Standing in the press pit during the red carpet door stop interviews for the world premiere of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, I was more fascinated by the influencers trying to get an instant interview than with Team Transformer in their 7th franchise of Transformers.
Standard, politically correct answers were given by the stars and directors, but innovation came from the influencers.
One won them over by puns:
A sudden downpour threatened to derail the red carpet and pyrotechnic show at the Marina Bay Sands.
After the shower, a crew member said to Bobby Tonelli, the capable and cool Master of Ceremonies, “You have a big budget, bro”.
He was referring to how after the 15-minute drenching, the skies suddenly cleared!
So, what does this seventh instalment of Transformers bring which the rest did not cover?
“A lot of heart,” says director Steven Caple Jr., “and the spectacle which the audience has come to expect.”
Certainly, this movie covers many bases.
The setting is 1994, the era of hip-hop and Air Jordans, and the human protagonist, Noah, is a computer geek of that era.
“Is this prequel, sequel or reboot?” was one of the questions raised at the press conference.
“Certainly not a reboot!” rebutted Steven, vehemently.
It’s positioned as a prequel to the Transformer movies directed by Michael Bay which were set late 2000s and early 2010s, but a sequel to Bumblebee, set in 1987.
When the over enthusiastic intern, Elena Wallace played by Dominique Fishback, decides to examine an eagle statuette further as the hieroglyphics are unusual (no more spoilers here!) it predictably leads us to the globetrotting escapade which is what the trailer promises and as Elena exclaims “What is this? Indiana Jones.
That just brought me back to my childhood, and my desire to be an archaeologist adventurer.
There are the Maximals, who have the jungles as their stomping grounds.
It is also the first time that the Autobots are engaging with the Maximals in live action, and in cooperation.
Mirage, fast talking, street smart wit, all ready to show his slickness, and his holographic abilities, is the new star Autobot, boosting the “Hey Man, whassup!” fitting right into Brooklyn’s 1990’s setting, which is still very much identifiable with many.
This may draw baby boomers as well as their children and grandchildren, which is probably the whole intention of this multi-million-dollar production.
As for the villains, we get more than a glimpse of Unicron.
Although the astute Transformers fans will find the backstory inconsistent with the “history” and backstory of the full series, his dark Master demeanour is predictable but impressive, as he strikes fear in Scourge, his henchmen and the new irritants, the Terrorcons.
All in all, I would say, certainly, go watch! With your better half, your pal, your children and/or your grandchildren. And if not for anything else, to give a nod to Michelle Yeoh, as her soothing yet steely voice animates Airazor so convincingly.