Bumblebee (2018) Poster

(I) (2018)

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7/10
After Michael Bay's sFX extravaganzas, a return to form: a kid oriented film actually based on the toy line
siderite1 October 2020
I have never played with the toys or read the comics, but I watched all of the Transformers movies. When Bumblebee came out I was fatigued and frankly disgusted with the quality of the franchise, so I just gave up. But after a comment from a blogger, saying that the film is not directed by Bay and that it's one of the best Transformers movies, I've decided to watch it. The verdict: a return to form. The action is set in the 80s, the effects look more mechanical and less CGI and the main character is a young girl. I find it befitting to what the franchise should have been from the very start.

However, because of the timing, this is too little and too late. A lot of people did like I did and just flat out skipped the film, while others did not like it because they were coming for big explosions and special effects. Plus, to be honest, it wasn't that original or inspiring, using the same tired "kid finds friendly alien" plot and starring Hailee Steinfeld, who is very cute, but kind of one track when it comes to acting. Also the character of the neighbor was completely unnecessary.

Bottom line: this should have been, perhaps, the first film in the franchise. It's not the best, but clearly a lot better than the latest movies in the series. Not sure where they will go from here, though.
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7/10
One of the better films in the Transformer franchise
Abdulxoxo25 December 2020
Bumblebee is surprisingly fantastic, it had better written humor and characters. it's a transformer movie but with heart and soul. The action sequences are excellent and had far less unnecessary explosions and better editing as you can see everything clearly. The characters are well drawn and have personality. Bumblebee is such a lovable character in this one and his dynamic duo with Charlie is just perfect. The performances are very good; Hailee Steinfeld is well-casted, and she easily carries the film. The visual effects are stunning, and the soundtrack is amazing; it has a lots of classic 80s songs that fits well with the themes presented in the movie.

Overall, Bumblebee is one of the better films in the transformer franchise, it's well-written and has rich characters, and also very entertaining.
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8/10
Finally the Transformers movie we deserve.
kevinxirau30 December 2018
In 2007, Michael Bay showed the world that today's technology could bring the famed Transformers to life on the big screen. Sadly, he has the finesse of a brick to the face as his subsequent films for the most part are rusted pieces of scrap due to his crude style of filmmaking, lack of focus, and narrow demographic, leaving fans with only the 80s animated movie as the true "good one", that is until now.

Plot: Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), a teen girl struggling to move on after her father's untimely death, encounters the fugitive Autobot Bumblebee and the two form a heartfelt bond, which will be tested as they are hunted by both the secretive Sector 7 and a couple of Decepticons.

Knight knows what makes a film truly stick with people and that is in the story and how one tells it, something he excels at. He gives his films heart, thus the relationship between Charlie and Bumblebee feels natural. The central focus is this friendship with many scenes that are charming, funny, and hit hard in the feels. Unlike the stuttering and super uptight Sam Witwicky, Charlie has a lot of spunk and pathos. While having a predictable character arc, John Cena did a nice job with his role. I love that this film is not only set in the 80s (when the show came out), but lives and breathes pop cultural references and classic songs from that era (including a great callback to Stan Bush). While Bay's action focuses on huge zany explosion-fests that push believability and heavily involve the human military, here the action is smaller and much more personal, strictly Autobot vs Decepticon as it should be since it was what the franchise was built on. In fact, the portrayal of the Decepticons has improved; not only can I tell them apart this time thanks to their varied designs and color schemes, but they're given more personality and actually live up to their name.

The only thing that has me puzzled is the continuity as there's confusion over whether or not this is a reboot or a prequel given some conflicting elements. That being said, this is, in many ways, the Transformers movie I've been itching to see for a long time. I'd like to see more directors present their takes on the franchise and go to places both familiar and new as long as Bay stays out of the directing chair. To sum it up, Bumblebee's got the Touch.
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7/10
Heartwarming prequel, but the writing was too amateurish and childish
Top_Dawg_Critic19 January 2019
Heartwarming story, but seems tailored to be more enjoyable to the 8-12 year old's as an upgrade from the 80's animated series. It's not your expected typical adult action filled Transformers installment. You can tell this was written by an inexperienced amateur writer, Christina Hodson. The directing was fairly decent, considering this was Animator Travis Knight's first live action film he's directed. Not sure why the producers (especially Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg) decided to cheap out on these key elements, and then have to pay for pretty much every fake 10/10 review this film has on here. The film's soundtrack was a good throwback to some good 80's songs. Hailee Steinfeld was perfect as always, but pairing her up with Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and his banana seat bike, made them both look like they were 12 years old. Although still enjoyable, I expected more. Would I recommend it? Yes for kids, not really for adults. Would I see it again? Nope, but I'm sure my 8 year old nephew will. It's a 7/10 from me.
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7/10
"Transformers" as it is supposed to be...
paul_haakonsen20 January 2019
Right, well the one and only reason for me sitting down to watch "Bumblebee" was because the rest of the family wanted to, so I gave in and joined them.

