“Porsche. There is no substitute.” Who can forget the famed automaker’s plug in Tom Cruise’s classic film Risky Business? The history behind the famed German automaker dates back to the 1930s, and these days, Porsche continues to make waves in Hollywood. Enter Paramount Pictures’ Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which is now available on home entertainment platforms. Millennials like myself will appreciate the new film’s throwback ’90s setting — and the classic cars that came with it, of course.
In celebration of the commercially successful film’s release, the Transformers franchise recently took over Porsche’s driving headquarters in Carson, California, where MovieWeb was on-hand to test-drive the kinds of sports cars featured in the latest entry. And for someone like myself, who’s not exactly a “car guy,” participating in an event like this can certainly help us better understand why vehicle fanatics obsess over the thrill behind driving a speedy Porsche.
It’s a bit daunting at first, getting behind the wheel of something with a 300 or even 400 horsepower, but the folks at Porsche Experience Center make you feel like a pro by the end of your circuit session on their racetracks out back — and make you appreciate the crazy stunts that the drivers in your favorite Transformers movies pull off…
Porsche Fits Well with the Franchise
First came the toys and animated TV series. George Orwell once told the literary world that 1984 was the year of society’s end, but in reality, that was the year the Transformers franchise hit the masses. Decades later came the first live-action film; first, there was the trilogy led by Shia LaBeouf. Then came two more Michael Bay films with Mark Wahlberg taking over as the main character. More positively reviewed was Bumblebee, which was released in 2018 and is the most recent entry before Rise of the Beasts. The franchise just cannot be stopped!
Despite how you feel about these films on an analytical level, there’s no denying the fact that the adrenaline rush you get from watching those relentless action sequences in each movie — combined with the incredible special effects — is pretty unique. And with each sequence comes those titular characters, many of whom spawn out of fancy cars. The latest film sees Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) in the lead role, though one could argue the Porsche he drives (which of course turns into a Transformer) is also the film’s central star…
Porsche is celebrating 75 years, and based on our recent in-person experience with the automaker, it seems that its prestigious Experience Center in Southern California shows no signs of going anywhere. The immersive institution in Carson has made its name by providing professional-level training for drivers of any skill set, from novice to advanced. You walk in and just soak it all up — fancy car after fancy car…
A Newfound Appreciation for Stunt Drivers
It’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most who visit the Porsche center in Carson and test-drive a couple different sports cars out on their expansive racetracks. The iconic Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 is the one featured in Rise of the Beasts, and at the recent event at its SoCal headquarters, MovieWeb got to speed around in cars that were quite similar: the 911 and 718 Cayman.
After a 30-minute driver’s briefing by Porsche personnel, we were entered into a group rotation — though I was totally solo when actually driving both Porsches and experiencing a unique variety of on-road and autocross experiences at the outdoor handling circuit. Not to worry, as professional drivers and coaches were nearby to guide me through drift turns, hydroplanes and more. One special highlight was learning how to launch control — where you push both the brake and gas pedals to the floor simultaneously, and once the engine is all revved up, you let go of the brake and take off!
Driving a Porsche 911 with the Transformers Team
Joining me for one of the circuits was the Transformers film’s second unit director, James Madigan, who was responsible for capturing footage of the “Mirage” Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8. A super friendly (and patient) Porsche coach led the two of us around some makeshift rough terrain along one of its tracks to simulate what it’s like for stunt drivers in Rise of the Beasts to maneuver the main-character Porsche through certain outdoor sequences.
The event concluded with an icing-on-the-cake moment: the chance to experience the virtual thrill of driving at some of the world’s greatest racetracks in the Porsche Simulator Lab. Anyone who’s ever sat in one of those fancy arcade video-games, where you’re inside a fake race car of sorts, will appreciate this simulator part of the Porsche Experience Center. It’s like the video arcade games we grew up on, but on steroids.
All in all, Porsche certainly laid the groundwork for introducing MovieWeb and the rest of our group to the wonders behind zipping around in suped-up sports cars — the kind that are flaunted across Rise of the Beasts and other Transformers movies in recent years.
From Paramount Pictures, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is on Digital now and on 4K Ultra HD SteelBook™, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, and DVD on October 10th. You can check out some of the footage from Will Sayre’s experience at the Porsche center below.