Complete A-Z list

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (IMAX in some cinemas)


Stars: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Dean Scott Vasquez. Voices: Pete Davidson, Michelle Yeoh, Peter Dinklage, Ron Perlman, Peter Cullen

Director: Steven Caple Jr

Okay, I take it all back (well, some of it anyway). Transformers are back on track. This one, thanks to a beguiling human involvement, a sweeping storyline and decent dialogue that often ventures profitably into the comedic, is two cuts above the last two misfires in the series.

The story arc is a bit difficult to follow, but what it boils down to is that the Autobots, who want to return to their home planet, Cybertron, while they slum it on Earth in disguise as various vehicles, plus the Maximals, animatronic animalisms, who have been hiding out in Peru, must do battle with unseen bad guy Unicron and his galactic henchman Scourge (Dinklage), who want to possess the transwarp key which will open space-time portals, giving Unicron and his Terracons power over Earth and preventing the Autobots and 'Maximals' from, like ET, going home. I think.

Throw in Hispanic soldier Noah Diaz (Ramos) and budding Afro-American scientist Elena (Fishback) and you have the glue that holds the thing together. Nice bits: Elena's determination hang on to her handbag in the depths of Armageddon, and Noah's camaraderie with Mirage (Davidson), a 'bot disguised as the Porsche that Noah tries to steal. 'Of course you're my best friend,' he quips. 'You've been inside me'.

The final 'bot battle is more conventional stuff, but the 'maximals', including a King Kong figure (Perlman) and an iron-clad eagle (Yeoh) bring a welcome new dimension to the franchise. And a late appearance by Bumblebee got a rousing cheer from fans at the preview. Don't hang around for a scene at the end of the credits though: there isn't one.

David Quinlan

USA 2023. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by Company 3 .
128 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Jun 2023