The upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts film reportedly includes “a heavy dose of modern day Hollywood trendy agendas.”
Film critic and review Price of Reason shared his recent review of the film where he first detailed the film “annoyed him.”
He begins, “In true Hollywood fashion not only does Rise of the Beasts directed by Steven Caple Jr. fail to deliver anything truly fresh, it’s the first movie in the franchise that has actually managed to annoy me.”
After explaining the plot that involves the Autobots searching for a key that will prevent Unicron from not only destroying Cybertron, but allowing them to return to the planet, Price of Reason reveals the film contains “a heavy dose of of modern day Hollywood trendy agendas.”
“As dumb as much as the writing seemed on previous installments there was still a sense of escapism even if those movies were admittedly somewhat of a nostalgic guilty pleasure,” he said. “This movie starts with a heavy dose of of modern day Hollywood trendy agendas right out the gate.”
“And when I say right out the gate I mean immediately after the opening credits,” he asserted. “The main human protagonist Noah Diaz lives in Brooklyn, New York. His brother is sick and his family is facing financial struggles. And he has to go on a job interview. About 30 seconds into the movie Noah’s mother tells Noah that he should pretend to laugh at the white interviewers jokes because the whites like that kind of stuff. And maybe if he laughs the whites will agree to give him a job.”
Next, Price of Reason detailed, “Anyhow, one minute later a street hustler on Noah’s block tells him that he hates capitalism which is why he decided to become a thief. Then Noah goes to a hospital with his sick brother, but some Dr. Karen lady tells Noah that he’s behind on his bills so she refuses to help the kid.”
“Then Noah goes to his job interview, but the male Karen that was supposed to interview him tells him that he has canceled the interview,” he relayed. “Why would the guy wait for Noah to show up for his interview only to cancel it and not cancel it in advance? Yeah, don’t think about it.”
“Anyhow, the male Karen tells Noah that he’s researched Noah’s U.S. Army record, but has issues with it so he doesn’t want to hire him. If that wasn’t enough there’s an additional “you people” type of moment that just stops short of vocal discrimination against Noah, but sure comes awfully close,” Price of Reason shared.
Price of Reason then moved on to Dominique Fishback’s Elena Wallace character where he said that her “boss is a straight up stupid Karen that talks down to Elena while taking credit for her work, but Elena still carries herself in a professional manner.”
“And everything I’ve described to you happens within the first five minutes of the movie. Basically, viewers don’t even get settled in with their popcorn and they’re already being bombarded with this blunt force messaging,” Price of Reason added.
Later in his review, Price of Reason noted “the weird modern day ideology stuff doesn’t end there. In this movie like most Hollywood movies these days they don’t actually show any type of romance between the two main characters. In parts of the movie it seems like they want to show it, but ultimately don’t.”
“But I find it interesting how Hollywood is so scared these days to show any kind of relationship between a man and a woman,” he added.
Price of Reason then detailed, “Finally, I also think there’s a bit of an effort to make Optimus Prime more of a loser here in some parts of the movie. While they don’t go full Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi with the writing they somehow make his character less likeable, which I could also do without.”
“Optimus Prime should always be optimistic and awesome and not grouchy and pessimistic,” he asserted.
It’s not surprising the film would include “a heavy dose of modern day Hollywood trendy agendas.” Fishback recently discussed the film with Ramos and Fandango where they were asked, “Is there anything that you can tease in Rise of the Beasts that could suggest the future of the Transformers film franchise is especially bright because of the movie you made?”
Fishback responded, ““I think the idea of like nothing is ever really new under the sun. Like things works because they’ve been working a certain way for so long and that’s why you get different characters from different backgrounds, and then the perception changes. And the lens from what you see things change.”
She continued, “So I think like with this you have these kids from Brooklyn. We’ve never seen Brooklyn kids meet Autobots. It’s never happened. We don’t often — as black and brown people — we don’t get the opportunity to see mind-blowing things like aliens and things like that.”
Ramos then chimed in saying, “Or we’re not put in mind-blowing scenarios like.”
Fishback went on, “And so to have that and have it take place in Brooklyn and so infused in the culture of Brooklyn because [Director] Steven [Caple Jr.] was so specific about that. That gives a whole dynamic and a whole new world opens up because of the perspectives that we have now. Very different.”
Fishback’s comments echoed what Director Steven Caple Jr. told BET back in December 2022. When asked what it means to be a black director helming a blockbuster franchise, Caple said, “You came straight out the gate with that one [laughs] — it’s been an emotional ride.”
He continued, “It’s been two years now — Anthony [Ramos] and I talk about having this type of opportunity but also understanding it’s our time. For us to be in this position where we can tell a story about our culture, our people, and see ourselves portrayed on the big screen blending in with these vast genres is special.”
He went on, “There are not too many people on the actor or director side to be in this position on this scale and scope, and we’re doing our best to carry this weight.”
“No matter how many times [Anthony] and I look at each other on set, tired and all, we realize we’re able to do something special and for a reason,” he added. “We created something special, and it feels great to be in this position — super honored and blessed.”
When specifically asked about why he chose “Juicy” for the first teaser trailer, Caple said, “The movie takes place in the 90s when the album Ready Or Die was released, so that’s why [Juicy] was the perfect record to choose. His voice and what he meant in that era and time captures much of what we’re doing in the film.”
“Fishback, who originally is from Brooklyn — her character and Ramos’s character have a lot of big dreams and hit glass ceilings but ultimately become the heroes saving the world discreetly as that’s how the Transformer laws are,” he detailed.
He added, “You have these average folks transforming into something huge and special we didn’t know existed, so the record was a right move — it was our anthem on set, so we played Biggie or Anthony was singing [The Tempations].”
The film’s producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Collider in April that this 90s cultural society makes life difficult on the human characters played by Ramos and Fishback.
He explained, “Our first objective was to figure out, how do we hold on to the emotionality of the experience for the humans that are going through it? And our decision was to give them character arcs that are more significant than we’ve done before.”
He continued, “It’s hard to say that about Shia [LaBeouf] in the first movie; you know, he goes from being a young man, essentially, to a man, right? In this case, Anthony Ramos and Dominique [Fishback’s] characters are both characters who are trying to find their way in a life, and in a cultural society, that’s not making it the easiest for them.”
“And so, the experience of the movie for those characters is to come to terms, not exactly about who they are, but how to move forward in their lives. It’s an interesting character arc for both of them where they fulfill, to a certain extent, the desire that they were having for themselves,” he elaborated.
What do you make of Price of Reason’s review of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and his assertion that film is heavy handed with the agenda?