Movie Review: Bumblebee
Movie Review: Bumblebee
I went to see Bumblebee on Christmas Day and it was pretty much the worst decision I could have made that day. Which is saying a lot come holiday time. I can’t believe I’m about to type these words. I liked Aquaman better than Bumblebee.
I can’t believe that I just typed that.
After all those trash Michael Bay films. All those explosions. I thought perhaps as an audience we were ready for a film about what makes the Transformers great. Characters. But they kept that from us. This whole film was like a flashback sequence.
I get that it was Bumblebee’s origin story, I totally get that. But they fucked it up. First of all, Bee isn’t a god damned mute, How the heck do you pull off an empathetic connection to a giant deadly robot when he can’t friggen talk?! He’s not Wall-E! He’s not cutesy.
Bumblebee was sarcastic, scrappy, loads of attitude. The underdog. But he was also part of a team. They gutted his voice, his memory, his team, within the first act of the film. I get this is setting up a potential reboot of the franchise. Go back to the fucking source material, the shows, the comics.
It would have made more sense to have more scenes on Cybertron, accurate scenes. Like the Autobots and Decepticons coexisted until the Decepticons affected a coup. There was such an opportunity here, to anthropomorphize the Transformers and pull people in. A wasted opportunity.
Would have made way more sense to have Bee lose his voice in the second or third act. Again we would have felt a sense of empathy for the character. This film catered too much to what the studio wanted, and not enough to what the source material demands.
As well Bee’s name in the source material was always Bumblebee. Not B-1947573 or whatever the fuck they used in the film. It’s one thing to use the power of retroactive continuity to fix an issue in the universe and another to just make a cutesy scene where Bee is named by the human counterpart.
The whole thing just ruined my childhood more than Michael Bay did. Oh well. Thankfully I didn’t pay for the ticket. Who knows, maybe next time we’ll go deeper into the lore of Cybertron, deeper into the characters, the team, the ensemble. That’s where Transformers really sings and hits it’s grace notes.
This is a similar level of disappointment to the first of the Disney Star Wars Movies. It just polished off the same hero’s journey we saw in Episode IV and didn’t add any depth to it. It played safe, played to the studio’s whims. And yes it made money. But that isn’t a formula to rehash. That was a fluke. As well as releasing Bumblebee around Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman, and Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse was a mistake.