Monday 10 December 2018

Bumblebee is much more than meets the eye

When a Bumblebee spin-off was originally announced many fans (myself included) baulked at the idea of another tired Transformers movie! Director Michael Bay had gone from a fun Steven Spielberg-produced rollercoaster ride with a heart to a cold, confusing, mechanical mess spanning 5 increasingly overblown instalments.

However, director Travis Knight’s (Kubo and the Two Strings) soft reboot returns to the fabled Generation 1 (G1) source: an era rich in nostalgia, lore and synonymous with timeless Spielbergian suburbia. The eighties, where Knight and this fellow Transformers fan came of age. It's 1987 when Rick Astley was number one in the charts and Michael Jackson followed up Thriller with Bad.

Now, as someone who is averse to spoiling things, the opening of Bumblebee evoked the sense of wonder this lifelong Star Wars fan had when seeing JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens in 2015. It's a mission statement that will transport fans back to the original animated series, movie and the hallowed pages of Marvel's weekly comic in a way Bay has failed miserably to do since 2007.

In the wake of familial tragedy. This is a Transformers movie scaled back into something entirely character-driven with shades of The Iron Giant and Batteries Not Included. In doing so, Knight creates a poignant prequel with a humble VW bug, Hailee Steinfeld is fantastic as Charlie who befriends the Autobot scout forming a relationship that echoes Elliott and E.T. in Spielberg's most autobiographical film, and Bumblebee becomes the best live-action film from the franchise...

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