Monday, April 15, 2019


Look at that, a Transformers movie that doesn't completely suck. While throwing caution to the wind and creating plenty of continuity errors with the current Transformers movie franchise, Bumblebee is a mix of old school Transformers and the suckage known as the Michael Bay films that forces a human story into the center of each film. Easily the best of the franchise, that's still not saying all that much. Still, for what it is, Bumblebee provides some fun.

Opening on Cybertron, the story shoehorns in several fan-favorite cameos, while explaining Bumblebee's arrival on Earth and the loss of his voice. Taking place before the events of the first Bay Transformers movie, Bumblebee is centered around a tomboy named Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) who discovers her clunker of a VW Bug is actually a robot from space. Sent to Earth to prepare it for the Autobots arrival (something he actually doesn't do), Bumblebee is followed by Decepticons searching for Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and the rest of the Autobots. The film also throws in John Cena as a soldier in a secret government organization conned by the Decepticons into locating their prey.

The human story goes through the basic beats of adolescence (with a giant transforming robot thrown in) and the distrustful agent who finally sees the error of his ways. And, sigh, the film continues the trend of "funny" sequences involving giant robots acting goofy in public (and no one noticing). Along with returning some of the original G1 look to the Transformers, director Travis Knight's film also spends time making Bumblebee a character more than a special effect (unfortunately, this is something you can't really say about any of the other giant robots in the film).

Available on Blu-ray, DVD< and 4K, extras include deleted scenes, outtakes, an exclusive comic book, and featurettes on the secret agency Sector 7, Bumblebee, Hailee Steinfeld, the return to (mostly) the original G1 designs, production design, and a look at the Transformers involved in the opening battle sequence.

[Paramount, DVD $29.98 / Blu-ray $22.96 / 4K $26.85]

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