We can all agree that the Transformers franchise has been on a downward spiral ever since the release of Revenge Of The Fallen. The first movie had its merits, but even then its still not a great movie. However, that has all changed with the release of Bumblebee. A prequel set in 1987, following Bumblebee trying to adapt to 80’s life whilst evading the Decepticons.
We finally have a new director to bring new life into a dying franchise, Michael Bay had five movies to capture the essence of the Transformers cartoon and never once did. In one movie, Travis Knight is able to nail the feeling of the original movie and it is helped further by giving everyone their original looks back.
Michael Bay always delivered a lacklustre story, mindless action, and boring characters. Bumblebee is a complete refurb of the franchise, the action is far between and shot really well, the story is fun and interesting, and Charlie Watson is easily the best (human) character in the franchise. She’s funny, cute, interesting, and has really good development. All things Sam Witwicky was not.
The two new Decepticons are entertaining to watch, one wants to do nothing but kill the human race whilst the other wants to manipulate the humans in helping them in bringing their war to Earth. This is most certainly Bumblebee’s movie, we get a few seconds with other Autobots but Bumblebee is at the centre. It’s really cute and hilarious to watch Bee’s interactions with Watson.
The action is way better than Bay could ever wish to put to screen, it’s so clear and you can feel every blow. It actually surprised me how few explosions there were, they were used effectively it made the fight scenes feel so much more epic than anything seen in past movies. The soundtrack is so upbeat and filled with plenty of great 80’s cheese. There’s a certain song that when it came on I couldn’t help but jump out of my seat in glee.
I must mention how amazing the prologue to Bumblebee is which depicts the fall of Cybertron, we are given so many fan favourites such as Soundwave, Shockwave, Starscream, Optimus Prime, all in their glorious 1984 forms. From the opening scene, you can clearly see that Knight has a deep passion for the original Transformers and all things 80’s.
It did make me wish that we got to see more of Cybertron because it really did look that amazing. Hopefully, in the future, we get an entire movie dedicated to the fall of Cybertron. The setting and aesthetic of the 80s is perfectly recreated, The Breakfast Club, Mr.T cereal, walkmens, it reminded me of the feeling I had whilst watching Ready Player One. Which isn’t too surprising considering Steven Spielberg is a producer on this movie.
Overall, we may have had to wait over ten years but finally, we have the Transformers movie we’ve always wanted. With interesting characters that are having a great time in their roles, especially John Cena. The two new Decepticons are good additions to an already large roster of characters. Knight is a great director to helm the franchise and I hope they choose him for future projects. The action is easily the best yet, the soundtrack is great, Charlie and Bumblebee have amazing chemistry, way more than he ever had with Witwicky. Cybertron is amazing and it’s ust a shame we didn’t get to see more of it.
Director: Travis Knight
Runtime: 114 Minutes