It’s 1987, and the Autobots are at loggerheads with the Decepticons in a Civil War on Cybertron. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) asks B-127 (Dylan O’Brien) to fly to Earth as their faction prepares to evacuate their planet so that he can be the source of contact for them when they move there (Earth) to continue the war. However, upon reaching Earth, he is not only facing a hostile human army but also an incoming ambush from the Decepticons who are on his heels.
Positive Points: –
- Hailee Steinfeld’s standout performance.
- The emotional strength in this film is quite powerful and makes up for most of its contentual flaws.
- Bumblebee captures the pop-culture of the ‘80s pretty effectively (I can’t say about the accuracy though) and its score and soundtrack only enhance the thrill and fun.
Negative Points: –
- The movie lacks intelligence much like the other instalments of the series.
- The basic storyline of Bumblebee is no less trite for it is everything you would have expected in a movie like this.
The General Aspects: –
Considering how brain assaulting Michael Bay’s Transformer Series has been, the makers of Bumblebee needed to make only minuscule improvements in order to deem it likeable. Truly they have succeeded but not by a humongous margin. There’s nothing special about Travis Knight’s direction and the same can be extended to Christina Hodson’s screenplay. Bumblebee exhibits the same lack of intelligence which has sort of characterised its entire series. You can sit through the film and jot down hundreds of filmmaking flaws and it won’t even be surprising. However, that doesn’t undermine the fact that this flick is a lot more likeable than its predecessors and the reason is that it has a heart. It may not be a very scientific piece of cinematic work but on thematic terms, it reaches out to the audience quite well. The film efficaciously captures the friendship of Bumblebee with Charlie (played by Hailee Steinfeld) here much as if they were two beings of the same kind and that makes it more connecting on emotional notes. Speaking of notes, the movie’s prime strength apart from its leads’ acts and chemistry is its soundtrack and score which incorporate the music of the ‘80s to great effect. Adding to the flavour would be the terrific action sequences (especially the bot fights) but that’s not very different from the previous films of the franchise. Despite its many likeable factors. I believe the makers could have worked more upon character development and interactions and the film could have been thousand times more riveting than it is now.
Hailee Steinfeld steals the show. It’s not the first time that she has performed a troubled teen but like every time, she has nailed her character pretty well. All the sentiments of the film revolve around her character and she rarely falters in delivering them. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. has an interesting supporting role as Charlie’s neighbour and friend, and his performance is quite endearing and likeable given the movie’s heartful premise. John Cena has surely improved as an actor but he still emotes like he used to do in the ring. While he’s good in most sequences, he needs to work harder to become more convincing in the shoes of any character that he portrays in future.
Final Verdict: –
Bumblebee exhibits quite some of the fallacies of its atrocious franchise but it does enough of things in a different manner (and in the right way) to be liked. The film has a heart and it can easily reach out to the viewers’ hearts owing to many factors including the performances, chemistries and the music, and is arguably the best film of the series but it’s far from the being the finest Transformer flick. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done so as to ameliorate its future instalments and only time will tell how things work out.