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Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts: A Refreshing Spin To The 'Transformers' Franchise

Watch the Autobots "roll out" once more and be in awe of the Maximals as they "maximize." There is an element here that every member of the family will enjoy

Optimus Primal and Optimus Prime in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts"
Optimus Primal and Optimus Prime in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" | Photo from Paramount Pictures International


Hasbro has started bringing out their toys and is finally plotting out the cinematic Hasbroverse with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, directed by Steven Caple Jr.


First off, for anyone who’s wondering if the latest Transformers movie is a sequel or a prequel or if it’s even part of Michael Bay’s Transformers’ movie world, you should know that TROTB is set in 1994, many decades before Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf) meets Bumbleblee in 2007 (the same year the movie was released). 


So it’s a prequel? Well, kinda. It’s more along the lines of a soft reboot. TROTB does break away from the canon of previous films. For example, in the first Transformers movie, aside from Bumblebee, the Autobots first arrive on Earth in 2007 because of the former’s homing signal. But TROTB follows the lead of the 2018 Bumblebee movie which showed that the Autobots have been here on Earth since 1987.


Mirage and Anthony Ramos
Mirage and Anthony Ramos | Photo from Paramount Pictures International


But then, it doesn’t really distance itself from the Michael Bay films, as evidenced by its use of the iconic theme songs, mentions of Mark Wahlberg, and the fact that Bay is one of the producers of this film.


That being said, viewers don’t really need to have watched any of the previous films to enjoy TROTB. It’s a movie made with the same elements that made Bay a major box office director, specifically EXPLOSIONS. But this time, it’s a film about giant robots and explosions with heart.


TROTB starts off with the introduction of the Maximals (think Autobots but they turn into animals). Their home planet is being attacked by the Terrorcons (think Decepticons but more chaotic) and the evil entity known as Unicron, who literally devours entire worlds to feed itself.


The leader of the Terrorcons, Scourge (Peter Dinklage) has been tasked by Unicron to get the Transwarp key from the Maximals so they can travel to other galaxies and it can continue to mukbang on other planets. Apelinq (David Sobolov), the leader of the Maximals orders Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman) and the other survivors to escape to some planet and keep the key safe. Apelinq ultimately sacrifices himself and their planet to trap Unicron in their galaxy and save the rest of the universe… or so they thought.


Nightbird, Scourge and Battletrap in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts"
Nightbird, Scourge and Battletrap | Photo from Paramount Pictures International


Now, it’s Earth 1994, we are introduced to Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos), an ex-military guy who’s great with electronics but is not quite a team player. He lives with his mom, Brenna (Luna Lauren Vélez), and his younger brother, Kris (Dean Scott Vazquez) who suffers from Sickle Cell Disease. It’s because of the latter’s piling medical bills that Noah decides to take on a car heist job after failing to secure a job.


Unknown to him, the car he was planning to steal was more than meets the eye. It was actually a very bored Mirage (Pete Davidson), who at that very moment gets a call from Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) to regroup because a strange signal was detected from a museum. Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), an intern at the museum accidentally stumbles upon the Transwarp key hidden inside an ancient artifact. It now becomes a race between the Autobots and the Terrorcons, who have been alerted by the signal to get the Transwarp key and set forth to their desired destinations.



Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos
Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos | Photo from Paramount Pictures International
Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Wheeljack, and Arcee
Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Wheeljack, and Arcee | Photo from Paramount Pictures International


All along, Noah and Elena are dragged into the adventure while they desperately try to keep the Earth safe from both the Autobots and the Terrorcons.


Now, I know what you’re thinking. The plot seems, well, a little convoluted. And yes, it is. But at the end of the day, it’s really a movie about giant robots that can transform into vehicles and animals and there’s a whole lot of explosions that are really awesome to watch in IMAX. It is always fun seeing the Autobots "roll out," and it was cool to see the Maximals "maximize."  


Even my 6-year-old son was able to understand the movie without much fuss. But for adults, like me, who know about toys and characters like the Transformers and G.I. Joe (*wink, wink*), it’s like playtime come to life. It’s an adventure story combining different things that don’t necessarily make sense but are just really fun and made to be enjoyed not on the phone but in theaters. My wife thought it was breathtaking, with the filming locations going from New York City to Peru. There is an element in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts that every member of the family will enjoy throughout its 127 minutes of running time. 


Director Steven Caple Jr. on the set of "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts"
Director Steven Caple Jr. on the set of "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" | Photo from Paramount Pictures International


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts crushed its competition at the global box office with a massive weekend opening of US$171 million at the worldwide box office. In the Philippines, the film debuted at No.1 on its five-day opening weekend, nabbing a huge chunk of the market share.


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is still showing in cinemas. The film is distributed in the Philippines by Paramount Pictures through Columbia Pictures.


Photos from Paramount Pictures International