Bumblebee reignited my love of Transformers. By easily becoming the best film in the franchise. Thanks to Michael Bay finally letting someone else play with his toys. Transformers fatigue made me skeptical, but Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight proved a small scale spin-off was exactly what audiences needed. Since Bumblebee proved to be an instant fan favorite, a prequel detailing his arrival on Earth made perfect sense. My mom loves Bumblebee, so my brother and I made it our early Christmas present. Although I’ll always have a soft spot for the first Transformers, I do wish Bumblebee wasn’t hindered by its continuity. I was in nerd heaven the second I saw the opening war on Cybertron. Since Autobots and Decepticons finally have their accurate Generation 1 designs on the big screen.
Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Arcee, Starscream, Shockwave, and Soundwave all look so beautiful, but sadly Megatron couldn’t appear thanks to being frozen in ice. The unnamed B-127 voiced by Dylan O’Brien is sent to Earth to establish a base. Appropriately set in the 1980’s with just the right amount of nostalgia. Bumblebee is attacked by John Cena representing the military and the familiar organization Sector 7. B-127’s vocal processors are damaged in battle by the Decepticon Blitzwing. The battle damaged Autobot loses his memory, but transforms into the cartoon accurate Volkswagen Beetle just in time. The transformers action is finally comprehensible, the humor is natural, and the story actually feels genuine. Thankfully the human characters are just as strong. Hailee Steinfeld is the most fleshed out female in any Transformers movie. She’s attractive, but nothing is forced.
Charlie is an unpopular former diver tomboy mechanic who lost her father and has trouble communicating with her family. Her character arc isn’t entirely original, but they tell it so well. She fixes up the Autobot that she affectionately names Bumblebee. Forming a deep bond with her new car. They help each other work through their problems, have fun, and Charlie inspires Bumblebee to speak through the radio. A neighbor boy named Memo joins them, but it’s not all fun and games. Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux play surprisingly strong Decepticon triple-changers named Shatter & Dropkick. They use the military to track Bumblebee and plan on signaling the rest of the Decepticons. After more hijinks, Bumblebee regains his memory Iron Giant style. Ending with an awesome small scale final battle. Bumblebee tearfully leaves Charlie, but transforms into a Camaro in time to reconvene with Optimus Prime. Bumblebee is a soft reboot that hopefully sets the “Robots in disguise” on a brighter path.
Spin-Off of: Transformers