Originally I was very hesitant to watch the newest Transformers film. After being burnt for the past five films that were nothing but destruction porn, the franchise seemed stale and predictable.
Enter director Travis Knight. Knight’s prequel film focusing on Bumblebee and less on an expansive world ending threat is exactly what we the viewers needed. It’s a self-contained, tight story. Written by up and coming screen writer Christina Hodson. Bumblebee delivers a prequel story set in the 1980s.
We meet grease monkey Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) who discovers a Transformer who flees to Earth after the Decepticons ravage his home world, Cybertron. What commences isn’t unlike what we saw in the original Transformers film. Kid gets car. Car is a Transformer. Kid has to help him fight off Decepticons. But it Steinfeld who helps elevate the film with her great acting and overall like-ability. You care about her struggles as a teenager and even grow to like her somewhat annoying family.
The same however can not be said for John Cena. It seems like Cena is still looking for the right role and this film didn’t really do him too many favors. His character, Army Ranger Jack Burns, doesn’t know if he wants to be funny or serious and changes sides too easily in the film. His character isn’t given too much of a backstory either. He’s just there to chase Bumblebee until it becomes convenient for him to switch sides and help him.
Angela Bassett does a great job as the film’s main villain, Shatter. Very intimidating and powerful. It would have been nice to hear Dylan O’Brien‘s take on Bumblebee’s voice a little more. But since this has to match up with the events of the first Transformers film, the autobot had to be shown losing his voice in battle.
As previously said, Bumblebee is a smaller story but succeeds because of it. The actors do more than a serviceable job and as the CGI improves in each movie it’s easier to understand what is transpiring in action scenes.
With that said HipsterZOMBIEJoint gives Bumblebee a strong 7 out of 10. A step in the right direction for the franchise.