‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ review: Another annoying robo-flop

Everybody has known it for ages: Optimus is way past his Prime. 

The first “Transformers” film in 2007, starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, was frivolous enough; the next four were appalling; and then 2018’s surprising “Bumblebee” gave us some hope that the series still had some gas in the tank. 

movie review

Running time: 127 minutes. Rated PG-13 (intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language.) In theaters.

Wrong! The fuel gauge is at “E” — for excruciating. The seventh movie in the franchise, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” is a predictable return to rock-em-sock-em stupidity with nothing to add except Michelle Yeoh as a talking aluminum falcon.

What a misnomer “Transformers” is. These films never change one iota. Once again the noble numbskull Autobots are back, but this time they’re parked in 1994 New York City following the events of “Bumblebee,” whatever they were.

As usual, a likable young person (Noah Diaz, played by Anthony Ramos) is shocked to discover the Porsche he’s sitting in is actually a sentient robot who mysteriously wisecracks and speaks in American slang. 

That bot in this instance is Mirage, who abruptly announces, “I’m an alien!”

Elena (Dominique Fishback) and Noah (Antony Ramos) join the Autobots.
Elena (Dominique Fishback) and Noah (Anthony Ramos) join the Autobots.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, then task the Brooklynite — who’s been trying to earn money through occasionally criminal means to pay for his little brother’s cancer treatment — with stealing the “transwarp key” from a museum, where he meets a brilliant-but-belittled art expert named Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback).

The transwarp key would allow the Autobots, who have been stranded on Earth for seven years, to finally return to their home planet. But if it gets into the hands of the evil Terrorcons — don’t they sound sweet! — the baddies could destroy a limitless number of worlds. Noah and Elena must stop them.

The Terrorcons are led by Scourge (Peter Dinklage, apparently), who also needs the key to bring back his boss Unicron. That sentence says all you need to know about this bludgeoning of the brain.

Scourge (voiced by Peter Dinklage) and the Terrorcons fight the Autobots in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts."
Scourge (voiced by Peter Dinklage) and the Terrorcons fight the Autobots in “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.”
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

All “Transformers” really needs to do — much like the “Fast & Furious” franchise — is top itself when it comes to badass new vehicles and breathtaking chase scenes. The plots will never be riveting, and the characters are cartoons. On cool-factor, the filmmakers don’t deliver. Similar to “Fast X,” there’s nothing even slightly novel or impressive about “Rise of the Beasts.” 

About those underwhelming beasts: We’re introduced to the Maximals, yet more robo-aliens who instead look like a bird, gorilla (named Optimus Primal) and cheetah. They’ve been hiding out in the mountains of Peru, director Steven Caple Jr.’s generic movie’s only other location.

The Maximals’ impact is minimal, and they serve only as more steel sticks in the mud who speak in narrator whispers and have a vague mission. 

The final scene introduces a toy franchise-tie-in that would create a sort-of Hasbro Cinematic Universe. Maybe we should let the Terrorcons destroy the Earth after all.

source: nypost.com