Transformers: Rise of The Beasts

Much less than what meets the eye, Transformers" Rise of The Beasts is the GoBots of Transformers films.
Michele Yeoh, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Ron Perlman, Peter Cullen
Steven Caple Jr.
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Superhero
Release Date
June 9, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Rating Summary
Suffering from a retreaded plot and pacing gassed up on low-tess, Transformers: Rise of The Beasts is one of the lowest points in an already problematic franchise. On the bright side, this one didn't shoehorn in awkward lessons on how to score with 16-year-old chicks, and the audience never gets emotionally teabagged by Devastator's balls. So, there's that.

To the delight of children everywhere, the original Transformers cartoon first hit the small screen in 1984. The serial would be one of the most successful toy-selling ventures in marketing history, with Hasbro selling nearly $1 billion worth of the transforming figurines. Transformers” Rise of The Beasts, however, not so much.

Transformers: Rise of The Beasts

Unlike Fast X, which also requires you to put your brain into cruise control in order to enjoy but still has a lot of fun stunts and cool car chases, Transformers: Rise of The Beasts sputters around on low-octane fuel and bald tires. It’s the same story that we’ve already seen in several of the franchise’s films, only done with less aplomb.

Set in 1994, for no real reason except to score a handful of obvious and hamfisted nostalgia points, the seventh live-action film in the franchise, Transformers: Rise of The Beasts, once again finds the Autobots, led by the once again grumpy Optimus Prime, as they once again make human friends/allies who once again help them to stop evil Transformers who once again are hunting for an uber-powerful Transformers artifact that once again has been hidden on Earth…once again.

Coincidence ought to get a film credit because it and its developmentally delayed cousin, Sheer Dumb Luck, are responsible for every set piece, discovery, and character introduction. Just one of the dozens of examples is that an ancient Earth artifact that just so happens to contain one-half of the most powerful magical Transformers artifact in the universe just so happens to get into the hands of the one person in the world with an encyclopedic memory of every artifact known or suspected to exist. By some stroke of luck, she happens to have access to a laser-powered artifact turntable MacGuffin that seems to have been built for only one purpose, cracking open this specific artifact and activating the cyber-whatsit inside at the precise moment that both the Autobots and Terrorcons (you know they’re bad cause “terror” is right there in their name) are close enough to see its beacon, which conveniently can only be seen by Transformers.

Of course, no one in their right mind or above the age of 9 is going to a Transformers movie for the complex and thoughtful storytelling, they’re going for the action, and while Rise of The Beasts isn’t without its fun moments, they are few and far between. Additionally, since every story beat is advanced by happenstance, there’s never much reason to care what happens next. Instead, the audience is left waiting as Tesla’s Autopilot takes them to the next explosion of sound, color, and ordinance.

Director Steve Caple, Jr., best known for Creed II, does fumble through a few attempts to make the audience care about the people and robots involved; however, each one mainly falls flat. The exception is that of brothers Noah and Kris Diaz, played by Anthony Ramos and Dean Scott Vazquez. In defiance of the film’s mediocrity and cringe-inducing dialogue, the two manage to connect with one another emotionally, which in turn allows the audience to do so. This is accomplished chiefly thanks to a heartfelt and nuanced performance by Ramos that far exceeds the material.

Unfortunately, not much good can be said of the rest of the cast. Except for Peter Cullen’s Optimus and Pete Davidson’s Mirage, the Transformer voiceovers were so digitally muddled as to make them indistinguishable. Yes, one could argue that Liza Koshy and Michelle Yeoh’s lady bots’ voices were sufficiently contrasted with the men’s, but their three or four lines hardly constitute a blip on the radar. Furthermore, Davidson’s turn as the “comic relief” was equal to his talent. That is to say; it sucked tailpipe.

Davidson’s inept delivery was matched only by the horrible writing, of which there was much. In one exchange, the main villain, Scourge, espouses the line “I enjoy the look of confusion when an inferior being meets a higher power,” to an Optimus’s digital face that is so devoid of emotion that The Little Mermaid animators could be heard sighing with relief to no longer be alone.

That being said, in a soulless film full of emotionless digital robots, the blandest performance was given by Dominique Fishback. Regularly delivering her lines with all of the enthusiasm and charm of an IRS audit, Fishback’s lifeless performance was only overshadowed by her intelligibility. However, in her defense, she wasn’t helped by the fact that her character could have been replaced with a Google image search.

