Review by Monique Thompson
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie, on the brink of turning 18 years old and trying to find her place in the world, soon discovers the battle-scarred and broken Bumblebee. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns that this is no ordinary yellow Volkswagen.
FINALLY, a Transformers movie that depicts lovable characters and relationships! I can’t be the only one that was waiting on this. Opening up with an action scene in Cybertron between the Autobots and the Decepticons, Bumblebee isn’t short of action at all. This time around though, the robots actually feel like characters instead of fighting machines; loveable characters that is.
As a prequel to the very first installment of the Transformers film series, Bumblebee takes you back to 1987 to see the origin of the famous yellow Autobot. Optimus Prime sends young Bumblebee, then known as B-127, to Earth to flee the Decepticons. When B-127 reaches Earth, he crashes in California, interrupting a training exercise by secret government agency, Sector 7. Sector 7 mistakes B-127 as an enemy and attacks him. While hiding from Sector 7, a Decepticon finds B-127 and forcefully requests him to disclose Optimus Prime’s location. Refusing to do so, the Decepticon disables B-127’s vocal processor and memory core. Before completing entering stasis, B-127 scans and transforms into a nearby 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.
The beetle eventually lands at a scrapyard and immediately draws the attention of soon to be 18-year old, Charlie, who’s still not over her father’s death. A social outcast at school, Charlie becomes the new rightful owner of the beetle, and soon realizes she’s gotten more than just a car. Once the beetles transforms into B-127 in her garage, after the initial shock, Charlie quickly befriends him, and gives him the name, Bumblebee.
Without spoiling any of the films other details, this is a Transformers film so of course there will be some really cool action scenes. But what makes this film much more enjoyable is the fact that it is so easy to follow and there’s actually a relationship built between the characters, this includes the robots. I lost count on the number of “awwwwws” that I heard in the theater during the screening. And might I add a lot of them came from the macho men in the theater. Not only are the action scenes fantastic, but the heartfelt chemistry between Charlie and Bumblebee is so warming. There’s action, humor, and a loving side to this film which makes it an absolute SMASH. There’s no doubt this film will appeal to the avid Transformers film lovers, and is perfect for the entire family.
STARRING: Hailee Steinfeld (Charlie), Dylan O’Brien (voice of Bumblebee), Angela Bassett (voice of Decepticon), John Cena (Jack Burns of Sector 7), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr (Memo, Charlie’s neighbor), Jason Drucker (Otis, Charlie’s younger brother), Pamela Adlon (Sally, Charlie’s mother), Stephen Schneider (Charlie’s stepfather)
In Theaters December 21st.