Greetings Loved Ones! Liu Is The Name, And Views Are My game.
When his home is torn apart by war, the transforming robot B-127 must find refuge elsewhere. He leaves, and lands on a distant world, a world he hopes will remain untouched by his planet’s conflict; Earth circa 1987. There, after getting his vocal chords damaged, he takes the shape of a Volkswagen Beetle, and hides in a junk yard, hoping no one will notice him. Much to his surprise, Charlie, a teenage gear head mourning the death of her father, purchases him, hoping to escape her mundane life. It doesn’t take long, however, for her to discover his true identity, and for the two to become close friends, with her even giving him the nickname “Bumblebee.” But their joy is short-lived, as the American military, as well as the alien war criminals hoping to hunt Bumblebee down, are hot on his trail. Will they survive? Watch the movie and find out.
Bumblebee is, hands down, the best Transformers film ever made. Now, admittedly, that isn’t a very high bar to clear, but this film isn’t an example of something being the best simply by being the least terrible. It’s legitimately good. It’s got a very personal, very focused narrative, with it all revolving around the relationship between bumblebee and Charlie, the arcs are clear, the humor is on point, and the acting is terrific. Hailee Steinfeld, whom plays Charlie, and who recently starred in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, shines in this flick. She has to carry the entire film, and do so while primarily interacting with a CG effect that isn’t really there. Only a few actors, like Suraj Sharma in Life Of Pi, have ever been able to do that, and, my god, she owns this movie. Something else that sets this film apart from the other entries in the Transformers franchise is it’s distinct lack of childish, scatological humor, and it’s distinct inclusion of comprehensible action. Travis Knight, a man primarily known for his work in animation, directed this film, and he did a fantastic job. But what I really loved were the small, character beats, like when Charlie and Bumblebee are on a beach, and she’s teaching him how to hide from people, or when she’s repairing his radio, and they’re listening to different styles of music. These moments don’t really advance the plot, and they could probably have been cut, but they give us a sense for these character’s personalities, and that’s always good. It’s also cool to know that the script was written by Christina Hodson, an Asian woman. (Way to represent, sister). But, in all seriousness, I liked this movie, and I think you’d like it to.
If I have any complains, it’s that the film’s story–an alien lands on Earth, and becomes friends with a young person–has been done many times before, most notably in E.T. and The Iron Giant, and this flick follows those other movies’ narratives to a T. It’s also got some kind of pointless subplots, like Charlie’s spat with this one bully, which do feel pretty cliche. But, again, this film’s humor, acting, clear direction and, above all, its heart, make it worth watching. Make of this what you will.