Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Bumlebee is by far the best Transformers movie to date.
The newest entry into the Transformers franchise takes place in a small California town in 1987. The Autobots are under attack once again by the Decepticons and are trying to find a place to seek refuge. During a battle between Bumblebee and the Decepticons on Earth, he is left damaged severely and forced to transform into a broken down yellow beetle Volkswagen. When Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) is on the hunt for a car for her upcoming 18th birthday she finds the beetle in a local junkyard. She manages to revive the car and brings it home, however, she quickly realizes that her Volkswagen isn’t just a car, it’s Bumblebee.
This is a Transformers movie that cares more about the Story and Character Development than any that came before it. However, that doesn’t mean it runs short on the Action and Visual Effects. Director Travis Knight and Screenwriter Christina Hodson have created a Film that both is entertaining and visually enthralling with a tight Script to boot. And let’s not forget how much heart it contains. There are two things that make this Film great. The first is that it focuses more on the conflicts that take place in Charlie’s life rather than the fight between the Decepticons and Autobots. Second is the amazing friendship that forms between Charlie and Bumblebee. Knight takes his time to let the bond between the two develop, and what’s created is one of the strongest friendships we’ve seen on-screen, even though it’s between a human and robot.
One of the most exciting things about Bumblebee is the fiery performance by Hailee Steinfeld. She is a complete joy to watch from beginning to end and her chemistry with the CGIed Bumblebee is enchanting. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. plays Charlie’s next door neighbour and love interest Memo. Although Memo provides comic relief, we have come to know, Lendeborg Jr. makes him a delightful character that would be missed were he not a part of it all. Then there is John Cena who plays the tough and comical Agent Burns. Cena delivers some of the funniest one-liners of any Transformers movie. It should come as no shock by now that Cena has a talent to be reckoned with, and his talent is greatly put to use in Bumblebee.
Overall, fans of the prior Films and new audiences have a lot to look forward to with Bumblebee.
Paramount Pictures Canada releases BUMBLEBEE on Friday, December 21, 2018.