Although a prequel, Bumblebee marks a new path for the Transformers franchise, one that is without the direction of Michael Bay. Travis Knight takes the helm of this action vehicle, which is a prequel tale involving one of the franchise’s most beloved characters.
The standalone adventure tells the tale of Bumblebee and the backstory of the Transformers before the events of the first film that Bay delivered in 2007. The sixth instalment to the franchise takes place in 1987, with the Autobot warrior on the run following a war on Cybertron.
Barely escaping the planet, Bumblebee arrives on Earth and barely escapes with his life following a battle with U.S. soldiers and a Decepticon. Left badly damaged, the Autobot eventually finds refuge in a Californian beach town, where he is discovered by a girl named Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld).
Unlike previous instalments where the action comes swift, fast and practically pointless at times, Knight carves a more human relatable story for this Transformers adventure. In most ways, Knight delivers a story that’s more akin to E.T. for the majority of the film.
But ultimately despite that, it is still a Transformers movie and there is a decent amount of action and robot battles. Interestingly, Knight relies more on the generation one form of the robots, which will surely appease fans of the original Saturday morning cartoon.
However there are some flaws in the film, which does reduce its stock in entertainment value. The chemistry between Charlie and Bumblebee remains the primary story arc and although it showcases a lot of heart, those moments eventually do wind up a bit draggy at times.
That said, and although its relatively smaller in scale, Bumblebee is perhaps the best Transformers film since the original, and it’s an instalment that will most certainly revive interest in the franchise.
Popcorn Rating: Slightly Sweet