The seventh film in the live-action Transformers series is fun, even if moments come off as formulaic and predictable. Steven Caple Jr.'s direction captures the 90's nostalgia and knows how to give longtime Transformers fans a good time at the movies. Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback deliver fantastic performances as the two lead characters that must help the autoboots save the Earth from the planet-devouring robot known as Unicron. Ramos and Fishback also have great chemistry with each other. Peter Cullen returns once again to portray Optimus Prime, and of the live-action films in the series, this was the best version we've seen of Optimus Prime. Ron Perlman gives an excellent performance as Optimus Primal, the leader of the Maximal, and an interesting bit of trivia; Perlman voiced the character in the animated series "Transformers: Power of the Primes." Pete Davidson steals the show as the Autobot Mirage. In a role that could have come off as annoying, every joke Davidson makes scores a home run and tackles the painful moments perfectly, making Mirage one of the series' fan favorites. The rest of the cast features actors delivering great performances as either Autobots, Maximals, or Terrorcons, which includes Peter Dinklage as Scourge, Michelle Yeoh as Airazor, Liza Koshy as Arcee, Cristo Fernández as Wheeljack, Tongayi Chirisa as Cheetor, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Nightbird, and Colman Domingo as Unicron. The main negative of this film is that being a prequel to Michael Bay's film series, the film comes off as predictable, and the stakes feel unimportant because we know we will see these characters again. Regardless, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" joins "Bumblebee" as being two for two in the Transformers prequel series, and that is thanks to Steven Caple Jr.'s direction, fun action scenes, and incredible performances by Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, and Pete Davidson.
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