Really Late Movie Review: Bumblebee

Date: 27 June 2019

I have not been a fan of the live action Transformers movies but I heard good things about Bumblebee. Does it transform my opinions of the series?

Bumblebee was the live action Transformer I’ve wanted since I was a kid. Most of the story beats were predictable but that didn’t make it any less fun.

One of my biggest complaints about the other Transformer movies is that it’s really hard to tell the robots apart in the action scenes. It’s like “Ooo, wow! That robot just sliced the other one in half. Now, who was it? Are we supposed to be happy because an Autobot triumphed or sad because a Decepticon won? I can’t tell.” After a few minutes of that, I checked out of what are supposed to be great and exciting scenes.

That’s not a problem in Bumblebee. First, there are fewer Transformers. It’s pretty much just Bumblebee and the two unnamed Decepticons who are hunting him. Even in the opening battle on Cybertron, it’s easy to tell the robots apart. None of them are particularly distinctive besides Bumblebee and Optimus Prime but at least I was able to tell them apart.

Also unlike it’s predecessors, Bumblebee’s human story is the heart of this film. The relationship between Charlie (played wonderfully by Hailee Steinfeld) and Bumblebee is touching and significant. Bumblebee learning to communicate with Charlie after his voice hardware is destroyed is really cute.

I loved Hailee Steinfeld’s performance. I didn’t realize it until writing this that Hailee was the voice of Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. She was one of the best parts of Spider-Man and the best part of Bumblebee. She spends most of her time playing off a character that isn’t there and does a wonderful job.

Officially, Bumblebee is a prequel to the other movies but it could easily be the start of a rebooted universe. I certainly hope so but I think the whole series is in limbo. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited to see another live action Transformers movie. Bumblebee is the reason. It’s an super fun movie and highly recommend it.