Review: Bumblebee (2018)
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie, on the brink of turning 18 years old and trying to find her place in the world, soon discovers the battle-scarred and broken Bumblebee. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns that this is no ordinary yellow Volkswagen.
Probably the best Transformers live-action film released so far. Having grown up watching the Transformers cartoons for part of my childhood, I was ultimately very disappointed with Michael Bay's Transformers films. After the novelty of seeing your childhood heroes in full CGI glory wore off, you were left with nothing much else except for a lackluster story and explosions. The focus of those films seemed to be more on how many different types of transformers they could cram into a film rather than plot and character development. Bumblebee is a drastic departure from the first 5 films though. Bumblebee shows a lot more heart than any of the previous movies within the franchise because it actually focuses on character development. When Charlie Watson, played by Hailee Steinfeld, first stumbles across an injured Bumblebee his memory core and voice box are damaged so he has reverted to almost a child-like state. As a loner at her school with a uncomfortable home life, Charlie doesn't really quite fit in anywhere so she quickly bonds with the Bumblebee. Scenes like when Charlie is at the beach trying to teach Bumblebee how to avoid detection help to establish a deeper connection between the two. It also forces Charlie to befriend her neighbor Memo to try to keep Bumblebee a secret. Instead of focusing on explosions and flashy action sequences, Bumblebee makes an effort to establish a connection between the Charlie and Bumblebee. For both Bumblebee and Charlie, there is personal growth and self-discovery. When the decepticon scouts finally find Bumblebee the final showdown is epic and much more engaging than any of the other hundred transformer battles in the previous films. Even though, Bumblebee alters some events so it doesn't work perfectly as a prequel to the other 5 films anymore. I think this is for the best because I would love it if this film was the beginning of reboot for the franchise.
Swin: 8/10 - Finally...the Transformers film that fans have been waiting for.
Directed by: Travis Knight
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon
MPAA Ratings: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence
Runtime: 114 min