Bumblebee surrounds the Autobot, Bumblebee, as he crash lands on earth and camouflages as a Volkswagen. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) finds this yellow, beaten Volkswagen on her 18th birthday and finds that it’s not the car she thought it was.
Bumblebee is hands down the best Transformers film. I am not a fan of the Transformers films at all, I stopped watching them after the one that has Patrick Dempsey and I have no desire to see any of the Mark Wahlberg ones. Hailee Steinfeld is amazing here and her relationship with Bumblebee is what makes the movie. The story is reminiscent of a girl and her dog and has several of the same beats as E.T.
Hailee Steinfeld gives a great performance as Charlie, a troubled teen still reeling from the loss of her father. You can tell that both Charlie and Bumblebee both need each other. Bumblebee is the first real connection Charlie has since her father has died and Charlie teaches Bumblebee about humanity. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. also gives a good performance as Charlie’s friend, Memo, who gave some nice comic relief and had great chemistry with Steinfeld.
The humor didn’t always land, especially with John Cena and the doctor. I also felt that unlike the other Transformers films, the human element worked really well here and the robot fighting didn’t. The film also hits you over the head with the 80s. It seemed like every couple of minutes, a new 80s song was playing in the background. The villains voiced by Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux were also pretty one note.
But unlike other Transformers film, this one is not directed by Michael Bay. The film is more akin to the 80s cartoon and director, Travis Knight, brings some refreshment to the franchise, even though the story is similar to many others seen before.
I give Bumblebee a B+