If things go boom is what you’re looking for, Transformers: Rise of The Beasts will certainly satiate, but, much like the cuisine from where most of its merchandise comes, it will leave you hungry thirty minutes after the final credits roll.


Disclaimer: Hasbro is openly trying to indoctrinate young people by including trans-transformers and trans children in their latest Transformers cartoon. However, we critique the woke contents of each film independently from that of their creators. Whether or not you want to give the companies responsible your hard-earned money and irreplaceable time is up to you.

Virtually all of the wokeness happens in the first 15 minutes of the film. After that, you can sit back and watch the pretty colors.

  • Actual racism is played for laughs. The line, “Be sure to laugh at all their jokes. White people love that $h!t.” is uttered without a hint of self-awareness.
  • In an instance of complete oblivious stupidity, a character in a multimillion-dollar cash grab yells the line, “It’s my own way to fight the nature of modern-day capitalism.”
  • Every white person in the film’s first act is a barrier brought about by racism.
    • The white doctor won’t treat a child in need because the family’s bills are three months past due.
    • The white business owner won’t give the lead character a chance at a job because he “can’t take a risk on someone like you.”
    • The white museum curator is an ignorant and self-absorbed twit who obliviously takes credit for the wisdom and knowledge of her POC intern.
  • Several police officers doing their duty and behaving completely reasonably are clearly, if not expressly, murdered by willful acts performed by Mirage.
  • There’s a racist joke about racism that I’m not sure is woke or just bad or both, so I’m erring on the side of woke.



James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.


  • Zippy Fister

    June 11, 2023 at 9:38 am

    Pete Townshend is a founder of the Who. Pete Davidson is the greasy comedian you are trying to refer to.


  • Nathan

    June 11, 2023 at 11:49 am

    “The white doctor won’t treat a child in need because the family’s bills are three months past due.” That normal the doctor could asian (I randomly picked a race) say that and some how it wouldn’t be racist

    “The white business owner won’t give the lead character a chance at a job because he “can’t take a risk on someone like you.” ” because the owner asked his previous employers if he was good and they said it was unreliable

    “The white museum curator is an ignorant and self-absorbed twit who obliviously takes credit for the wisdom and knowledge of her POC intern.” That part of life everyone one does that



    • Ray

      July 4, 2023 at 6:06 pm

      Point 1: If a doctor of any other race said that to a black person in a movie…….everyone would say it was racist. And the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Act allows doctors and hospitals to refuse service unless its a life threatening emergency, which she did touch up on. But the scene played out like racism was implied.

      Point 2: True, but again the scene was played out in such a way to imply racism.

      Point 3: Again True, but see point number 2



    • Google User

      July 17, 2023 at 1:47 am

      Very true. None of these things even came to mind while watching the movie. I guess you have to purposefully be looking for things you don’t like/ agree with to even notice any of it…the doctor not treating the family because of past due bills is completely normal (don’t know what him being white even had to do with it)…as far as the guy not hiring him, it should be CLEARLY understood as the someone like him who’s deemed unreliable by the Army. But you’d have to be really smart to understand that.
      And the museum curator taking credit is actually a fact…so not sure how any of that is considered woke. Watched it bootleg so not giving the creators any money. Also don’t watch cartoon series.



      • James Carrick

        July 17, 2023 at 9:42 am

        While it’s true that all of the situations could happen in real life, and could be legitimate, we felt they were clearly played as racist tropes in this film. The moment that the lead character questioning my yelled at his potential employer, “people like me” solidified it.

        However, the reason that we list all of the instances is so that our readers can make up their own minds based on all available information.



        • Master of the Universe

          July 23, 2023 at 10:40 pm

          As the previous reboots of the Transformers Cartoon series in live action as being terrible and over the top, this version of Transformers falls in the category of which all early 80s and 90s kids grew up enjoyed watching. I’m not sure what ethnicity error or racism you could’ve portrayed in this Indie type live action film could have done. “Be sure to laugh at white people’s jokes” was a predominate trope of the 80s and 90s which follows the time of the setting in which this films took place. The whole not being able to provide you medical care in America without paying your bills is still pretty evident to this day unless you want to have Obama-care…Oops Trump destroyed that…well too bad for you. It doesn’t matter if the doctor was white, yellow, black or green; the whole healthcare system would not provide treatment unless you were going to die. Oh you are an intern and you get trampled over is another fact of the working environment in most large corporations at the time; it may be less evident now as snowflakes like yourself would like to believe in entitlement of not having any real world work experience. But in the 80s and 90s it was a fact that if you didn’t have any standing and you were at the bottom of the ladder you weren’t taken seriously. Did we the Gen X and Millennials gripe over the human cartoon characters being white at the time? Nope, we just enjoyed the cartoon and the lessons of working in unison no matter if you were a robot or a human. I guess finding things divide us is more important in your little tirade of this movie being woke.



