"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" Film Review

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023) - IMDb

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" Film Review

Rating: 1.5/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" is the seventh movie in the overarching franchise, and they still don't really know how to make a fun and compelling blockbuster movie. Not only is this a very unnecessary prequel, but is simply a boring and annoying film that unlucky audiences have to practically force themselves to endure, unless they just want to end their suffering and walk of out of the theater. While I can commend them on some of their action sequences, it's all just a giant, jumbled mess full of bad ideas, even-worse CGI, and horrible acting. 

    The film takes place in 1994, more than ten years before the events of the first film with Shia LaBeouf, and revolves around Brooklyn native Noah (Anthony Ramos), who is just trying to find work and help his sick brother, Kris (Dean Scott Vasquez). When he tries to rob a Porsche from a group of billionaires, he is shocked to find out that it is a member of the Autobots named Mirage (Pete Davidson), who works with Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and his associates. 

    The Autobots are assembled by Optimus when the Transwarp Key is discovered in a museum in New York, the Autobots one-way ticket back to their home planet of Cybertron. Along with museum intern, Elena (Dominique Fishback), they are able to obtain half of the key, until it is stolen by the henchmen of Unicron, an evil, planet-eating entity. They must then travel to Peru to discover the second half of the key before their foes can reach it. 

    If the plot of this film sounds very familiar to you, it's because this is the same crap filmmakers have been doing with this franchise for years now. It seems like they can't even begin to think of a brand new plot or story without resorting back to their "tried and true" method, which really is depressing as this film has already doubled its budget in the box office at the time of this review. I don't even think I can consider them fun popcorn films, because there truly is nothing fun about any of this. 

    The characters and the villains are exactly the same as well. Optimus Prime is annoying as always, giving cheap one-liners and complaining about how bad of a leader he is. The villains are nothing special, and the filmmakers don't seem concerned at all to give them a backstory or show why they are evil. At the same time, there is one famous Transformer in particular, who I'm actually a big fan of, and he is barely in the movie at all. At the same time, they try to make it seem like there are major stakes and try to create heavy emotional moments of loss, when we know how it will turn out since this is a PREQUEL! The emotional moments simply don't work because we know exactly what happened and where our characters are going to end up. 

    I will admit that some of the action sequences (even though it heavily relies on explosions), some of the cinematography during those action sequences, and Davidson's character of Mirage are enjoyable for some parts. I would go as far as to say Mirage was easily the most fun and enjoyable character in the entire movie. So, for those reasons, it made the movie somewhat bearable. Granted, I found myself wishing the movie was over for most of it, but having Mirage come on screen or some of the fight sequences made it a little bit better for me.

    I think Ramos and Fishback were absolutely horrible throughout the entire movie. Their acting was God-awful, and it felt like they just picked up two random people off the street and put them in a movie surrounded by CGI. At the same time, their characters are written very poorly. Neither of them are fun characters, nor are they likable in any sense. The same can be said for Kris, who, even though he is suffering from a disease, tries to act all tough in all the wrong ways possible. Even when we tried to have some heavy emotional moments throughout the movie, they were more laughable than anything. 

    Even though some of the fight scenes were fun and the cinematography was somewhat good, the effects were awful. Consider the scene where Fishback's character was hanging off a cliff, over lava. For a film that has a budget of around $200 million, you think they would be able to create better effects and CGI than those of what a freshman in high school can do. The lava looks incredibly fake, and you can easily see the separation from the green screen and reality; it looked like it belongs in a behind-the-scenes special you would find on the Blu-Ray for this film. 

    All in all, this is just another horrible entry into a franchise that is more of a joke than anything. I'm simply not sure why this film exists, and not sure what anyone was thinking when making this movie. It isn't even fun-bad, which I think this movie could have been forgiven for if they went down that path. This is just bad, and the sad thing is they think it's good. That's a major problem in Hollywood right now that needs to be addressed as we shouldn't be getting any more abysmal movies like this one.