Well, the Bumblebee movie is finally here. Does it break away from the past movies of the franchise or just continue the downward spiral of past films. Let’s find out below shall we?
I thought the first Transformers movie was pretty good, sure it had its issues but overall I really liked the movie. The second movie Revenge of the Fallen was also good. It had a lot of little things wrong with it, but it was still good enough that I would end up buying the BluRay for it. Everything after that was just a horrible story and lots of explosions. There was one thing that everyone looked forward to in every movie, good or bad, and that was Bumblebee.
Now even though this movie is a prequel to the 2007 Transformers, they also reboot some of the story so the fact that Bumblebee was part of the Devils' Brigade during World War 2 (The Last Knight) never happened. After an opening scene of the Autobots and Decepticons battling it out on Cybertron, Optimus Prime tasks one of his lieutenants, B-127 to go to Earth to set up a base where the Autobots can regroup, soon after the rest of their forces begin evacuating their homeworld, scattering themselves among the stars. Let me just say here that the character designs have got to be the best I’ve seen so far in this entire series. They're using G1 designs and when Ravage comes out you can tell its Ravage, not that thing we saw in Revenge of the Fallen. If you know your Transformers, you’re not looking at the screen wondering who’s who on either side.
Bumblebee gets to earth and almost instantly runs into a small military group who are conducting training exercises, led by Lieutenant Jack Burns (John Cena) an operative of Sector 7. Bee finds himself on the run from them and is soon cornered by the soldiers only to have the Decepticon, Blitzwing, find him and begins to question him about the whereabouts of Optimus. There’s a life or death fight between Bee and Blitzwing and all I’m going to say here is that we find out why Bee can’t talk.
Next act we meet Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), a teen outcast who is still trying to cope with her father’s passing, even though her mom has moved on. Charlie’s one goal in life was to finish the car she and her dad were trying to restore which doesn’t work out too well for her. She does find yellow VW bug at her friend Hank’s junkyard and finds a way to get her hands on it so she can fix it and finally have a car of her own, lo and behold this car turns into a big old robot once she gets it home. We go thru the same shock of having your car transform into a giant bot that Sam Witwicky did in the first film. Even though Sams demeanor was cute for the first movie, that shtick got real tired real fast after the first film. Honestly, Hailee is a much better "Sam Witwicky" w/o all the ‘being a bumbling stuttering idiot’ at times.
So far we’ve got a girl facing her inner demons while becoming friends with her robot car who is trying to find a way to call his friends to earth. An outstanding 80’s soundtrack that had me smiling with every song played because it was all the music I listened to growing up. What more do we need? Oh yeah, villains … and boy do we get them in the forms of this films two baddies, Dropkick (Justin Theroux) and Shatter (Angela Bassett), triple-changers who can take the form of robot, automobile or Helicopter (Dropkick) / Jet (Shatter). John Cena does a decent job as the Sector 7 operative hunting down Bee, while not as goofy as the Agent Simmons character (John Turturro) in prior films he brings the funny while not going overboard with it.
Travis Knight (Kubo and the two Strings) takes the directing reins away from Michael Bay in this one, and solo writer Christina Hodson, whose first two films Shut In, and Unforgettable both released to mostly negative reviews proves that “third times the charm” with Bumblebee. This film is the fresh start the Transformers franchise has needed for a very long time. I know some folks may be a bit gun shy after seeing The Last Knight, but do yourself a favor and go see this one.