of these crackpot theorists, are specifically brought up and Optimus Primal gives the native human population full credit for them. I liked that moment.

Otherwise, it just wasn’t really that interesting of a movie.


Your rating: None

You know, this is only the second story that we have that meaningfully relates to Peru, yet isn't about a certain bear - the first being a movie about a bird, Condorito. It is, allegedly, not a very good movie; but from the looks of its trailer, it's more about the anthropomorphic animals than this one. (Oh, and there's alien abduction, so there's that.)

Also, I had a really bad Peruvian witness in the trial I was jury on for two weeks. Small world!

Your rating: None

I'm ancient enough to recall a series called Beast Wars (Beasties for those in Canada). That's the source for the crossover. Basically a timey wimey thing where a thousand years after G1, the Decepticons are at it again, attacking an ark carrying what's basically a bunch of robot fetuses in rescue tubes, which are dumped on a replica of Earth hundreds of thousands of years in the past.

Yeah, even though I'm high, that doesn't make sense either. Still good mindless fun to watch.

Your rating: None

I'm more ancient than you, I was in my 20's when Beast Wars came out so I remember it. XD XD XD (jk, I really don't know who Anon is!)

Actually the Beast Wars show takes place 300 years in the future, when all the Cybertronian records about the Great War and Earth have been sealed. The Maximal stars were a scientific exploration crew that were pressed into service pursuing a ship stolen by escaped prisoner Predacons. Because they were fighting when both ships entered transwarp, they ended up millions of years in the past, crashing on a planet only eventually recognizable as Earth - due to the sealing of the records, Earth origin information even humans didn't know, and both Maximals and Predacons pissing off aliens by sticking their noses in things. The protoforms were Maximal scientific crew that were in storage (along with one top secret tortured prisoner who was to be dumped on an unpopulated rock - yep, Maximal government not lily white here!), who were jettisoned into orbit as the ships crashed, later falling to the planet's surface and being reprogrammed by whichever side got to the pod first.

The movie vaguely hinted at these things, but really needed to have spent some time on the movie version of how/what/why. And definitely needed to give Cheetor and Rhinox some lines, or have them 'off exploring' or something - considering how much characterization they had in the show it was a deep shame not to use them properly. They did give Airazor a lot to do, more than she got in the show, and her animation was amazing, but I kept wondering about Tigatron... ;)

As an old TF fan, I can say it wasn't outright insulting like the Bay-directed films, and Pete Davidson did a surprisingly good job as a very different Mirage (giving him Jazz's distinctive altmode did irk me honestly), but it was just a 2.5 out of 5 *at best*.

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