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'Bumblebee' Synopsis: On the run in the year of 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.
'Bumblebee' works because the film focuses more on emotion than on action. Sure, there is action here and there as it has to be, it's a Transformers movie after all, but what is served here, intelligently, is a story offering soul. The relationship of Bumblebee and Charlie, is the film's heart. I liked the way their relationship is built up and how the emotional connect works. It comes across as genuine, rather than manipulative. And that's where 'Bumblebee' scores, it's more about love and bond, rather than just mindless action.
Of course, there are flaws. The biggest one being that this is a familiar story and the beats are predictable. And the entire E.T. vibe is hard ignore. But again these are manageable flaws, in an otherwise charming film.
Christina Hodson's Screenplay is well-done. And it seems the Writer has been influenced hugely by the prolific John Hughes, since her story has flashes of the late/great genius's craft. Travis Knight's Direction is perfect. Cinematography, Editing, Art and Costume Design, are quite good. Graphics, as expected, are excellent.
Performance-Wise: Hailee Steinfeld shines as Charlie. She plays the protagonist and her performance is completely likable. John Cena, in a role with grey shades, clearly has a ball. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. is cute. Pamela Adlon is superb as Charlie's mother. Of the vocal performances, Dylan O'Brien as the voice of B-127 / Bumblebee, Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime, Angela Bassett as the voice of Shatter and Justin Theroux as the voice of Dropkick, are pretty solid.
On the whole, 'Bumblebee' is a charming film that brings back the Transformers franchise into the game.
Almost 10 years ago, I wrote an unfavourable review after the first movie by Michael Bay. I had been a real fanatic of the Transformers in my childhood and I did not feel the movie treated the story nor the characters (nor the fans!) with respect. The sequels were worse every time, and they even blamed poor stories due to the Hollywood writers association going on strike (I'm not kidding, they really blamed it on that). This movie (Thank God at last !!!!!) undoes the harm done by the previous movies. It brought me back some good memories from my childhood fantasies. For once, the robots actually look like the cartoons. This is a big thing. The robots from the previous movies were horrible, and did not look whatsoever to the original toys.
Producers for the next movies, please remember: The Transformers is a robot's story where human beings play a very secondary role in the same. It is not a story about humans in which robots are involved. Please don't ever cast goofy characters such as Agent Simmons (played by otherwise good actor John Turturro). It really kills the story. PLEASE READ THE COMICS AND WATCH THE ORIGINAL TRANSFORMERS CARTOONS before considering making more movies of these. If you don't get it, let other people produce them. Sure there are lots of them around.
This movie is good. Believe me and actually go and watch it. It will be the profits which will secure or not the guys involved in this project to remain for the next one.
The first 5 minutes of Bumblebee were good, then its goes to sh**. 90% of the movie focuses on the teenager's life and lame complications and fears. We barely see some action from Bumblebee, he is mostly being all cuddly and acting like a puppy. Instead of focusing on the origins of the Transformers and Orion Pax, we are hear watching the girl being bullied for not taking the dive... then conveniently having to take the dive in the end of the movie to... I don't know how she helps bumblebee underwater.
That scene on the road where she aske her friend to take off his shirt to just wrap it around her head and scream out of the car...when she is clearly wearing a shirt over a t-shirt... stupid..
That Salute sign from Cena at the end..
I felt like i was watching a combination of Mighty Joe Young and Herbie Reloaded. Horrible..
I watched the film "Green Book" just before watching Bumblebee (Like a couple of hours) and to be able to compare quality like that really puts perspective on how bad Bumblebee really is. (The Green Book is amazing). The script is terrible filled with obvious and cheesy lines and a comic relief that is anything but comic. The plot is extremely predictable and the writers and director didn't achieve to add any credible depth to the characters. Hailee Steinfeld does her best but everything else is poor.
The action scenes are below par for what one can expect of a huge blockbuster these days and the plot is filled with super improbable scenarios, even for an action movie.
