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The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat
Poster Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes
A movie poster for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Photo courtesy of IMBd.

“Rise of the Beasts:” Flawed But Entertaining

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is the seventh live action “Transformers” film, and the second since it was rebooted with “Bumblebee” in 2018. Released in 2023, Rise of the Beasts stars Anthony Ramos as Noah Diaz, an unemployed man who is down on his luck. This leads to him attempting to steal and sell a car for money to help his ill younger brother Kris.

Of course the car he attempts to steal is no ordinary car, and is in fact a transformer named Mirage (voiced by Pete Davidson). From here, Noah unwittingly gets caught up in a battle to save the universe. Also starring the voices of Peter Cullen (as Optimus Prime), Ron Perlman (as Optimus Primal), and Peter Dinklage (as Scourge), “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is a flawed, but overall entertaining movie.

First, I’ll list the good news. One of the best things about this movie is its visual effects. The original “Transformers” movies always held effects above anything else, and “Rise of the Beasts” doesn’t let up. The Transformers themselves still look real, something which is hard to come by in movies these days.

The acting is nothing outstanding, but it has no reason to be anything more. The plot isn’t that emotional, so the actors don’t have to show that much range. The highlight in terms of acting is definitely Peter Cullen, who has voiced Optimus Prime since the 80’s. His voice for Prime only gets better with time, which makes it sad that this will most likely be the last time he voices the character.

The writers and directors clearly kept this in mind when building Optimus Prime as a character. In the past, he hasn’t been much more than a large hunk of metal with murderous intent, but that’s not the case in “Rise of the Beasts.” Instead, Prime is portrayed as an aging leader who has lost too many friends in his lifetime and will do anything to protect what he has left, even at the expense of humanity.

Some long-time Transformers fans have expressed dismay at this coldness toward humanity since past iterations of Prime have shown him as a kind and humble character fighting to save humanity. However, I believe that the writers made the right decision for this movie, as it provides the perfect chance to evolve Optimus into the protector we know and love, making the perfect send off for Peter Cullen.

Optimus Prime isn’t the only part of the movie that had much more care put into it than I was expecting. Noah, the protagonist, is also introduced with the full intent of getting us to care about him. When we first meet him, we learn that he needs to make money to help his little brother, who suffers from a rare illness. Right off the bat, we have a reason to care about the characters, which is something Michael Bay’s films struggled with. Aside from the characters, “Rise of the Beasts” pays mind to what the fans want. They bring in the maximals, animal-themed transformers who haven’t been seen since the 90’s. In a way they even follow up on what the end of “Transformers: the Last Knight” promised: the appearance of Unicron. This is a good way to please fans of Bay’s films.

With as many good things about this movie as there are, it also has flaws. The first act of the movie is slow and the second act is both slow and hard to follow, making the third act the only act that will leave any kind of impression on most people. For those who aren’t long time fans of “Transformers,” this might be a bit of a let down.

For the amount of character development they fit into the first act, they also use a very small amount of it later in the movie. Nothing very personal or meaningful happens to the characters, which makes all of that time spent building up the characters feel pointless.

Still, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is an overall entertaining movie, and really that’s all “Transformers” has to be. It’s good fun, and personally I think it’s worth a watch. I give it a 7/10.

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