‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’

Enjoyable, engaging and just dumb fun

Ricky Miller, Entertainment Editor

The Transformers franchise is back, this time sans previous director Michael Bay, but with plenty of help from animal robots called maximals in “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.” (Photos Courtesy/Paramount Pictures)

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is a very enjoyable and engaging movie sans filmmaker Michael Bay, who dropped out of the series after “Transformers: The Last Knight” in 2017 to direct people movies like “Ambulance” with Jake Gyllenhaal of 2022.

Steven Caple Jr. (“Creed II,” “Transformers: Earthspark” on TV) slips into the director’s chair for the new “Transformers” chapter. This sci-fi action-adventure takes place in the 1990s. This one involves a likable kid named Noah played by Anthony Ramos (“In the Heights,” “Hamilton”), who’s trying to make it in New York City.

Along with Elena (Dominique Fishback), he embarks on a grand, but dangerous adventure. Noah hops into what he thinks is a sports car. It’s not a car, but a transformer named Mirage (voiced by former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson).

The maximal Cheetor (voiced by Tongayi Chirisa) races beside Noah Diaz (played by Anthony Ramos) in “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.”

The villain of the story is a gargantuan beast named Unicron that consumes entire planets and has Mother Earth on its menu. Of course, Noah joins forces with the Maximals, animal autobots, to take on the Unicron.
What the filmmakers are trying to do here is introduce some of the lesser-known members of the “Transformers” universe. How far this gear-grinding series goes depends, of course, on how many people show up. In its opening weekend, the new “Transformers” knocked Spidey (“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”) out of the top spot at the box office.

Recent Best Actress Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) lends her voice to Airazor, part of the beast ensemble.

This one is enjoyable because we don’t have the mumbling of Shia LaBeouf or Mark Wahlberg from previous Bot battles. Don’t be surprised if G.I. Joe shows up in one of the future “Transformer” adventures.

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is corny. If you suspend your disbelief though, you can just go with the flow and enjoy the antics on the screen. I hate to say this, but I would actually pay to see this again. It’s just dumb fun.