Posted Dec 15 2018

BumbleBee - This Girl With A Robot Movie Does Not Rock

Dir: Travis Knight

Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Jon Cena, Some Transformers, Dylan O'Brien, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett

Is saying this is one of the better Transformers movies damning with faint praise?

Well, yes it is (but the bar has never been too high) and yes it is!

Travis Knight steps into the impossibly large and undoubtedly hand-tooled cowboy boots of Michael Bay, presumably to scale down the on-going Autobot-Decepticon battle – but opts to start with just that – an all out war on planet Cybertron. This has the desired effect of forcing fan fave Bumblebee into exile on Earth, here to find a safe haven for Optimus Prime and co to eventually follow. (As we know they do from the other movies.)

BumbleBee lands in 1987, turns himself into a yellow Volkswagon beetle and spins around to a soundtrack from the likes of Tears For Fears, Simple Minds and The Smiths. Hailee Steinfeld is as impressive as ever, bringing a stronger game to a Transformer movie than we usually see – she being the troubled teen listening to The Smiths, and desperate for a car who happens upon ‘Bee and revitalises him.

All of which is quite pleasant, all of which is a little bit Iron Giant (though nowhere near the same class of that movie) and all of which eventually descends into the usual final act of CGI mayhem and noise, heading to a climax that sees ‘bot on ‘bot carnage interspersed with Hailee climbing a crane that is so stultifyingly dull that you wish it would end – generally around 20 minutes or so before it does.

So, the Transformers franchise attempts to make a different kind of movie. But ends up making more or less the same movie. Again.

Somebody please take their batteries out and put them back in the cupboard. At the back of the cupboard.


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