Which, I must admit, that I am actually glad that I did. Because this spin off on the "Transformers" live action movies was actually the best in the entire franchise. Who knew? A spin off movie putting every other single "Transformers" movie to shame and outshines them by a mile.

The story in "Bumblebee" was good, it had something for the entire family, because it contained action, comedy, love, and good vs evil. Everything that was required to entertain everyone in the family.

What also worked in favor of the movie was the fact that they had acquired a proper cast for the roles - well, with the exception of John Cena, as I can't really claim that he fit the role in this movie. But everyone else was really cast nicely for their respective roles and characters.

There is a good abundance of action in the movie, and it is done with elegance, whereas some of the movies in the actual main franchise seemed to focus more on just random destruction and violence, And the fact that there actually was a proper underlying storyline and plot to supported by the action just made it all the more enjoyable.

It is difficult not to get drawn in and be swooped away by Bumblebee himself in this movie, whereas I didn't have quite the same feeling or reaction in the countless previous movies.

This is actually how they should have started the entire franchise off, instead of giving us a continuous array of explosions and CGI bedazzlement. If you, like me, grew up watching the "Transformers" cartoons in your childhood, then you definitely should take the time to sit down and watch the 2018 "Bumblebee", because director Travis Knight really nailed it right on the head here.
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6/10
A Transformers Movie With Heart!
namashi_16 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The Transformers Movies, lets be honest aren't movies that offer soul. Despite making over billions with the Michael Bay films, Transformers are often noted to be mindless, soulless blockbusters. But with a new Director calling the shots and the focus being on just one of the Transforming Heroes, 'Bumblebee' is a pleasant surprise, that is indeed a Transformers Movie with Heart!

'Bumblebee' Synopsis: On the run in the year of 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.

'Bumblebee' works because the film focuses more on emotion than on action. Sure, there is action here and there as it has to be, it's a Transformers movie after all, but what is served here, intelligently, is a story offering soul. The relationship of Bumblebee and Charlie, is the film's heart. I liked the way their relationship is built up and how the emotional connect works. It comes across as genuine, rather than manipulative. And that's where 'Bumblebee' scores, it's more about love and bond, rather than just mindless action.

Of course, there are flaws. The biggest one being that this is a familiar story and the beats are predictable. And the entire E.T. vibe is hard ignore. But again these are manageable flaws, in an otherwise charming film.

Christina Hodson's Screenplay is well-done. And it seems the Writer has been influenced hugely by the prolific John Hughes, since her story has flashes of the late/great genius's craft. Travis Knight's Direction is perfect. Cinematography, Editing, Art and Costume Design, are quite good. Graphics, as expected, are excellent.

Performance-Wise: Hailee Steinfeld shines as Charlie. She plays the protagonist and her performance is completely likable. John Cena, in a role with grey shades, clearly has a ball. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. is cute. Pamela Adlon is superb as Charlie's mother. Of the vocal performances, Dylan O'Brien as the voice of B-127 / Bumblebee, Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime, Angela Bassett as the voice of Shatter and Justin Theroux as the voice of Dropkick, are pretty solid.

On the whole, 'Bumblebee' is a charming film that brings back the Transformers franchise into the game.
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9/10
Smells Like 1980's Spirit
OMTR26 July 2019
Bumblebee is the 'unofficial' sixth installment in the Transformers' franchise and it is actually a spin-off. I bought the DVD before coming back home last week, with the idea that it would be a good family movie, and I was far from being wrong. This is not only a great film to watch with the kids, but also the best episode in the saga. 'Bumblebee' takes us back to the year 1987, and it looks and smells like if it was made in the 1980s with a great cast and an awesome soundtrack. I am listening to it while I am writing this review and I am already looking forward to watching 'Bumblebee 2' in theaters in 2022.
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7/10
The best live-action Transformer film
This movie was a pleasant surprise.

