Bumblebee

Directed by Travis Knight

Bumblebee Poster

Starring Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, John Oritz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, and the voices of Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, Dylan O’Brien, and Peter Cullen

Backstory

I love Transformers.  Grew up with them. I enjoyed the first Michael Bay movie…then they rapidly declined in quality. I gave the last one, The Last Knight, a complete pass. (Although I finally watched it on Netflix. Didn’t miss much.) So when they announced that they were giving the Autobot Bumblebee his own film, I greeted the news with disinterest. But then the first trailer dropped, and my interest was renewed. Gone were the explosions and dumb humour that became Bay’s hallmarks. Instead, it looked like a quiet, gentler film, with more heart. Was my renewed interest in the franchise justified?

Plot

The year is 1987. Charlie Watson has just turned 18, and hates her life. She’s still mourning the loss of her father, and is almost horrified at how well her family is getting along with her new stepdad. But, she’s managed to get her hands on her first car: an old yellow Volkswagon Beetle. But, to her surprise, the Beetle comes to life and transforms into a robot. For you see, this is the Autobot scout Bumblebee, who was sent to Earth by Optimus Prime during the fall of Cybertron to establish a new base on Earth. But, Bumblebee is not safe. He’s being pursued by two Decipticon triple-changers, Shatter and Dropkick, and their new human allies led by Agent Jack Burns of Sector 7. Will Bumblebee complete his mission? Will Charlie’s new friend help her find her smile?

What I Liked

The opening 10 minutes had me crying tears of nostalgic joy. Watching the fall of Cyberton is probably the closest we’ll get to a computer animated remake of The Transformers: The Movie. That, and it seems that director Travis Knight is better-versed in Transformers
lore, as the Easter eggs come fast and furious. But that’s not all. For the first time in a long time in a Transformers movies, we have human characters that we actually care about. Hailee Steinfeld is wonderful as Charlie, as she takes the stock angst-ridden teen and is able to inject it with such warmth. And we’ve got some great homages to other classic films, like E.T.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, not much.

Final Verdict

Bumblebee is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the Transformers franchise, finally injecting some much-needed heart and soul into the characters. Loved it.

3.5 Nibs

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