          • Informed

            July 25, 2023 at 8:31 pm

            Nobody wants Obama care. It raises Healthcare cost because it required people to have health insurance. Reducing walk in rates and doctors working with people. Also the fine for people who chose not to have it on top of now being behind any care is silly.

            On top of that you are wrong. Many people rack up many bills and still are seen and treated. Maybe not someone so known with a reoccurring issue. But that’s not a common thing life threatening or not. Outside of comedies most hospitals want to help people. Now most specialist which that may have would do that for routine care. Cause most of them are solo providers but that looked like a hospital.

            Also imagine parading around a shifty manner of legislation that hurt more people than it helped.

      • Gailie

        October 7, 2023 at 5:54 pm

        Didn’t anyone hear the racist words noahs mother said to noah when he was going for his interview she said remember to smile white people like that kind of s**t. Racism is Racism there should not be allowed in movies we trying to end Racism but if Racism is added to movies nothing going to change as people gonna think it ok to be racist its not so we should teach that everyone is equal no difference whatever race we are


  • Tia

    June 12, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you for the review. I was revolted at the crude humor in the first film, have forgotten the second, kind of liked Bumblebee, and have zero desire to see this money grab. Maybe someday someone can do something worthwhile with the Transformer concept, but today is not that day.



    • Dave

      June 16, 2023 at 10:54 am

      Bumblee sucked!



      • gml2311

        June 29, 2023 at 11:01 pm

        Comparatively, Bumblebee was one of the better films in the Transformers series. Of course I’m comparing it to other Transformers films not the library of films at Large.



        • kdogprime

          July 16, 2023 at 5:22 am

          No, it wasn’t.

          Bumblebee was the 2nd poorest performing film in the live action Transformer lineup. The only reason it didn’t lose money was because it was made very, very cheaply. It debuted at 21 million dollars for its first weekend, and didn’t even meet its projected five-day box office target. If you take into account the fact that a movie studio will take in roughly 40-45% of the box office, then Bumblebee only generated a profit of about 50-70 million dollars. That’s lower than any other Transformer’s film besides The Last Knight. If Bumblebee had a comparable budget to any of the previous Transfomers movies, it would have been a flop.



  • Juan

    June 14, 2023 at 6:51 am

    Gave it 5 out of 10. Watched bootleg, they are not getting my money. I picked up I the anti white, and capitalism nonsense.

    Now I know why they call it trans-formers…
    And like a real tranny…more than meets the eye.

    Boycott this garbage.
    Fallen veterans get 1 day, lgbtq90210 get a month black people get a month. My family served!
    I’m Hispanic not this latinx nonsense and I am American.
    I love America!

    Only gave it a 5/10 because of Peter Cullen.

    Semper Fi!



    • Dan

      August 21, 2023 at 5:03 am

      God bless you. Thank you and your family for your service. We are not forgetting about you. I agree. You all get one day while the lgbthejfbwdjkvbwijbwi get a whole month. It’s sick, disgusting and evil. Maybe if Trump gets re-elected we ought to sign a petition and bring it before him to give our awesome veterans a whole month. Heck, give them two just out of spite for the “pride” demons.


  • Eric

    June 19, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    It’s also worth mentioning the two principle human characters in the film absolutely butcher the English language with poor articulation and slang, and a lot of unnecessary vulgarities.

    The robot fighting was still cool, it made my 10yo happy.



  • RCC

    June 19, 2023 at 10:31 pm

    Yep. The few white characters were either idiots or racists. Except for the innocent cops (both white men, of course) who were just doing their job, and chasing what they believed was a stolen car. And how does Mirage react after causing two fatal car crashes, that took the lives of two men who likely had families? He says “That was fun”. Oh, and lest we forget the only other human death in the film, the white male museum security guard. And, while he was obliterated by Scourge, our two “heroes of color”, who were not more than 5 feet away from him, survived without a scratch.



