Bumblebee, the latest film in the Transformers‘ franchise, has been out for a few days now. I myself actually went to see it about a week and a half ago, thanks again to one of my local cinemas having had advance screenings. But the fact that it’s taken me this long to write this post probably makes it obvious how I feel about this film; I didn’t like it. If you want to know why, read on. As always, there won’t be any major spoilers.
Bumblebee‘s main flaw is that it’s terribly formulaic; we need to know the film’s heroine is doing it tough, so the movie gives us a cringey scene where she is humiliated by some mean rich kids. Also, the humour is incredibly forced; there is a scene where the same gag is used not once, but several times in quick succession. And never mind the fact that people’s lives are at stake each time. There is no subtlety, as if the film’s script was written whilst referring to a checklist. The big robot battles in the film are, as you’d expect, visually impressive, especially the ones on Cybertron (the robot’s homeworld), which are very reminiscent of the original Transformers‘ cartoon. But really, they aren’t anything that hasn’t been seen in any of the previous Transformers films, and those films are mediocre at best.
When I initially found out about Bumblebee, I was excited by three things: the human lead was female; it featured my favourite Autobot from the Transformers‘ franchise and it was set in the eighties (the Transformers‘ heyday). Let’s start with the film’s female lead. Hailee Steinfeld is certainly a great actress (and a great voice actress too, as she voiced Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). But unfortunately, Charlie Watson, which is the role she is playing in this film, is hard to like. Charlie has her struggles, but even so her general attitude just makes her come across as a young woman with a chip on her shoulder. Next, let’s look at Bumblebee. The movie seems to go out of its way to make him look like a bumbling buffoon at times, even though he is the film’s protagonist. In particular, there is one extended sequence that is supposed to be funny, but only makes Bumblebee, an obviously expert combatant, look extremely foolish. And finally, we have the eighties setting. Unfortunately, this ended up being the only interesting aspect of the film, but only in so much as I kept anticipating which classic eighties song they would roll out next. I was particularly glad that they included A-ha’s Take on Me, the greatest eighties song ever!😋
Well, those are my thoughts on Bumblebee. But before I end this post, I thought I’d include a couple of photos of my G1 Bumblebee. I mentioned in an earlier post that I might upload these pictures, so here they are!
He’s a little beat up (his arms are very loose), but I guess he doesn’t look too bad for a thirty-year-old toy, which I played with quite a lot as a kid.🙂
Till next time, au revoir, arrivederci and may the force be with you!😊