I think I counted more than 20 people leaving the cinema during the movie, many of them after only 30 minutes. I have never left a movie mid-way before but this time it was really tempting, although I didn't, hoping for it to somehow win me back. It didn't.
Positives: Some 80's vibe and good music.
Negatives: Unnecessary side-plots, John Cena, Ridiculous attempts at jokes, everything else.
So my Bumblebee review...it's like the worst teen romance movie you've ever seen combined with the worst Transformer movie and about 1 hour and 54 minutes too long :( Easily the most boring movie I've seen from 2018 and I watch a ton of TV now. #BumblebeeSucks
Set in 1987, Bumblebee opens with the fall of Cybertron. As the Autobots evacuate the planet, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) dispatches B-127 (Dylan O'Brien) to Earth. He is to scout the planet as a possible secret base. The journey does not go smoothly. The Decepticons are one step behind him. His landing observed by a stunned military officer (John Cena).
Hailee Steinfeld stars as Charlie, a grease-monkey teenage loner with a tragic past. Her mother (Pamela Adlon) and goofball stepfather (Stephen Schneider) are constant annoyances. On the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, she's stuck in a minimum wage job, riding a clackety scooter to work. She spends her spare time at her uncle's junkyard, scavenging for parts to fix her beloved father's Corvette. Charlie discovers a beaten up, yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Her attempts to fix the car uncovers an amazing new friend. Charlie finds happiness in the gentle robot. But is completely unprepared for the bad-ass Decepticons, Shatter (Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (Justin Theroux), searching for him.
Bumblebee can be described as The Breakfast Club meets Transformers. The roaring eighties soundtrack and teenage girl angst is skillfully blended with the robot carnage. Christina Hodson's screenplay respects the characters. Charlie has a lot of personality. Her family and social life are thoroughly explored. Charlie finds Bumblebee at a low point. He's confused and frightened, needs help. They grow together, developing a strong bond in the process. It sounds sappy as hell, but actually works. The previous Transformers films lacked feeling. They were cold, purely visual spectacles. Hodson, who's also writing Birds of Prey and Batgirl, delivers a complex heroine. Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar nominated for True Grit, plays Charlie perfectly. Girl power is the fuel that drives Bumblebee.
Travis Knight's experience as an animation director is evident here. Knight previously made the brilliant Kubo and the Two Strings. He understands how to use visual effects to express intent and emotions. Bumblebee says very little in the film. His facial expressions and mannerisms convey meaning. He goes from tender, humorous moments, to knockdown brawls. Bumblebee's smaller stature in comparison to other Transformers is used to his advantage. He has a unique fighting style that beats down larger opponents. Except for the huge opening scene, Bumblebee's fights are mano a mano. I think these are far more effective than CGI onslaughts. Travis Knight brings a vastly different style to Transformers. It's a welcome change that will definitely be embraced by fans.
Bumblebee reinvigorates the Transformers franchise. Christina Hodson and Travis knight have broadened its appeal to a wider audience. Paramount Pictures and Hasbro have smartly taken a new approach. I hope they stick to this path for the next installment. There are additional scenes during the credits.
Bumblebee was cute, like a kitten, not the badass Transformer he's been in the past movies. The action scenes were typical and boring. Honestly the best part of the movie was the first 10 minutes. After that it was not fun, funny or even interesting. I almost left the theater and I am a huge Transformers fan. On top of that this film makes no sense in the world of the previous Transformer movies. Optimus Prime and the others didn't come to Earth until the first Michael Bay movie and in that movie they had no form yet. There are so many plot holes which makes the story even less interesting. This is almost a direct copy of Sam's story. Losers life that sucks then he/she gets a cool car and their life changes forever. Blah blah snore.
I don't understand why everyone is saying this is the best Transformer movie ever. The first one was the best by far. People are looking for a Transformers movie that properly pays homage to the 80's Transformers we love, this movie is definitely not it. Don't waste your time or money.