Simple, but entertaining, and much truer to the characters and the spirit of the 80s cartoon than the Michael Bay films. The CGI is nice, and there is a good balance between the serious and comical moments.

Without being a masterpiece, this movie is a decent-watch for the whole family.

I hope the future "Transformers" movie keep a similar tone to this (Or at least, to the initial scene on planet Cybertron, which is easily the highest point from this feature)
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8/10
Finally a great Transformers film!
vengeance2028 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Having watched the previous 5 films & be disappointed by the last 3 due to them being too long, too confusing & simply boring I was a bit skeptical with this one.

But after watching, I have to say I was impressed! The film was actually pretty good far better than the transformers films previous (last 3).

The film was more grounded for one, the story-line was simple & consistent as with the scenes which didn't drag or play out too long.

The action & scenes involving Bumblebee & Charlie were spread well & you actually could follow this film a lot more than the previous films which were badly filmed, badly plotted, badly edited, badly directed... I could go on, but yes, this film had heart & had a simple story you could follow!

You basically knew what was what & there wasn't too many jumps from scenes with millions of details thrown into your face!

I even found this film to be more light hearted & more engaging with the characters being more developed, you actually felt for them! Not to mention the film wasn't a confusing a mess with multiple story-lines thrown in & getting tangled into one another! It was simple!

A last thing to note, is that the film was under 2 hours in length! I misread the run time & thought it was longer, but found this film to be pretty short in comparison to the previous film which well over 2 hours unnecessarily! Hell, even the end climax was done & dusted fairly quickly & not dragged out for longer than needed! The film was 1 hour & 49 minutes long! This is how films should be! Not too long, not dragged out & kept to an appropriate length!

I'm not much of a fan of the Transformers films, but this one was pretty decent! I actually liked this one! I overheard some people saying they hated this film! Don't get what their problems were because this film was actually good in comparison to the others which were way too long & boring! This film was consistent from start to finish!

8/10
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10/10
Finally
diazmanuel83620 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Finally they made an actually great transformers film,Michael bay didnt get the transformers franchise at all in fact he kept ruining it every time he did another movie,after the third one i lost all hope for a good transformers film and i stop watching them(i didn't even care about trailers or anything related)but when i heard bay was out and Travis Knight was in i started to get hope so i gave this a chance to see if they could improve without bay and not only i wasn't disappointed but i got in love with this franchise again,they understand the concept of a good transformers movie(no over the top action,no oversexualized teen girls,no explosions all over the place)just a good film with a simple plot and heart.10/10
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3/10
Destroyed storylines from movies and comics.
combatph25 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Already established in previous movies Bee has been on Earth on for years and years prior to this movies arrival. But it's like oh we forgot he fought with the OSS in WWII and has been establishing the Autobot beach head and tracking Deceptacons for years here. Also, it was established that he lost his voice in a battle on Cybertron. Then you have Sector 7 wearing british style rank. Then killing off other main Autobot characters like Cliff jumper. It's like the people that make these movies have never read the comics, watched the cartoons as a kid in the 80s and early 90s or give a crap about established storylines. Way to ruin an already great character and some how making him less of a scout/warrior and badass.
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9/10
Just what it needed: no Michael Bay directing.
Bumblebee comes as a shocking surprise to me because up until now, ALL the Transformers movies since 2007 have given me migraines due to all the nauseating CGI (specifically the CG-robot mouths imitating human lips *ech*) that didn't know when to moderate action with character, or drama with spectacle (not drama OR spectacle). Bumblebee addresses all of those problems and then some in Travis Knight's live-action directorial debut: his second feature since Kubo and the Two Strings. Knight has given us, hands down, the BEST Transformers movie to date. Its emphasis on human-and-robot drama and galaxy-traveling and its focus on character dilemmas amidst the action (as opposed to directionless action sequences) makes this film a blast to watch.

What does this film do right where the others failed? It introduces the Autobots on Cybertron and establishes them as people fighting as a struggling resistance, not as CGI puppets who turn humans into computer rag-dolls whenever they hit them. Its plot also borrows elements from The Iron Giant, E.T. and even the original Star Wars; and it uses those tropes to make for a familiar yet refreshing experience at the movies (an actually GOOD live-action Transformers); and the 1980s Cold-War back-drop is just perfect for this film.

