Bumblebee is a spin-off of the Transformers live action series that follows the lone character as he lands of Earth. He's been sent on a special mission to secure the planet and has his memory damaged along the way. This sets up an interesting and charming tale as he learns about his past once more. That aside, we get some amazingly badass Cybertron scenes and the presentation of the Transformers we've been craving. That is of course designs that look like their 80's style and it's amazing.
I was blown away by these designs, even on Cybertron Bumblebee was rocking what looked like the War/Fall of Cybertron skin from the games. The amount of nostalgia and references in this were high, but absolutely fine. It was basically the Transformers film that any fan would want to see. Moving past that, we also get a more emotional and character driven film. It largely follows Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) as she deals with loss and is able to move forward after meeting a lost robotic friend, which she dubs Bumblebee. The two connect well and it's just great seeing them interact.
To contrast the beauty of this girl and her car, we had a grizzled Agent Burns (John Cena). I typically don't care for Cena's acting performances, but I have to say he was great here. Brought some laughs and filled the role well. There was also a well selected family for Charlie and a friend she meets that honestly didn't serve any purpose. The acting was solid here, balanced and you could tell the various Transformers apart.
They had distinct styles, personalities and they were clearly visible during combative segments. The CGI was excellent, expected for this series and it worked well with the time piece style. The acting was generally solid and it was actually fun to watch. I actually feel bad for the last films, as there was clearly potential for the series to be better than it was. I'd love for them to scrap those and reboot from this one.
Bumblebee brought the action as a solid standalone that had more heart and substance than any of the other live action Transformers films. As a fan of these 80's style toys since I was young, this was amazing to witness. It might not have been perfect, but it was really enjoyable and just fun. That's something that's been lost with recent takes on the property and it's sad that we could have had some of this style for the last however many live action releases they've had.
Bumblebee as a character was charming, intense and had chemistry with his human pal. The other humans actually mattered in this one, except for Charlie's friend and they didn't detract from what was happening. It was smaller in scale and it's great to see that the robots being here wasn't doomsday like it usually is. It also gave us a solid look at Cybertron and that's the movie I want to see presented. Whatever the case, I would love to see this being a starting point to forget what came prior as there's some actual substances to build from with this one.
Bumblebee Review at Theater with 3D Viewing
Screening Provided by Paramount
Rating Overall: 8.0