The war between the Autobots and Decepticons rages on the surface of Cybertron. Out of desperations, Optimus Prime sends Bumblebee to Earth in order to set up base for the Autobots to regroup and protect the planet from any invaders. After crash landing onto the Earth’s surface, Bumblebee is confronted by the US military and a familiar foe. During the altercation, Bumblebee not only loses his voice, but his memory as well. With the aid of a friendly human named Charlie, the pair go on a journey of self discovery filled with danger and heartbreak. Bumblebee must regain his memory if he is going to defend the Earth from a duo of deadly Decepticons who aim to call their entire force to the planet and destroy the Autobots once and for all.
Bumblebee is a much needed breath of fresh air in the Transformers franchise. Travis Knight successfully steps in to direct the most fully developed story for the series in quite some time. Bumblebee and Charlie have a sincere bond that works most the time. Hailee Steinfeld does a terrific job considering she is working opposite a prop. You feel for her character which is refreshing as most women in this franchise have been reduced to little more than fan service. Congrats to the writing staff for creating a female lead with discernible qualities.
The disaster porn chaos of previous films is replaced with an awe-inspiring visual display of comprehendible action sequences. The opening sequence on Cybertron is so beautiful that it brought a tear to my eye. The fights are clearly portrayed with wide frames that allow you to take in the entire battle. Fans of the gen 1 Transformers will be very pleased as the Autobot/Decepticon designs look like they were taken right out of the cartoon. Now if we can get a prequel to Bumblebee that tells the story of Cybertron I’ll be ecstatic.
While the film is a step forward for the franchise, there are still a few concerns. The film heavily focuses on Charlie. I understand that CGI is expensive, but we all know that people came to see Bumblebee and not a human character. There are some unbearably cheesy scenes that were hard to sit through. I’m all for a film with emotion, but they were laying it on a little thick at times. Sadly, the majority of John Cena’s scenes were rough. His comedic lines were great, but the serious moments were rough. That may have been more of a writing issue, but it didn’t quite work either way. The constant need to interject 80’s references was a bit much. We get it, it’s set in the 80’s… moving on. Overall, Bumblebee is a fun film that provides Transformer’s fans an enjoyable experience. If nothing else, the Transformers themselves looked amazing. If the entire film was like the opening sequence, it would’ve received a perfect score because that scene alone is worth the price of admission.