For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Bumblebee (2018)

Bumblebee is the 6th film in the extremely hit or miss Transformers series. I say hit or miss but so far the only true hit is Bumblebee. I absolutely loved this film, and this may be the first step towards a brighter future for the Transformers series.

Starring Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena and Dylan O’Brien, the film takes place in 1987 and serves as a quasi-prequel/reboot to 2007’s Transformers. The performances were for the most part great. Hailee Steinfeld is delightful and charming as Charlie Watson, the films rebellious protagonist. She serves as a parallel to Sam Witwicky, the original companion to Bumblebee, but, as opposed to being a steaming dumpster fire of a character, is actually likeable and does not want to make you claw your own eyes out. Dylan O’Brien is excellent as the brash and brazen bot Bumblebee, that is, until his vocal chords are stabbed and his voice is reduced to snippets of radio chatter. John Cena seems to have forgotten he is in a film for most of this, as he mostly just shouts his lines with little tonal change or inflection. There are moments when his “character” works, but also many moments where it doesn’t.

The plot sees Bumblebee sent to Earth to scout for a future Autobot base, where he is pursued by threats both terrestrial and not so. Along the way, he forges an unlikely bond with Steinfeld’s Charlie, who longs for a life greater than that of her family. Many of the complaints of the original 5 Transformers films is that the action and general portrayal of the Transformers is bad. I can’t argue with those complaints, as the other 5 films are filled with garbage writing, abysmal action scenes and the Autobots coming off as rude, bloodthirsty or racist. Bumblebee fixes all of these issues. The action is superb, with the Transformers fighting with some expertise and strategy as opposed to the way they usually fight. These fights are choreographed well, and do not look like a child smashing his toys together. Bumblebee in particular shows excellent fighting prowess, which makes sense for his character as he is supposed to fight skilfully and speedily to make up for his lack of size and stature.

There is also less of the Transformers just blowing each other up making things on screen easier to see and track. The reduction in quick cuts means the action has more of an impact and seems grittier and more realistic. The biggest standout for this film of course is the designs. The rest of the franchise suffers from extreme Michael Bay influence. This therefore means the designs have to be edgy and “cool”, but ultimately come off tacky, uninspired and impractical. The decision to go for the classic G1 designs for this film is definitely an improvement. These designs endeared and appealed to the fans in the first place, and it was a mistake to think that anything but the classic cartoon colour schemes would have as much of a lasting effect.

One of the few issues I have with the film is the fact that the human antagonists for Charlie are just classic 80’s bullies. Were this any other film I would take more umbrage with such shoddy characterisation, but due to the fact that they are a minor occurrence and do not overshadow the rest of the film it is a forgivable offence. The film also is good in that it partially subverts the classic love story. Usually, by the end of an adventure like this the characters would be fawning over one another, but fortunately and more realistically Charlie lightly lets down Memo, the tertiary protagonist, by stating “We’re not there yet”. Contrast this to Transformers 1 which end with the two leads kissing on Bumblebee, when mere days before the two were barely known to one another.

VERDICT: Overall, I would rate Bumblebee a solid 8.5/10, for being everything a Transformers film should be, and for being a memorable and lasting addition to the franchise, as well as being the first step in making things right and faithfully adapting everybody’s favourite robots in disguise

Related Posts
Zu – Warriors of the Magic Mountain (1981)

Yuen Biao plays a champion fencer who disposes of his rivals with startling ability. Biao is also a student, writing an essay on the Ming Dynasty, which is received favorably by his tutor, Read more

Zoolander 2 trailer released

Zoolander is back but a lot has happened since 2001! Rest assured the Ben Stiller comedy features familiar faces and a few new ones with plenty to get you excited. Read more

Zontar, the Thing from Venus (1966)

At a dinner party with their wives, NASA scientist Dr. Keith Ritchie (Tony Huston) reveals to his colleague Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) that he has secretly been in communication Read more

Zone Troopers (1985)

In Italy during World War II, an American military patrol discovers a spaceship that has crash-landed in the woods, along with its alien crew. A nearby Nazi unit also Read more

Zone 414 trailer released

Zone 414 is an upcoming American science fiction thriller film written by Bryan Edward Hill and directed by Andrew Baird. The film stars Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz, Jonathan Aris, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Olwen Fouéré, Colin Salmon, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Read more

Zomboat! Episode 6

It is the final episode of Season 1, and as expected following the somewhat calmness of last week's episode this week is about to go off the scale. Our crew Read more

Zomboat! Episode 5

Episode 5 of Zomboat! is the penultimate episode of Season 1 and it gave the audience a chance to catch their breath before the grand finale. Instead of the fast Read more

Zomboat! Episode 4

In Zomboat! Episode 4 we discover that even a shopping trip can be hazardous to your health in post-apocalyptic Birmingham. With the boat moored and apparently safe Amar (Ryan McKen) Read more

Zomboat! Episode 3

After our diversion last week our Zomboat crew begin travelling in the right direction and end up back where they first got on the boat. This also happens to be Read more

Zomboat! Episode 2

Zomboat! burst onto our screens last week and while we loved it we noted that it felt "a bit rushed with lots crammed in." As Episode 2 washed over us Read more

Zomboat! Episode 1

Debuting on ITV2 in the UK, Zomboat! is filmed in the 2.35:1 widescreen ratio of most zombie movies and answers the life long question of what would happen if you Read more

Zomblogalypse trailer released

Homemade horror-comedy feature Zomblogalypse received its UK premiere at Dead Northern Film Festival - in association with Fangoria and Shudder - at City Screen York on 26th September 2021. The Read more

Zombies-Outlive The Undead trailer released

Tony Todd is back in an all new zombie movie: When the world is in shambles, plagued by a zombie outbreak, only the strong will survive, but just how Read more

Zombieland: Doubletap “Keeps Getting Better” featurette released

Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family... Read more

Zombieland 2: Double Tap trailer released

In Zombieland 2: Double Tap, Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of Read more

Zombiegeddon (2003)

Directed by Chris Watson and distributed by Troma Entertainment, Zombiegeddon begins as Satan creates a human-like race called zombies. When the zombies begin taking over the world, dirty cops Jeff Read more

Zombie With A Shotgun trailer released

Zombie With A Shotgun is the feature adaptation of the popular web series of the same name. Aaron and Rachel are on the run due to the fact that Aaron is Read more

Zombie Tidal Wave (2019)

Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, Zombie Tidal Wave aims to pick up where the Sharknado franchise left off. More serious in tone, the film plays more like the original Sharknado Read more

Zombie Tidal Wave “Zombie Tsunami” trailer released

It's a Zombie Tsunami! From the same twisted minds behind Sharknado comes an all-new disaster: Zombie Tidal Wave starring Ian Ziering. Watch the world premiere Saturday August 17th at 9/8c Read more

Zombie Fighter official trailer released

11 years ago, a zombie virus killed many people, while others had their family members turned into zombies. Society is still angry, and so outside the city, a zombie fight Read more