During the ’90s, a new faction of Transformers – the Maximals – join the Autobots as allies in the battle for Earth.

Cast: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Luna Lauren Velez, Dean Scott Vazquez, Tobe Nwigwe, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, Pete Davidson, Liza Koshy, John DiMaggio, David Sobolov, Michael Jae Rodriguez, Colman Domingo, Dristo Fernandez, Tongayi Chirisa

Directors: Steven Caple Jr.
Writers: Joby Harold, Darnell Metayer, Josh Peters, Erich Hoeber, Job Hoeber
Cinematography: Enrique Chediak
Editing: William Goldenberg, Joel Negron
Jongnic Bontemps

It’s been fifteen-some years since director Michael Bay gave us the explosive Transformers movie with a young Shia LaBeouf saving the world across three epic adventures and building up Bumblebee to get his solo film (Directed by Travis Knight). Mark Wahlberg kept the series running for a subsequent three films under the helm of Michael Bay. But in 2023, Bay handed the reins to Steven Caple Jr (though Bay has stayed on as a Producer).

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts follows a familiar story. An unexpected hero, Noah Diaz, discovers the transformers and helps stop Earth from being invaded alongside Optimus Prime and his friends, despite being set in 1994, which in the timeline would slot in after the Bumblebee movie Rise of the Beasts manages to bring Transformers back from a cinematic lul and into a more modern era.

When down and out, Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) struggles to find a job due to an unfortunate history; he has to do what he can to find some money. His little brother also has some health issues, which cements his decision to help a friend steal an expensive car. Little did he know the car he was stealing was a transformer named Mirage (Pete Davidson).

Their meeting became mutually beneficial as the Transformers needed to find and keep safe the Transwarp Key. If they don’t find it first, the planet-eating Unicron will destroy the Earth, and that includes Noah and his family.

Though slightly hesitant, Optimus agrees to use Noah to break into an artefact lab and find the Transwarp Key. Only inside is Elena (Dominique Fishback), who has already discovered it yet doesn’t know its exact power.

When Unicron’s army, led by Scourge, manages to get hold of the Transwarp Key, the Transformers find themselves chasing them to Peru, where the battle begins to save the world.

While the Mark Wahlberg films managed to fare well, The Last Knight found Paramount and Hasbro demanding a change. And they’ve found that perfect change in Anthony Ramos. He is famous for his roles in, In the Heights and Disney’s recording of Hamilton. Ramos gave audiences that same persona we came to love with Shia LaBeouf’s films but somehow made it even cooler.

It isn’t just Ramos who oils the rusted hinges of the franchise. The likes of Pete Davidson, as Mirage’s voice, bring just the right amount of his comedic talents to this role. Michelle Yeoh as Airrazor gave the film a sense of prestige. Not to mention Cristo Fernández as Wheeljack and Peter Dinklage as Scourge. 

Visually, much like its predecessors, it’s hard to fault. The SFX are second to none and made to stand out across some stunning settings. With the backdrops of the likes of Machu Picchu, Peru, it’s as much an adventure for the audience.

You get your standard Transformer vs Transformer battle scenes. But rather than always having the human hold the key and try to stay safe, Rise of the Beasts gives the human a new role as a transformer. I say no more. But this opens up an entire world of possibilities going forward.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the movie we’ve been waiting for since the original trilogy. It’s fun; it’s fast and full of action. And though it’s set in an earlier time frame, it manages to create a whole new way to take the Transformers into a modern world.