Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, scifi film review by Mark Kermode (movie review).

Our man of many movies, Mark Kermode, flops down in front of the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts film so that you don’t have to. Watch his review in the video above.

So, what did we here at SFcrowsnest Towers think of said film? Read on.

Let’s start with the truth: a Transformers movie is, at its core, about giant metal beings that transform into vehicles, wage war across multiple planets, and, more often than not, cause the kind of property damage that would make an insurance adjuster weep in despair. That being said, the latest installment, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, manages to introduce a whole new layer of convolution to an already tangled plot, resembling something like a philosophical discussion about the meaning of life but with the intellectual heft of a toaster oven.

The latest director to wrestle the Transformers beast into submission is Steven Caple Jr., who brings a refreshing visual coherence to the proceedings – a nice change from previous installments, where trying to follow the action was akin to trying to trace a lightning bolt. Unfortunately, Caple is hampered by a screenplay that seems to have been constructed in the same way one might assemble an Ikea bookshelf – with a lot of confused squinting at the instructions, the occasional swear word, and at least one bit that never seems to fit where it’s supposed to.

The characters, as per tradition, are named after whatever the screenwriters pulled out of their “Cool-Sounding Words” hat. We have the Autobots, the Maximals, the Terrorcons, and the planet-eating Unicron. There’s also an ancient, powerful doohickey that everyone wants, which has the air of an intergalactic car key that everyone keeps losing.

At its heart, though, this film is about the humans who find themselves caught up in this mechanical maeliganza. Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback provide the human anchor amid the steel shenanigans, grappling with the emotional depth of paperclips in their roles. Ramos is a former military electronics expert, a convenient occupation given the film’s circumstances, and Fishback is an underappreciated artifacts expert, a plot point as delicate as a jackhammer.

There are moments when the movie sparks to life, particularly when the voice talent behind the transformers take center stage. It’s an A-list roster including Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, and Ron Perlman. Then there’s Pete Davidson as Mirage, who provides comic relief with all the grace of an elephant on roller skates, awkwardly delivering lewd jokes that feel about as out of place as a Decepticon in a scrapyard.

In short, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” isn’t so much a film as it is a seismic event, a cacophony of sound and fury, all bound up with the subtlety of a wrecking ball. It’s like watching a heavyweight boxing match between two Ferris wheels. It’s visually striking, sure, but one can’t help but feel that the narrative took a back seat to the spectacle. On the plus side, the soundtrack is a lively trip down ’90s nostalgia lane, so at least there’s that.

So, if you’re in the mood for metal mayhem, thunderous destruction, and the kind of dialogue that could make Shakespeare spin in his grave, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” may just be the perfect fit for your movie night. But if you’re hoping for coherent plot lines and characters with more depth than a puddle, well, you might want to transform your expectations.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, scifi film review by Mark Kermode (movie review).
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, scifi film review by Mark Kermode (movie review).


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.