This is what course-correction for a tired franchise looks like: it is to the Transformers franchise what Wonder Woman is to the DC Extended Universe movies. It's a film that left me pleasantly surprised and I want to see more of THESE types of Transformers movies. Fan service CAN be balanced with story and character, and this film is concrete proof Hollywood knows what the f##k it's doing with that; so there's no real excuse to expect less in that field now.

Bumblebee gets 4.5/5 stars; I never thought I'd love it.
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9/10
"Bumblebee": Being Me Again
jon.h.ochiai26 December 2018
In Director Travis Knight's "Bumblebee" it's 1987: Hailee Steinfeld's 18 year-old Charlie stands as her beloved "Bee" readies to thrash the Special Forces soldiers led by John Cena's Jack Burns, who dared harm his dear friend Charlie. With tears in her eyes Charlie raises her and says, "Stop."

There's an old movie adage: Never act with children or animals. These days that might apply to sentient scene-stealing towering metallic yellow robots, albeit entirely CGI. Yet, like her Charlie, Hailee is fearless, reminiscent of her Nadine in "The Edge of Seventeen", in her humanizing vulnerability. Bee's luminescent blue circle eyes do help, too. Director Travis of the stop action masterpiece "Kubo and the Two Strings", creates the authentically poignant bond with Bee and Hailee, which gifts this "Transformers" movie something unique: A heart.

"Bumblebee" is "Transformers" prequel humorously written by Christina Hodson that reinvents the exhausted "Transformers" franchise created by previous Director Michael Bay. No doubt Michael pushed the envelope in inventing the mesmerizing shiny objects of Autobots battling their mortal enemies, the Decepticons. But sacrificing humanistic storytelling in lieu of the "blowing stuff up" visually dependent narrative got old. Honestly, I stopped watching "Transformers" at "Dark Side of the Moon".

The visual effects of "Bumblebee" are stunning like the opening battle sequence on the Transformers Home World - Cybertron. In the losing cause Autobot Leader Optimus Prime, voiced by noble Peter Cullen, instructs his charge - yellow warrior robot B-127, voiced by innocent Dylan O'Brien, to go to Earth and await for his return. And so it begins.

Refreshingly, Travis and Hailee's distinct gift is their resonant emotional impact in the midst of the commercially driven special effects noise. Really, "Bumblebee" works, because Travis makes us cheer for the touching relationship of Charlie and Bee. "Bumblebee" is Hailee's movie. Her beautiful face and gentle eyes enroll us in the story of the lonely 18 year-old girl, who suffers from missing her Father, who passed away.

Charlie's Dad taught her to fix cars and gave her his love of them. Charlie believes that if she can somehow restore her Dad's classic Corvette, she can have her Dad back. She can get herself back. In one scene Charlie stops repairing the Corvette in her garage. She cries, "I can't do this anymore." She just wants her suffering to end. Now that is way more captivating than a bunch of shining robots kicking the crap out of each other. Just saying.

The memory and speech damaged B-127 lands on Earth disrupting the military exercise of Col. Jack Burns, played by strong funny John Cena. Fortunately, B-127 escapes capture; thus, embarrassing Jack. B-127 assumes the shape of a yellow Volkswagen Bug. Obviously.

Charlie, played by Haile, is the loner high school gear-head only interested in cars, let alone boys. Charlie's Mom Sally, played by funny scattered Pamela Adlon, remarried Ron, played by comically well intentioned Stephen Schneider. Comfortably geeky Jason Drucker plays her karate nerd younger brother Otis. Insecurely charming Jorge Lendeborg Jr., of "Love, Simon", is Charlie's neighbor, who has the biggest crush on her. Finally summoning his courage to possibly ask Charlie out on date, he witnesses Bumblebee in full transformation. Charlie gives B-127 the name Bumblebee after recovering him from her Uncle's junkyard.

Evil Decepitcons Shatter, voiced by frightening Angela Bassett, and Blitzwing, voiced by tough David Sobolov, land on Earth in search of Bee. They convince Jack and his superiors that they are the "good guys": That Bumblebee poses the gravest global threat. Actually, the Deceptions scheme to destroy the humans for their own strategic gain. So Jack must locate Bumblebee.

