‘Bumblebee’ Review Written By B. Gunn
What happens when you mix the ferocity of Beyonce’s Beyhive with the strength of Wu-Tang Clan’s killer bees on the swarm with the fighting skills and charisma of the boxing legend that could float like a butterfly yet sting like a bee? You get Earth’s favorite pollen-yellow Autoboot, but this time he’s going solo like the red plastic cup in the new movie, “BumbleBee”.
This film is more than meets the eye, it’s sort of a movie in disguise (see what I did there?). Is it an origin story? Is it a reboot? That’s not clear, but what is clear is how much fun you’ll have watching. Please bee-lieve it!
The story is set in the ‘80’s, and there’s more nostalgia in this film than Throwback Thursday. Without spoiling the plot, Bumblebee is sent to Earth via instructions from Optimus Prime. Once he gets there, he gets the smoke from multiple sources, setting the tone for an exciting, emotionally-charged ride. Hailee Steinfield plays Charlie, a teenager who forms a bond with Bumblebee.
Her backstory is relatable and she does an excellent job portraying it onscreen. Her friendship with Bumblebee may remind you of your buddies growing up which fits the storyline perfectly. John Cena is Jack Burns, one of the main military commanders who sees the Transformers as a threat to humanity. When Cena uses comedy, his scenes are natural, meaning they seem real and he’s comfortable. When he has to be serious, his character comes off as the stereotypical hardcore military dude who must growl and be aggressive in his approach to destroy the enemy, acting a bit cartoonish. His performance doesn’t kill the overall vibe, though.
“BumbleBee” is an 80’s movie. It feels like it. It looks like it. It sounds like it. I’m glad it does and here’s why. In order for you to truly appreciate the Transformers, you have to remember why you liked them in the first place. This movie jogs your memory, no, it RUNS your memory! Some of your favorite Autobots and Decepticons looks EXACTLY as they should. You know these characters. Your emotional attachment is already there. Thank director Travis Knight for that. He must’ve been a huge fan because this movie is better than all the other joints that came before it. Yeah, I’m shading Michael Bay.
The action and CGI finally complement each other. In past Transformer films, there was an extreme emphasis on fight scenes just for the sake of fighting; unnecessary slow-motion shots every five seconds, annoying explosions followed by corny dialog. Not this movie! All the fight scenes tell a vivid story. When BumbleBee and the other robots go to war, they look like actual humans fighting. That’s how clear the special effects are. Nothing is too extra for a change. This is how Transformers were meant to fight, dammit!
BumbleBee moves like a robotic Wesley Snipes. Now, earlier I made a comment about the direction of the film. There are some scenes in this movie which don’t line up with past Transformer flicks. The opening scene of “BumbleBee” is action-packed, but it leaves you confused as you recall events from the first Transformers film, and really, all of them. This doesn’t hurt “BumbleBee” too much, but diehard fans will have questions. I say just go with it. Hell, this is one of the best Transformers-based movies ever made, so I’m catching convenient amnesia with the quickness!
“BumbleBee” is an 80’s lovers dream. It reminds the older generation why they fell in love with shape-shifting vehicular robots, and introduces the younger, retro-loving generation to the OFFICIAL Autobots and Decepticons, not that Michael Bay shyt!
I’m co-signing “BumbleBee” to the fullest. You ready, Bee?
Watch the trailer below.
“Bumblebee” rolled into the box office with $21.6M debut.
Have you seen the film?