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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts                      review by Bobby Blakey

When director Michael Bay brought the famed Transformers to the big-screen in live action form in 2007 it was met with mixed results. Despite being a box office mega-hit the hardcore fans have been pretty vocal about their dislike with what he did with the robots in disguise. Clearly their hatred hasn’t wavered their willingness to check them out since it not only spawned a full trilogy with the original cast then he shifted into a new set of films with a new cast that then followed up it all with the last film Bumblebee in 2018.

Now after 6 films behind them in the live action franchise it looks like they are mixing things up once again for the next chapter of the franchise. The next chapter, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts takes audiences on a ‘90s globetrotting adventure and introduce the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons to the existing battle on earth between Autobots and Decepticons.


This time around Creed II director Steven Caple Jr. is at the helm and stars Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Tobe Nwigwe, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, Liza Koshy, John DiMaggio, David Sobolov, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Pete Davidson, and Cristo Fernández, but does it bring more freshness to the franchise or will it fail to transform audiences?


I know not all the films work for everyone, but I enjoy them all for the sheer fun of seeing the Transformers come to life and the insane destruction they cause. With Bumblebee it finally proved that we could have the version of the robots in disguise that all the fans wanted and this latest entry continues to prove it. With new additions to the mix and Optimus Prime looking right out of the G1 TV series it nails the look and feel that fans have hoped for from the beginning.


The story plays out like most of the others with some specific artifact everyone wants that will destroy the world, but here it feels like something more with the addition of the Unicron in all his glory. Fans of the original animated feature will be smiling ear to ear getting to see Unicron come right out of that film into live action to make a story that feels like it belongs to the Transformers. The addition of Scourge, who also made his original debut in the animated feature, gave them a fresh new foe to face that brings a real threat and menace.


Sure there are elements here and there that might not work for some and feel likes it rehashed from previous outings, but this entry is yet another example of someone that really knows the source material and is trying to bring that too us in a fresh new way. The humans here don’t just feel like victims, but have real life purpose and issues to deal with on their journey as does Optimus Prime. This is not the Prime we know and love that protects humans, but instead one jaded and more self-reliant on their goal to get back to Cybertron and nothing else. This gives fans a chance to see his growth as well as we bring them all together.


The big new thing here are the Maximals and if they deliver. While I was not a big fan of Beast Wars I know them and was excited to see them come to life. They are all kinds of awesome here and getting to see the connection of Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal and them fighting side by side is glorious fun. Both are such great characters and their powerful presence make you believe in the cause. All of the Transformers look awesome and the action is plenty, but felt a bit more slowed down visually in the best way possible for you to just let it all sink in as opposed the chaotic visuals of Michael Bay. I dig his style, but this was Transformers the way it should be.


There are a couple of after credit moments that are fun and all around awesome making promises for the future that I hope we get to see. This is not only a fun new chapter to this franchise, but I think my favorite to date and one that I cannot wait to check out again.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted & extended scenes, featurettes and so much more. Transform and roll out to grab your copy of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on October 10th from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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