Judge David Johnson is a Beast Hunter. No, wait, he's a Beast Master. No, actually he just likes beets.
More than meets the eye.
In this hour-plus feature, the Autobots and Decepticons clash on the rotted out hulk of Cybertron, each racing to pump mojo back into their homeworld and take it over for their own purposes (Autobots: freedom! Decepticons: robot socialism!). As the robots in disguise (wait, why do they need to pretend they're tractor trailers and ambulance now that they're back on Cyberton?) work on much-needed infrastructure repairs, a new evil is stirring.
It's Unicron, the imposing malevolent godlike being, driven by just one goal: liquidate Cybertron forever. He sees his chance to do some serious damage with Megatron, who's most recent defeat has rendered him an empty husk. So Unicorn takes over his body and gets to work. Unfortunately for him, his nihilism leads to an unusual alliance: the Autobots, Decepticons and the Predacons (beast-like Transformers). All of it leads to an epic throwdown between possessed-Megatron and a juiced Optimus Prime.
I've been lukewarm on the Transformers Prime series. It's obviously well-done, nicely animated and scripted by folks who know their Transformers mythology; but it also feels sterile and sometimes bereft of personality. Then again, we are dealing with robots here and if the alternative is John Turturro in a banana sling, then I'm all for it.
Predacons Rising follows a similar blueprint. There's plenty of robot-on-robot action and the story is drenched in mythos, but nothing here quite sizzles. Big ups for retaining the great Peter Cullen of course and that's always worth something. The character designs, especially the Predacons, take a page out of Michael Bay's over-the-top sketchbook, but the animation remains solid. Finally, the culminating throwdown of Prime and Megatron is fun.
Now for the caveat: who really cares what I think, right? I'm a Transformers guy, but this is obviously a show aimed at a specific, younger demographic and in this case I think "sterile" is quite fine. There's plenty of pyrotechnic eye candy, giant swords, robot pterodactyls and, of course, reliably solid Optimus Prime monologues about freedom and personal liberty.
The Blu-ray: a clean 1.78:1, 1080p treatment, standard-issued 5.1 surround and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Not guilty. Doo doo doo ah ah. (That's the sound Transformers make when they
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
Review content copyright © 2013 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2013 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.