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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Movie Review | Bumblebee

01.08.2018 – Transformers has been one of the many properties from the 1980s that continues to be relevant today with a slew of toys being produced by Hasbro and Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy with so many iterations from a multimedia franchise.

The film series has earned billions of dollars, but critics have almost dissed the franchise for the last decade is slowly making a course correction.

with the addition of Bumblebee, it’s the sixth installment for the Transformers franchise that reinvigorates a new story set in 1987. After five films about the threat to humanity and an invasion by shape-changing alien robots the Transformers franchise shift to a more grounded narrative with the origin set as a prequel having Bumblebee as its lead that also introduces Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson and John Cena as Agent Burns in their lead roles.

Bumblebee is not only a prequel sort-of soft reboot that disregards some of the inconsistencies and elements that was introduced in the previous five Transformers films directed by Michael Bay that fans have loathed and ignored due to its degrading quality and narrative that said live-action spectacle.

This is an homage to the original Generation One cartoon series from 1984 and for some, it’s a love letter to the Transformers fans that grew up with the brand. It takes a different approach with a well-written story by Christina Hobson that takes us further back to the origin of Bumblebee where he came from and how the character cemented itself as one of the iconic Autobots in film lore.

Deep Dive to Cybertron

The film opens up to alien world longtime fans have seen in various media from the classic cartoon, comic books, and video games. Although we’ve seen the home planet in the previous Transformers films this fresh new perspective definitely takes more of what this place really looks like up close and how the civil war between these two factions has been in conflict for millennia.

This short battle scene has so many Easter Eggs and callbacks from the original cartoon and its 1986 animated feature film. You’ve got to see what an actual Transformer looks like with G1 aesthetics taking inspiration in the robot designs from the Autobots and Decepticons. Soundwave has never looked this good the same with his other fellow `cons.

Coming of Age 1980s Style Flick

It’s not only about robots throwing a beat down on each other it’s about Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), an 18-year-old who is coming from the death of his father and trying to find herself in this vast world ending up owning a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle would turn out to be Bumblebee as seen in the trailers and where the story picks up after landing on Earth.

Taking inspiration from the 1980s teen films you can pick up some of them from ALF to E.T. about meeting aliens. Travis Knight is known for the stop-motion animation “Kubo and the Three Strings” bring an emotion narrative making the franchise relevant back to life with Bumblebee being as expressive as ever for an Autobot who got his voice box damaged.

More Than Meets the Eye

Bumblebee is a fun ride that actually had a story which tones down the excessive action sequence for what Transformers should be that is relatable not only the fans but for everyone in general. Impressive performances from Steinfeld and John Cena in their respective roles. The cast, crew and the visual effect makes up for how the film came to be and as they say 'less is more.'

This film earns high praises critically and commercially that makes this franchise interesting again and expect more follow up in the future.

Bumblebee Movie Release Dates | 20 December 2018 in Australia | 8 January 2019 in the Philippines | Listing for the Rest of the World HERE!


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