Bumblebee (Movie Review)
Oscar Rendon | St. Louis, MO | December 21st, 2018
Bumblebee (2018) the spinoff origin film from the Transformers franchise stars Hailee Steinfeld, Dylan O’Brien, John Cena, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. Directed by Travis Knight, the story tells the origins of Bumblebee’s life and adventure and how he came to known as Bumblebee.
Bumblebee opens up with one of the best action sequences in the Transformers franchise as we get one of the more visually pleasing looks at Cybertron. We get some quick character development from Bumblebee before he heads to earth, interactions with Optimus Prime and like that we are taken back to earth. The majority of the film takes it’s time building the relationship between Charlie played by Hailee Steinfeld and Bumblebee voiced by Dylan O’Brien. Director Travis Knight gave the franchise a much needed breath of fresh air and he allowed us to reconnect with the character of Bumblebee which the Michael Bay films lost after every installment after the original Transformers (2007) film. At the core of the film is the bond between Charlie and Bumblebee but outside that bubble the side characters were not all fleshed out so well. Charlie’s family was the typical “I don’t understand my teenage daughter” plot after a traumatic event occurs in her life. John Cena is in this film, he brought his John Cena humor and cheese which brought some laughs in the theater. There wasn’t much story to tell for his character other than reacting to situations.
A great percentage of this film falls on Hailee Steinfeld’s shoulders and she pulls it off wonderfully. A lot of the endearing and heartwarming moments between her and Bee come from her acting and allowing us the viewer to believe her love for this alien-robot. The action set pieces in this film are great and filmed in a way that make each of the transformers distinct and easy to tell who is who. The villains of the film, Dropkick and Shatter were from the outset very menacing and introduced a more brutal side to the Decepticons as they actually kill humans. Overall, the film works as a whole because it gives the transformers not only personality but depth and a staying presence that give you more to connect to than cool fight scenes. Hailee Steinfeld carries the film and really shows that she can be a leading woman in a huge blockbuster but also not rely on the usual female lead tropes of always being this perfect person or over-sexualized which most if not all of Bay’s films did.
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