  • Kirk

    June 23, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Im so glad I found this site. Ive avoided movies for years because Im tired of being blindsided by woke hate.



  • PB

    July 11, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Watched 11:31 before I had to internet search “Transformers rise of the woke?”, found this site, confirmed why I was suddenly feeling sick. You forgot the bit where the undoubtedly “stupid white male” nearly hit the Mary Sue intern with a cart, because he’s clumsy and male, cue scorn from our POC.



    • A frenchgermanirishamerican mutt

      July 29, 2023 at 10:14 pm

      Same exact thing here ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ imagine the white characters are replaced with another specific race, then everyone notices. Sick to my stomach


  • John

    July 13, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Woke, woke, woke trash. The director and writers are trash like this movie. Apparently white people are all racist and only blacks are hero’s. 100 percent a garbage movie. Surprised all the transformers were to gay.



  • Jom Momsd

    July 14, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Super woke, I walked out after the comment about laughing at white people jokes, they like that….F.U.



  • Ivan

    July 14, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    Everyone calling this movie out as woke and giving examples are missing out on most obvious woke example: the diverse lead cast. I personally didn’t mind the lead male, I thought he played the role well and his back story was interesting and congruent with his character. However, who the hell thought it was a good idea to get a nobody female co-lead—unattracrive and uncharismatic—just because she’s black? She was not right for the film. Call me a boomer, but I want my protagonists’ leading lady to be interesting, attractive, appealing, feminine, etc. I don’t like the direction mainstream Hollywood is going/gone.



  • Dan

    August 21, 2023 at 4:57 am

    2 out of 5

    So far I am giving this movie 1 star because I am barely 20 minutes into it and already I am getting the feeling that “White people, bad… people of color, good” so I may not even finish the movie. I saw exactly what you saw as they didn’t even try to hide it.

    I am getting really tired of trying to be entertained but ending up watching how I am a villain because of my skin color. They even tried to gloss over the theft of a Porsche by a black man and a Puerto Rican as doing “rich people a favor” trying to make the stereotypical common thievery by people of color as something noble or virtuous.

    And don’t get me started on the black assistant who is smarter and knows more than the white museum curator. And the curator uses her assistant’s knowledge to give herself credit.

    Of course, the writers, directors, producers, virtue signalers, responsible for this movie’s production and release can only gripe about how bad white people are in a movie. This is where their fairy tale lives and this is where it will remain.

    Writers, directors, producers: “Oh goodness! We white people re so bad so we are going to help the people who have fallen on hard times, according to them, and make a movie solely for them. I am going to write we the white people are the villains and the people of color are the victorious ones, as it should be. Now, please, pat me on the back and give me assurance that I did a good thing. I even knelt during the national anthem at a baseball game… all for you. I am standing up for your hardships. I am virtue signaling in your stead.”

    Yeah I’m just going to turn it off. No wonder this film was an utter failure. People of color, white people are not the villains. Stop listening to the ACTUAL villains.


  • Avg YT Guy

    September 5, 2023 at 4:30 am

    2 out of 5

    Woke woke woke garbage cash grab with terrible actors. Felt like they just recycled the original hit live action transformers on the heels of the BLM ‘movement.’ Had to break the watch time over several days during bouts of shear boredom. I’m glad I pirated this garbage. On top of what has already been pointed out by the OP and commentors there’s still quite a few bits left for interpretation. Like the entire OST being hip hop/rap or bit of r&b. The movie shat in its own forced woke BS! A gorilla lead character in this type of culturally appropriated movie? I mean, C’MON! Who gave the approval on that one. The pacing of action in these types of movies gets hard to follow and there’s always bits where they slow down things so you can get an idea of what’s actually happening for plot altering actions. One bit of this the lead character goes to cut the antagonist back of knee/ACL was so on the nose! Literally is one of the most common basketball injuries. The only decent moment was a 10 min robot on robot violence at the end. During which you get the rug pulled from under you abruptly again so they could include the pink robot and obscure the voice digitally so you can’t tell if it’s a female or male oriented depiction.


  • Jwoke

    September 15, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    5 out of 5

    This was almost as bad as Elysium if you remember that pile of dog#hit. White supremacy imagined by all woke plot writers. Of course the brilliant intern to the curator of artifacts sounds and talks like she hasn’t ecek spent a semester in any college not called the streets


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