Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
Setting: 1990s USA
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets?
Are we alone in the universe?
Does Scripture refer to life in space?
Michelle Yeoh … Airazor (voice)
Pete Davidson … Mirage (voice)
Colman Domingo … Unicron
Peter Dinklage … Scourge (voice)
Cristo Fernández … Wheeljack (voice)
Ron Perlman … Optimus Primal (voice)
Anthony Ramos … Noah Diaz
John DiMaggio … Stratosphere (voice)
Peter Cullen … Optimus Prime (voice)
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (MJ) … Nightbird (voice)
Luna Lauren Velez … Mrs. Diaz
Dominique Fishback … Elena Wallace
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|Director||Steven Caple Jr.|
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|Distributor||Paramount Pictures Corporation, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS|
“Unite or fall”
Long ago, on the home planet of a group of machine-based creatures called Maximals, the Maximals lived in peace, until the day the planet destroying creature, called the Unicron, came to their planet, and sent his army of servants, called Terrorcons, led by a creature named Scourge, to search for a device called the Transwarp Key which would allow Unicron and the Terrorcons the ability to travel to various galaxies and planets and give Unicron the opportunity to “feast” on the planets. Fearing the inevitable, the Maximals leave with the Transwarp Key to Earth, leaving Unicron stuck on the Maximals’ planet.
1994. We are introduced to Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos), an ex-military electronics expert who is having a difficult time finding a job to support his mom and his very ill younger brother. His best friend convinces him to help him steal a Porsche during a museum fundraising event.
However, when it’s time to steal the Porsche, Noah notices the car beginning to lock itself and a message playing over the radio stating, “Calling all Autobots!” “Calling all Autobots!”. “What’s going on?” wonders Noah. Suddenly the Porsche starts driving all on its own with him inside and the police on his tail! After the chase is over Noah finds out that the Porsche is a Transformer, an Autobot, named Mirage (Pete Davidson).
After a string of events, Noah is asked by Mirage and his friends to go into the museum and steal a statue that contains the signal with messaging to the location of the Transwarp inside of it; in return, Noah will be able to sell Mirage for serious cash. Upon arrival however, Noah meets a young intern, named Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), who has also discovered that the statue is more than it appears. Noah, Elena, and the Autobots soon find themselves in a race against time for the Transwarp with the Terrorcons.
It’s going to take brains, brawn, and a whole lot of transforming to make it to the Transwarp in time or it’s game over for everyone on Earth.
Were you confused by the synopsis? I’d be surprised if you weren’t. If you aren’t a huge fan of the Transformers series or haven’t seen any of the other films, a synopsis like this could boggle the mind a little. Then again, this is a Michael Bay action flick, so really you shouldn’t be going in for a coherent plot, you should be going for a full two-hour onslaught of fist-fights, gunfire and explosions. I mean, why else go to a Transformers film right?
Well… to be fair Transformers films DO have their place in the film industry, like all films. For those that grew up, either with the television series in the 90s (and clearly this film focuses on the 90s series since it contains the Maximals and the Terrorcons) or the Hasbro toys themselves, the Transformers provide an escape into a world of fantasy that, in today’s world, we’ve somehow lost. These films allow viewers to recapture a part of many people’s childhoods: getting a group of their friends over, choosing who was going to be Optimus Prime, etc.
Okay, so the plot for “Transformers: Rise of the Beast” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (I’m not going to spoil anything here, I promise), the action sequences are over-the-top (I mean, one like “Fast and the Furious” over-the-top) and the dialog can a bit cheesy at times, but again, who cares! The director and production team knows this going in and they want you to just let loose and have some fun. I did have some fun in viewing this film. It’s two hours of mind-numbing robot versus robot action; although, compared to some of the other Transformers films, “Rise of the Beasts” is much tamer than in the amount of action sequences that occur. Speaking of action…
Violence: Very Heavy. *NOTE: I didn’t write down everything. This just covers a majority of what occurred.* A Maximal (robot) has his arm severed, and he is killed (offscreen). We witness the Unicron devouring a populated planet. Mirage, with a character in the car, is seen driving itself through heavy traffic with police in pursuit, sometimes destroying things in the process, even causing police cars to crash. An explosion knocks two characters against a wall. Someone mentions “ripping the flesh from the humans’ bone.” We see tons of missiles, bullets and lasers coming from Autobots and Terrorcons in a huge fight at the museum. An Autobot is electrocuted and (supposedly) killed. A Terrorcon is shot. Both Terrorcons and Autbots are thrown down a mountain. A human character is taken by a Terrorcon. Autobots are seen being kicked around. A character dies. A character sacrifices in a fight, but later we find out he is ok (not a spoiler I promise). There is a massive, extended fight sequence between the Maximals, Autobots and Terrorcons at the conclusion of the film (some of them are seen being shot at, killed, beaten, etc.). A Terrorcon is beheaded.
Vulgarity: M*ther-F*cker (1), Obscene Gesture (1,) Sh*t (8), A** (3), A**es (1), “White people love that sh*t” (the s-word is included in the count), “fudge” a joke about racism (?)
Sexual Content: The phrase “bros before h*oes is used”. Someone states, “Work friends? You’ve been inside me!” Someone also states, “Cojones mia grande.” One character tells someone “not to mess with my body”
Nudity: Someone wears a revealing dress.
Other: A character attempts to rob a museum then tries to steal a Porsche. There are several scenes where insect-like Terrorcons chase after main characters (this is intense and often frightening. Please consider this before taking young children). Mirage mentions he wet himself (motor oil). There are a couple moments that deal with racism and racial profiling.
Noah and Optimus Prime (the leader of the Autobots for those who are new to the franchise) are a lot alike. Even Elena states to Noah, “Both of you are just trying to do what’s best for your communities, you for Earth and Optimus for the Autobots. You don’t have to do it alone though.”
Indeed, Noah doesn’t have to carry the burden alone. In life, none of us do. Becoming a true Christian means becoming a part of something much larger than ourselves. Yes, the life of a Christian is not easy. No one said being a disciple of Christ would be. Sometimes it will become overwhelming, and it can feel like the burden is too much. This is when we are to go to the Word, go deep into prayer and remember the promises God has made to us: that He will never leave us or forsake us and go to God with our troubles and to find our strength in Him.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:6-7
Even in the book of Joshua, it states the following…
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” —Joshua 1:9
And after we have come to him with our troubles we feel this peace, this overwhelming peace that truly is undescribable…
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is a prime example of formulaic fiction for a franchise that has long lain dormant. Should some things that are dead really be left in peace? Perhaps (I mean, the last film was 6 years ago). Then again, perhaps there is hope, a revival that could reignite an interest for years to come.
Children are the concern I have here. There will be some children that may want to see this film. That is highly ill advised. There is an abundance of violence (even if it’s robot on robot) and some terrifying moments. Also, some of the language and innuendo is less than to be desired. As always viewer discretion is advised.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.