Transformed into an extravaganza : The Tribune India

Transformed into an extravaganza

Transformed into an extravaganza

The action sequences in this sci-fi flick have been conceived and executed with the aim of creating a spectacle.

Film: Transformers: Rise of The Beasts

Director: Steven Caple Jr

Cast: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Luna Lauren Velez, Dean Scott Vazquez, Tobe Nwigwe, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage

Johnson Thomas

The five-year break after Travis Knight’s 2018 release ‘Bumblebee’ appears to have done this franchise some good. This popular sci-fi franchise based on Hasbro toys, a seventh instalment featuring the first big screen appearance of the Maximals, has some great computer-generated images, eye-pleasing action set-pieces, and a strong human connection that helps keep the audience thoroughly invested in the survival drama.

The human story in the foreground is not the usual obligatory and boring part. The story begins in New York City circa 1994. Noah (Ramos), a former army private and tech whiz trying to make ends meet, is desperately in need of money to help support his hard-working mom (Luna Lauren Velez) and to pay for the extensive medical bills of his devoted kid brother (Dean Scott Vazquez), who suffers from sickle cell anaemia. Around the same time, at a museum on Ellis Island, Elena (Dominique Fishbac) is fighting to prove herself as an artefacts expert.

When Elena discovers an energy source capable of interplanetary destruction, all hell breaks loose. Autobots come out of hiding, Maximals including Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman), Airazor (Michelle Yeoh), Rhinox (David Sobolov) and Cheetor (Tongayi Chirisa) join them, and the humans, in the fight against the Terrorcons who are intent on destroying both the Autobots’ home world and Earth.

The main plot revolves around the Transwarp Key, a space-time conduit split into two. One half of it shows up inside an ancient artefact in a museum, and the other half of the key is yet to be discovered in the Aztec wilds of Peru.

Peru looks stunning and its ruins give the movie an impressive enough backdrop for the robot showdown.

Director Steven Caple Jr, who helmed ‘Creed II’, goes way beyond his comfort zone to make this massive production an action extravaganza worth remembering. The action sequences are conceived and executed with the aim of creating spectacle… and the Transformers’ transformations are so beautifully orchestrated that it feels quite natural. Caple Jr is even able to explore new potential by having Ramos don a transformer suit. The soundtrack reverberates with the ’90s era hip-hop music and lends a catchy vibe to the entreaty.

The story credited to five screenwriters has several doses of humour (including send-ups regarding Marky Mark staying away from this issue) and a strong human element with emotions thereof. This new entrant also features enough ear-ringing, clangy robot action to thrill the faithful, while showcasing the distinctively appealing Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback as the token humans on hand. Both Ramos and Fishback do well to invest their performances with instinctive dynamism.

The impressive voice performances make it all the more livelier and engaging.