Throughout the last decade or so, the films in the Transformers franchise has been either very mediocre or incredibly underwhelming. The recent addition ‘Bumblebee’ is a prequel to these films and has a rather pleasing lack of ties to Michael Bay and is instead directed by ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ director Travis Knight. The film merely has to prove itself as “necessary” as it is a prequel.
As it is an action film, it does show more than plenty of violence throughout its 113-minute runtime. Although most of it is simply wanton destruction and you will not see any blood or severed human limbs fly across your cinema screens. Although there is a torture sequence that sees title character Bumblebee as the victim. There are also relatively infrequent uses of mildly profane words like ‘damn’. The film does also possess many positive attributes for members of younger audiences, especially in human lead Charlie, who is intelligent and resourceful as well as supportive. It also features themes of teamwork, friendship and familial bonds that are heavily visible throughout the film. This film is very much appropriate for young teenagers. Personally, I would recommend it for ages twelve and up.
As a person with a love for old 80s movies, this film manages to hit a sort of a sweet spot from it’s inclusion of The Smiths and snippets of old movies. Aside from that minor detail, this film is the live-action directorial debut of Travis Knight who makes some excellent directorial changes to the Transformers franchise. Such as the use of the original G1 designs for the characters. These simplified designs do a great job at cleaning up the messes of CGI that were action sequences of previous Transformer films. Leading lady Hailee Steinfeld does a great service in bringing a level of charm to the film- especially visible through her chemistry with Bumblebee. The move from “simple action film” to a coming of age story also helps bring a level of heart to the movie that exemplifies the emotion of its young protagonists.
‘Bumblebee’ is without a doubt probably one of the better Transformer films that have ever been made. If you are a fan of the series I highly suggest you take a chance with it.