The latest installment in the Transformers franchise, titled Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, brings back the explosive VFX, adrenaline-pumping action sequences, and thunderous sound design that fans have come to expect. Starring Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos, the film introduces a human element that adds depth to the narrative. While it boasts a nostalgic ’90s hip-hop soundtrack, this action-packed extravaganza falls short when it comes to logical coherence.
A Plot Riddled with Puzzling Questions
Within the realm of plot alone, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts leaves viewers scratching their heads. For instance, why do the Maximals, these gigantic robo-animal beings borrowed from a late-’90s toy line and animated series, possess fur and feathers protruding between their metallic exteriors? Moreover, if they hail from another planet, why do they adopt the appearance of Earth’s animals? Even on Earth, their disguises are far from convincing.
It is hard to imagine a gorilla mistaking the steel-faced Optimus Primal, who stands at Mighty Joe Young proportions, as a potential mate. Another perplexing aspect is the presence of Stratosphere, a rusty World War II cargo plane, among the Autobots, who have only inhabited Earth for seven years. These inconsistencies tarnish the film’s logical foundation.
Logic Lapses and Blunders
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts not only suffers from questionable plot choices but also stumbles into glaring errors. In one pivotal scene, the Autobot Mirage, played by Pete Davidson, steps onto the roof of a car to peer into a window, inadvertently crushing the vehicle.
Given that Mirage has previously demonstrated the ability to transform into a garbage truck, in addition to his usual Porsche form, one wonders why he couldn’t simply extend his legs to reach the window. To compound the issue, shortly after, he suddenly appears tall enough to engage in a face-to-face conversation with individuals standing on the same window’s fire escape. These inconsistencies reflect poorly on the film’s attention to detail.
Lack of Tension and Stakes
One of the critical shortcomings of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is its failure to establish a sense of jeopardy. Since the movie is set approximately 13 years before the events of the first Transformers film and features some familiar characters like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, the lack of true consequences for the protagonists diminishes the stakes. Characters in the Transformers universe have become notorious for their apparent invincibility, akin to the resilient members of the Fast & Furious family. This predictability dampens the excitement and prevents viewers from fully investing in the narrative.
Finding Joy Amidst the Chaos
Despite its glaring flaws, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts manages to offer some entertainment for those who can overlook its issues. The screenplay occasionally delivers solid comedic moments, including an amusing nod to future Transformers star Mark Wahlberg and the cleverly crafted line, “You’ve been inside me!” Moreover, the film’s callbacks to the beloved 1986 animated movie, featuring iconic characters like Unicron, Scourge, and Arcee, may evoke a sense of nostalgia for long-time Transformers enthusiasts.
However, as the film climaxes with a battle reminiscent of Avengers: Infinity War, albeit set in Peru’s Machu Picchu instead of Wakanda, it leans more towards déjà vu than genuine homage. Additionally, the clumsy attempt to set up a Hasbro Cinematic Universe feels forced and detracts from the overall experience.
A Silly and Derivative Offering
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts lacks the fresh perspective that characterized the earlier Bay-directed films, falling into the trap of being silly and derivative. While Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos shine as the token humans, their commendable performances cannot salvage the film from its inherent weaknesses.