This past weekend so the return of the Transformers franchise in theaters for the first time since 2018. Directed by Creed II’s Steven Caple Jr., Transformers: Rise of the Beasts travels back to 1994 in a globetrotting adventure serving as the standalone sequel to Bumblebee and a prequel to 2007’s Transformers.
Anthony Ramos is Noah, a former soldier trying to support his family in Brooklyn, New York. Noah steals a Porsche 911 to sell, but the car turns into an Autobot named Mirage (Pete Davidson). Noah, with the help of museum worker Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), is recruited by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) to help the Autobots find the Transwarp Key and return home. However, the evil Terrorcons are also in search of the key. The Autobots join forces with another Transformers faction, the Maximals, to stop a planet-sized Terrorcons known as the Unicron (Colman Domingo) from destroying Earth.
Are you looking for more blockbusters like Rise of the Beasts? Check out these five movies to satisfy your action needs!
During the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts press conference, Caple mentioned two 1990s action movies as the inspiration for his Transformers film. One of those films is the action sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the sci-fi masterpiece by James Cameron. The 1990s action flick influenced the future of summer blockbusters, with many studios electing to release their big-budget action tentpoles from May to August. In Judgement Day, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator, but a reprogramed version of T-800 in Terminator.
In 2029, Skynet sends a T-1000 (Robert Patrick), who served as an inspiration for Rise of the Beasts’ villain Scourge, back in time to 1995 Los Angeles to kill a teenage John Connor (Edward Furlong), the future leader of the Resistance. In turn, the Resistance sends back the T-800 to protect John and kill the T-1000. The T-800, John, and John’s mother, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), go on the run through L.A., evading the T-1000 at every turn. From the excellent CGI to the tremendous combat sequences, T2 is a revolutionary piece of action filmmaking.
Stream Terminator 2: Judgement Day on Netflix.
The second movie that inspired Caple’s Rise of the Beasts is Independence Day. Caple says the audience will feel a “sense of journey and expedition” in Rise of the Beasts, two of the prevailing themes in Independence Day. Roland Emmerich’s 1996 sci-fi epic centers around an extraterrestrial invasion of Earth and how the world, mainly the United States, handles the unique situation.
Some of Earth’s key figures that play a crucial role in the fight to regain control of the planet include pilot Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith), President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), satellite engineer David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), White House Communications director Constance Spano (Margaret Colin), and Vietnam vet Russell Casse (Randy Quaid). Independence Day is a spectacle at its best, with huge explosions, animated settings, and large set pieces. It doesn’t hurt to include one of the greatest speeches by a President, real or fictional, in American history.
Stream Independence Day on Starz.
Since Rise of the Beasts is set in the Transformers universe, one of Michael Bay’s films had to be on the list. My pick is the first live-action Transformers from 2007, which remains the Bay’s best Transformers out of the five he directed. Shia LaBeouf stars as Sam Witwicky, a teenager thrust into the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. Sam is summoned by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) to help the Autobots find the AllSpark to rebuild their home planet. If the Decepticons get hold of the AllSpark, they will take over Earth.
There’s a sentiment in Bay’s Transformers movies that he does not care about the lore from the toy line the films are based on. That’s probably true, considering Bay is more interested in showing a loud battle full of explosions than exploring the relationships within the Autobots’ faction. However, Transformers features a few awesome battle sequences, highlighted by Optimus Prime versus Megatron (Hugo Weaving). Thankfully, Rise of the Beasts brought in Caple, a director who cares about Transformers mythology, and allowed Bay to make a crazy and extremely satisfying action film like Ambulance.
Rent Transformers on Prime Video.
Rise of the Beasts features cars and animals that turn into metal Transformers. Iron Man also features someone that undergoes a transformation involving the use of metal. In the film’s case, Tony Stark goes from billionaire playboy industrialist to a hero that transforms into the metal-suit-wearing Iron Man. That may be the only similarity between Rise of the Beats and Iron Man, but they are both summer blockbusters that feature fights with characters covered in metal, so it’s not that far of a stretch of the imagination.
Iron Man is fantastic and remains one of the upper-tier entries in the MCU. Iron Man is not only an origin story for Tony Stark’s transformation into the titular superhero but represents Robert Downey Jr.’s ascension to the top of Hollywood. 15 years later, Iron Man remains a lot of fun thanks to a charismatic performance from Downey.
Stream Iron Man on Disney+.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Edge of Tomorrow rely on computer-generated creatures for battle sequences. Yet, both don’t feel like a CGI mess, which typically happens in the third act of many action and superhero films. Edge of Tomorrow, however, is a notch above Rise of the Beasts when it comes to stunt work because of the man at the center of the film, Tom Cruise, who stars as Major William Cage. Earth is under attack, and Cruise is mistakenly recruited to the front lines of a beach invasion. The invasion is a disaster, and Cage dies but gets caught in a time loop where he relives the devastating invasion, over and over again.
Cage teams up with Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) to improve his fighting skills as he searches for a weakness on the battlefield each day. The fight scenes are pure adrenaline, and in typical Cruise fashion, the actor wore an 85-pound battle suit, furthering his commitment to stunt work. The film’s slogan, “Live Die Repeat,” could also be a title for Cruise’s unreleased autobiography 10 years from now, considering how much he puts his life on the line to entertain the audience.
Stream Edge of Tomorrow on Max.
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