Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review: Bumblebee

Release date: December 21, 2018
Running time: 113 minutes
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Dylan O'Brien, John Cena

When I heard that they were doing a reboot / origin story for the Transformers series, a film
series that started with a Michael Bay-induced bang and has since declined into a CGI-mess, I was skeptical at best.  Then I heard that it was starring one of the bellas from Pitch Perfect (and not even one of the originals) and my expectations were rock bottom.  Throw in an extremely talented but unproven director in Travis Knight (known for his animation work in the fantastic Laika films), as well as a similarly unproven writer and you have a recipe for disaster.  But I am very happy to say that I was WRONG WRONG WRONG. 

Bumblebee starts with a bang, but quickly hits you with some amazing 80s nostalgia.  The references, the sets, the music, and the jokes; everything makes you feel like you traveled thirty five years back in time.  And within all this nostalgia, you find an unlikely friendship between a robot in disguise and an angsty teenager stuck in neutral.  The interactions between the two main characters fuel much of the movie, and although the whole development drags on a little too long, I definitely appreciate the amount of care that went into this relationship.  This level of care is translated into other aspects of the film.  Along with the previously mentioned attention to 80s nostalgia, the level of care is applied to the methodical pace that mixes character development and action without overly saturating one or the other, and to the writing that develops the quirky characters.  But most importantly, the film stays true to the Transformers source material, with sound effects, references, and characters from the popular television show.  

Bumblebee is the origin story that no one asked for but now feels like a perfect part of the world.  It is filled with 80s nostalgia, funny writing, great special effects, and a strange human-car romance that would give Shape of Water a run for its money.  It also feels more true to the original Transformers source material than any of the other recent movies.  It is a worthy origin story and hopefully a sign of what is to come from this universe.  Bumblebee introduces us to a whole new generation of characters and talent, and I can't wait to see where this goes next.

Watch it.

No comments:

Post a Comment