Surprisingly, my favorite scene in "Bumblebee" is Charlie and Memo standing through the sunroof of the yellow Volkswagen, hands raised in the air with Tears for Fears singing "Shout" on the radio. That captured 1987, and the spirit of youth - being free to be yourself. You just didn't care what anyone else thought. That's also the distinct charm of Travis and Hailee's "Bumblebee". We see that sense of innocent wonder in Hailee's gaze. We all just want to be free to be ourselves.
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8/10
Finally we get another good Transformers movie.
Loving_Silence13 December 2018
Let's be honest every Transformers movie other than the first one has been bad. The 3rd one had a great third act in Chicago but that's about it. I went into this with extremely low expectations and was really surprised. I can finally say we second good Transformers movie with this standalone Bumblebee movie. This is a movie with a lot of heart and that's not just due to Bumblebee but also with the human characters. They finally got a great lead with Hailee Steinfeld who gives a damn solid performance in this. The entire cast was good no one seemed like they were phoning it in for a paycheck. The action in this movie is a major step up from the sequels, you can actually tell what's going on and the visuals are beautiful and detailed. I was ecstatic to see they went back with the first generation designs. The Transformers are characters and you feel for them. If you're a Transformers fan you have to go see this movie.
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8/10
The best Transformers movie yet
cardsrock2 January 2019
Just like Hailee Steinfeld sings in the end credits song, Transformers has been brought back to life. The 80s nostalgia is definitely fun, but what really makes this film is the heart and connection between Charlie and Bumblebee. Charlie is easily the most realized character in the franchise. I enjoyed the lower key approach of this film and actually being able to see what was happening during the action scenes. This was a much needed reset for the series and hopefully this level of quality will continue.
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10/10
Take that, Michael Bay!
sorenmike13 December 2018
This was the movie we all so desperately needed from the franchise. Great action, great characters, great story. I'm glad they took a totally different road than the garbage Bay was filling his movies with that got old too fast. Go see it! It was really good
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9/10
80's revival.
abovethelaw-9547321 November 2020
This puts Michael Bay to shame.This is how Transformers should be like! Very entertaining.
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8/10
Thoroughly enjoyable
daisypromoii-496-39269314 December 2020
Was looking for something to wile away an evening and this, Bumblebee's back story, fit the bill. Action, feels and laugh out loud moments - Bumblebee's definitely not a fan of the Smiths - made my evening. The damn fine 80s sound track was the icing on the cake
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4/10
Such a waste of time
noelleinc28 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was terrible. The pacing was slow, there was no story to fill in the time, just a bunch of driving around. The family scenes were forced and I felt no connection at all to any of the characters. The love interest was incredibly lame. John Cena's character was one of a typical dumb soldier, I much prefer all of the military characters from the first movie to him. At least they were funny. Not senseless shells of dumb.

Bumblebee was cute, like a kitten, not the badass Transformer he's been in the past movies. The action scenes were typical and boring. Honestly the best part of the movie was the first 10 minutes. After that it was not fun, funny or even interesting. I almost left the theater and I am a huge Transformers fan. On top of that this film makes no sense in the world of the previous Transformer movies. Optimus Prime and the others didn't come to Earth until the first Michael Bay movie and in that movie they had no form yet. There are so many plot holes which makes the story even less interesting. This is almost a direct copy of Sam's story. Losers life that sucks then he/she gets a cool car and their life changes forever. Blah blah snore.

I don't understand why everyone is saying this is the best Transformer movie ever. The first one was the best by far. People are looking for a Transformers movie that properly pays homage to the 80's Transformers we love, this movie is definitely not it. Don't waste your time or money.
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9/10
A softer, gentler Transformer flick
trinaboice22 December 2018
FINALLY, we can see what's happening on the screen! My biggest complaint about the Michael Bay Transformer movies is that too much was happening on the screen at once, especially the action scenes so we couldn't even appreciate how cool the Transformers actually were. Now, everything is slowed down, including the story. (sigh) Nice job!

You can read my full movie review at Movie Review Mom (dot) com.
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8/10
best of Transformers
SnoopyStyle25 January 2019
The Autobots have been driven out of Cybertron by the Decepticons. Optimus Prime tasks B-127 to set up a safe haven on Earth for the Autobots to regroup. It's 1987 California. B-127 crash-lands and barely survives a Decepticon attack. Before losing his memory, he turns himself into a Volkswagen Beetle. Teen girl Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) is still struggling from her father's death. She fixes up the Beetle and is shocked by his transformation. She names him Bumblebee.

