Every hero has an origin story and now, after eleven years and five films the world will finally know his.
This December everyone’s favourite yellow Autobot returns to the big screen in ‘Bumblebee’.
Set in California in 1987, the film charts Bumblebee’s journey from his war-torn home planet Cybertron to his tumultuous arrival on Earth and his blossoming friendship with Charlie – a young woman on the cusp of adulthood.
Hailee Steinfeld stars as Charlie, a stereotypically angst-ridden teen who is at war with her family and struggling to find her place in the world. Despite the incredibly clichéd aspects of her character, Hailee manages to deliver a strong performance which captures Charlie’s unique depth and vulnerability and you cannot help but admire the young woman’s resilience. John Cena stars as the equally clichéd Agent Burns, a trigger-happy soldier with a 'shoot first, ask questions later' mentality.
Like his co-star, John has taken the most tired aspects of his character and made them his own, delivering a thoroughly enjoyable performance as a largely unlikable man. Jorge Lendeborg Jr adds a splash of comedy as the hapless Memo while Dylan O’Brien lends his voice to Bumblebee and fan favourite Peter Cullen returns as the voice of Optimus Prime.
This latest instalment sees Michael Bay (who directed the five previous Transformers films) take a back seat as Producer, allowing Director Travis Knight to breathe some much-needed new life into the franchise. With fresh ideas and new perspectives on familiar characters, Travis has created an action-packed, surprisingly heartwarming and often hilarious film which – although strikingly different from its predecessors – still contains everything fans have come to expect from the franchise.
Expertly crafted special effects bring the Autobots and Decepticons to life in vivid detail and allow viewers to gaze upon the impressive planet of Cybertron (as it was prior to its total destruction). Battle scenes unfold in a spectacular display of weaponry, hand-to-hand combat techniques and explosions, and the familiar sound of metal gears morphing and grinding can be heard as heroes and villains transform.
While ‘Bumblebee’ stays true to many aspects of the franchise, eagle-eyed viewers may be able to spot some serious chronological inconsistencies between Bumblebee’s life on earth (as portrayed in this film) and what we know of his past from the small handfuls of information garnered from previous films. Despite this, ‘Bumblebee’ is still enjoyable and its easy, self-explanatory storyline allows it to work as a stand-alone film.
From its explosive opening sequence to its emotionally charged final scenes, ‘Bumblebee’ has something for everyone regardless of whether you are new to the franchise or a long-time fan.