‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Review: A Less Bombastic, More Relatable Sequel Shows That There’s Still Life in the Machine

The early “Transformers” films — in fact, just about all the “Transformers” films — were two things at once.

They were industrial showroom expos of chop-shop magicianship, with cars and trucks and motorcycles turning themselves inside out, their guts flipping as if a trash compactor had exploded into bits and pieces, only to reassemble themselves into towering robots.

The spectacle of those gigantic shape-shifting droids is something that I, more than a lot of critics, always found to be fun.

But, of course, the “Transformers” movies were also unrestrained pileups of sheer Michael Bay-ness — kiddie diversion on processed steroids.

The plots sprawled all over the place yet somehow never mattered; the films went on way too long; the endless clashing titans made you yearn for the human nuance of a “Godzilla” movie.When “Bumblebee” (2018) came along, and Michael Bay finally stopped directing the films, it became clear — in case it wasn…

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