Compared to the Bayformers, this one should win an Oscar. By herself, Steinfeld is infinitely better than any of the models that Michael Bay gets his butt shots. Megan Fox is the only real actress of the bunch. Enough said. We get away from the infantile By humor. I guess the first Bayformers was pretty good but the rest is a long, sad slough downwards. There are issues with the mean girls, the logic of the bots' looks before they get to Earth, and the possible overuse of music nostalgia. I do wonder if I'm grading on a curve. Maybe...
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9/10
Imagine if this was the very first Transformers
alesisqs6124 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is how the first movie should have started but we can't erase history. Charlie and Bumblebee honestly have a much, much better connection together than Shia's character in Transformers. This movie is mostly about Bumblebee and her and the plot is not deep but the characters are deeper than the Bay films. It's a shame Travis Knight had felt the need to connect this film to Bay's Transformer movies because this could have been a good reboot since Transformers turned into a pile of garbage. The movie's always had some cool moments but overall they simply got worse and worse and more hype but never actually delivered the experience the fans deserved. I felt that The Last Knight was nearly unwatchable after watching it the first time. Transforming became a joke and was basically barely used anymore. The ending of this could have ushered in a new era of actual good films but since they connect to Transformers 1, we sort of get robbed of what could have become something interesting. A lot of time from the end of this until the first T1 movie transpired but Charlie basically is a one and done character which is a bummer for the franchise in my opinion but a good thing for maybe this movie as a stand alone film. I had a great time watching the film and Bumblebee does not disappoint but the only major weakness in bringing in Sector 7.... yet again tied to Transformers... uggg..... I'd have preferred the military not even be involved at all but it is what it is. I'd have also preferred more "decepticons" come and have Prime show up for the finale but I suppose that also sounds cliché. Bumblebee has to be the hero of the movie as Prime is usually the hero of all the other movies. I'm just trying to say that had this not connected the others, they could have went all out but it felt a tad held back actually by the other films. That's why I took away a point. It did not suffer at all without Bay.... the style might not quiet have been as "Hollywood" however I think that made it a bit more 80s. His style fit the movie quiet fine. Glad I got to see this... as this wipes out the part of the bad Transformers movies. Had this been an actual reboot and had Prime come with the others, I'd have seriously given it a 10/10.
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8/10
Best Transformers film
Floated22 October 2019
Bumblebee lived up to its highly hype and has delivered upon its expectations. As a film what makes Bumblebee enjoyable and the best of the Transformers film is that there is enough heart, the comedy isn't forced, the characters are likable (mainly Hailee Steinfield as the lead) and the action isn't over the top.

Perhaps not much of the other Transformers but this is more of a film to watch for its story. Also this film has a noticeable shorter run time of under two hours than the previous Transformers film.
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8/10
BumbleBee Did Not Stumble For Me! Steps in the right direction
rgkarim21 December 2018
Hollywood touches everything it can, finding topics that can potentially be turned into a new movie franchises until every inch of profit is squeezed out. A toy series turned cartoon, that soon became a live action motion picture series that at one time blew our minds and soon blew our wallets. After many hardships, the series was about to crash and burn, until the Bay era was handed over to a new team to try and bring it back to life. Tonight, the full world release is upon us and given the trailers, can this film succeed where the others have failed? That's where my review comes in, so here we go as I review:

Movie: Bumblebee (2018)

Director: Travis Knight Writers: Christina Hodson (screenplay by), Christina Hodson(story by) Stars: Hailee Steinfeld, Dylan O'Brien, Megyn Price

LIKES:

Character Development: Bumblebee starts off on the right foot by bringing some character development the film sorely needed. The titular characters get a gross dive into the psyche, finding new ways to expand the quiet hero's role outside of new weapons to shoot. In addition, Steinfeld's character is much more realistic than the mess we had in the other five installments. Her history, her outlook on life, and social dynamics are covered extraordinarily well, making sure to connect the points and actually give some growth. The relationship between the robot and girl is heartwarming and an appealing dynamic to invest your time into.

The Story: The movie succeeds again where the others had trouble. While not the most in depth, this prequel, and potential reboot, does make a much more connected plot that wasn't too cheesy or stuffed in comic craziness. It bridges the Cybertron to Earth transition well, while setting up the plot for potential sequels, while also standing on its own with the previously mentioned character development. Dropping the convoluted tangled subplots opened the movie to more fun in both comedy and action. Speaking of which.

