Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023)

Broken Cosmologies

These come to me already broken. For me to enter the world of a film, I have to have some understanding of the world. But over many decades the origins have been confusing.

Each movie tosses the cosmology of the previous one and substitutes some device or thing that was more important than the one in the previous film — and yet essential to the fate of the universe. It must have gotten to the point where even loyal fans object, so now we have prequels, this one a sequel to a prequel.

In this case, advanced versions of the Autobots from the far future travel to Earth in the far past and are stuck here like the Autobots, but unknown to them. The traditional Autobots are ‘disguised’ as vehicles because they could scan anything and chose cars. The ‘beasts’, though from a far future and an alien world are patterned after Earth jungle creatures.

We end up fighting off the future of the universe, but these guys are from well after that. There’s a bunch of shooten and punchin. So you really have to not be paying attention to not be confused.

Hey, we forgave a lot for the Bay films. They weren’t quite this dumb, but dumb. And misogynist, jingoist, and racist. But we forgave because they were well made, better in fact than the standard of the day. Bay was a craftsman, and though many of his cinematic decisions were criticised, the point was that he was master enough to understand them.

We particularly were thrilled by the transformations, and especially the ones in motion. The animators paid attention to surfaces, and the illusion was exciting. Now here we have a new generation from many generations hence, and they don’t transform. At least until the third act. Why they did not move into action mode earlier in the film in existential battle can only be explained by the budget. When they do transform in the third act it is fast and blurred.

The story is particularly insipid, and more obviously targeted demographically than is comfortable.

Posted in 2023

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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