Bumblebee: Wait This One’s Actually Really, Really Good


Ashton T. Livingston, Entertainment Editor

Bumblebee is the newest film in the Transformers series, and this one is actually good, like REALLy good! This film takes place in the 80’s and that was my biggest fear going in. But that’s one of the best parts! The film isn’t a story that can be put in any time period but it just has an abundance of 80’s references. It’s an 80’s John Hughes/Steven Spielberg movie! It’s like E.T. meets  Iron Giant and all of that with a sprinkle of The Breakfast Club on top. The film takes aspects of 80’s genre that feel like something straight out of a John Hughes movie.

The movie itself starts off extremely strong. It starts with what a fan of the original Transformers cartoon has wanted to see in live-action for years, the war for Cybertron. This scene was gorgeous! Travis Knight, the director, has a real sense of what makes people like these characters and it shows. He knows how to visually display these characters and how they acted. I actually recognized the characters this time around! Michael Bay’s Transformer designs were a collage of scraps and metal shards that barely resembled the original designs. This film showed me that the blocky 80’s designs work.

The Transformers look amazing, but what about their character?  Bumblebee himself is a heart warming character who will definitely make the audience go “Aww”. But at the beginning he’s this hardcore fun super soldier who is voiced by Dylan O’brien at the beginning of the movie. His character development is great and leads to a lot of E.T. / Iron Giant type scenes. He learns to be a fun almost teenaged like character that blends together with our other lead character. The relationship between the two is adorable. It’s the typical kid with an alien friend but the story really helps it. The antagonists of the film are actual characters as well instead of big giant evil scary looking robots that literally spit out generic dialogue. The villains here have a motivation and reasoning behind what they did. They had things that made them different characters and interesting. Like a villain should be!

Enough about big robot character’s what about our human leads? The main lead Charlie played by Hailee Steinfeld was actually really good. I’m not a huge Hailee Steinfeld fan. I haven’t seen Edge of 17 yet, I hear she’s great in it but I haven’t seen it. Hailee Steinfeld was actually really good in this! Like I enjoyed her performance. Her character was charismatic, relatable, and actually one of the best part of this movie. The Transformers movies usually have the worst human characters in cinematic history. For instance, Shia LaBouf in every other Transformer movie and well, I think we all remember him screaming as he was flying through the air with a bunch of scrap metal turning into a car or something.

           The story of a movie can make or break it and well, it makes it here. The movie has a really great 80’s movie story. It’s full of stuff that made the genre back in the day and feels like the perfect mix of Iron Giant and E.T. and it warms my heart. This films story is just a great story of friendship that I loved. The soundtrack is also one of the best I’ve heard all year. It’s a lot of The Smiths due to it being the main characters favorite band and I was so into that. I am a huge Smith’s fan so as soon as I heard the first note of their song Bigmouth Strikes Again this movie had me. I loved the soundtrack and it didn’t feel gimmicky at all.

            Bumblebee hits the notes it needs to because of its director. Travis Knight knows what makes these characters loveable and how people actually work. The film is great and it made me fall in love with The Transformers again. I loved this movie so much I went home and watched some original Transformers. This movie hit me in just the right way. I fell in love with this movie especially since it kind of sets up a reboot. The idea of this being a reboot for this franchise is amazing. This movie has a great story, good characters, and great visuals. This film deserves praise. It’s a genuinely good movie. I give Bumblebee and A-. Bumblebee is rated PG-13 for action and language.