You may think that you do not need to watch any more Transformers movies, especially since there are already five of them directed by Michael Bay, but all the details surrounding Bumblebee, the first spin-off of the giant robot saga, makes it a very promising project.
Bumblebee is a movie unlike any other of the Transformers franchise in theaters. The action scenes with giant robots fighting and exploding things are there, but they are not the center of attention. There is an engaging storyline, a convincing protagonist, and the setting in the ’80s is fun and well done, using the elements of the time in the right measure.
The story begins in Cybertron, the city of the Transformers. There is a war between Autobots and Decepticons, and we see Optimus Prime again, now on his planet, defending what he believes is right. But the battle is about to be lost, and Bumblebee must leave the mission to go to Earth and defend its inhabitants.
On Earth, we have Charlie Watson, played very well by Hailee Steinfeld, a girl who is about to turn 18 and who has very strong traumas because her father died years ago. His mother remarried and now lives with another man. There are conflicts there because she thinks that she has forgotten her father, she is rebellious and has a very strong fix for mechanics and cars.
By chance, Charlie and Bumblebee meet and establish a strong friendship and ties that will unite them forever. And you would ‘hardly see’ John Cena (pun intended) doing anything relevant in the movie. Besides that there are a couple of Decepticons thugs who are looking for Bumblebee to reveal the location of Optimus Prime and that the Decepticons can win the war.
By focusing much more on the friendship of the protagonists and on overcoming the loss than on major wars, Bumblebee runs without suspense or a strong sense of imminent threat – even the villains dubbed by Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux, Decepticons in the hunt for Autobot survivor, are presented with some lightness.
Even though the change of tone between the initial violent stretch involving Cybertron and the rest of the film is a bit abrupt, with Bumblebee moving from ruthless warrior to prank mascot in just a few minutes, Travis Knight ‘s conduction is always consistent – or, at least , his intentions are – with what his film sets out to be. The Director’s dedication goes from the action, full of pyrotechnics and elaborate camera movements, to mundane moments, in which he proves attention to detail that is not seen on those occasions in the Bay films.
Bumblebee is a step in the right direction. It’s not a bustle for a complete evolution of the franchise, but by putting a Transformers movie in the hands of a new director, Paramount has found a way to make it again attractive. If more movies come in, fueling nostalgia for the G1 (the original generation) of the Autobots and Decepticons with this more objective and, indeed, more fun approach to this universe, Transformers will no longer be synonymous with Michael Bay.
The ending will inspire you, definitely! The climax perfectly fits the past and the future of the Transformers Franchise. This movie takes the expectations a notch higher so the following Transformers Franchise movies need to be at least this good or better!