Comedy: Ever since number one Transformers has had a special spot for overdone comedy antics and ridiculous levels of meme worthy gags. Noticing the declining trend in quality of the jokes, Bumblebee's writers did a fantastic job of integrating some fresh laughs into the mix without going too far into the stale territory. The 80s nostalgic references and pop culture power with Bee is sensational and by avoiding the tacky toilet humor, it doesn't lose its stride. Even more impressive is how the comedy flows into the story, working with it and not trying to overtake it as has been seen in the past. A few tangential scenes did occur mind you, but limited their time limit to get back on track in the short time limit.

Pacing: The last two films proved that the writing struggled to fill the nearly 3 hour run times with engaging material, leading to a sluggish rambling with little value. Bumblebee shines here as well, not only by shortening the run time by nearly an hour, but also with a pace that kept moving and in time with the other antics. As such, don't expect too much boredom in this installment.

The Action: Hands down the aspect I was watching for the most, Bumblebee again manages to achieve the goal of improving upon the action that it sold for so long. The yellow bug had much more epic and fluid moves, with improve choreography and some dynamic sequences that were captured beautifully and not lost too sketchy camera work. Throw in the fact that the special effects weren't too overdone, nor the focus of the film, and it led to cleaner action moments that hooked me into the get go. By not forcing the action too much, I think it made the moments shine a little brighter, and kept the theater quality up.

The Soundtrack: When it comes to the 80s, you know the music was legendary in its synthesizers and emotional rantings. Well, Bumblebee seems to have a good ear for some legendary tracks and while comically integrated well, the selection was just wonderful to listen too throughout the film. Be ready to tap your toes to the beats my friend, or at least get set for lip syncing.

DISLIKES:

More Action: A small dislike, but an action junkie like me wanted more of the epic display of battling between robotic factions. Cybertron was a great introduction, but why could we not get more of it throughout the film. Perhaps another prequel about the war for Cybertron will be in the future, but a little more of the fighting on Earth could have helped relieve this want.

Attention To Detail: Again, a small dislike, but Bumblebee's writers may have missed some of the story elements from the previous film. The way this is set up suggests that this film will be reboot of the series, a good thing in terms of story. Yet if it is going to continue on and serve as the first film in the Michael Bay Series, then it loses points for trying to ignore the details they once cherished.

John Cena: His character isn't bad, and his acting fits the character, but I was disappointed with the way to took the character given the previous history of human agents. Cena's character goes through the usual ringers, but misses the target in terms of being a little too silly, not getting the full integrative procedures, and not having the same bite that others have had. As such, I kind of felt it was a wasted character for me, and could have been an added character bonus and story plot for whatever the plans for this series are. Not utilizing this actor to the mix... was a wasted opportunity.

The Decepticons: The antagonist robots have got some more flare and sass than a few of the other portrayals, but something that still blows my mind is that the studio struggles to maximize on some of the heavy hitters the show once had . Don't get me wrong, the two in this film were still deadly rivals for Bee to fight, but they just lacked depth, and investment again when once more they had the potential to start out on the right foot. Perhaps if there had been more Cybertron, or they had chosen a historical legend to be the main head this would have helped this area, but for now the record of still choosing some nameless borgs rings true ad they need to get a better handle for the next movie.

The VERDICT:

Okay, the cinematic Transformers is still not perfect, but this movie is definitely a fun installment that greatly improved on the weaknesses the original 5 were holding. With greater character development, a wonderful relationship investment, comedy that worked with the story, and action that was miles better given they used better camera work and coordination, this series could finally get the upgrade it needed. However, the film still needs to find some investment into the other characters for me, and choose the route it wants to take from here as either reboot (my preferred option) or continuation, as this will help make up for a few details and choices that didn't quite work for me. One thing for certain though is this: the balance of story, character development, and action was miles above the Bay quintology, and proves that special effects is not the answer to Transformers. Definitely worth a trip to theater for the special effects though. My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi: 8.0-8.5 Movie Overall: 7.0-7.5
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2/10
Cloying, clichéd and bumbling
hjemmefra13 January 2019
If you just love cute kittens-videos, watch Disney Channel, like alot,have not seen many movies nor read many books and are around 10 years old-, you might think this movie AWESOME!!!
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