'Bumblebee'—The Only B(ee) That's Worth an A+
Film Review (Rating 4.5/5 and Totally Underrated!)
Do you love rocking out to the Smiths, Bon Jovi and other 80s musical icons? Do you remember being an angsty teen rebelliously adventuring for your freedom and true place in the world? Are you looking for a heartwarming story about true friendship helping with the stages of grieving? Or are you just like me and love thrilling actions scenes with suspense so intense you'll hang on the edge of your seat? Honestly, people in these categories, in addition to everyone else, will love the new Transformers movie, Bumblebee. It's the story of, you guessed it, our favourite yellow Autobot as he fleas to Earth to protect his people from the robot war on his home planet. His mission becomes complicated when he becomes the target of not only the Decepticons but also Special Military Services Officer Burns, John Cena!
However, hope is found when teenage car-junkie, Charlie, befriends Bumblebee, fixes his damaged database and, with the help of friends, leads him to victory. Here are the highs, lows and all the-behind-the-scene factors that contributed to this glorious journey.
Let's start with the elephant in the room, the night and day difference of reactions this Transformers movie received compared to those directed by Michael Bay. I'm too young to remember what was so bad about the first five Transformer movies—why everyone still seems to criticize Bay's work today. Whatever I missed however, seems like it gave Travis Knight and other creators of Bumblebee an infamous reputation they needed to boldly overcome and believe me they did. Punny lines and relatable characters boost the already sweet story.
Might I add that this is an especially impressive feat considering the cast list. It’s pleasantly composed of developing actors who dare I say are currently breaking into the spotlight. Breaking in most impressively were Gracie Dzienny (the mean girl character who's actually super nice in her Youtube skits) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (the nerd character with the ROCKING afro). Then of course there was John Cena, who I love seeing branch out from fighting films into broader acting roles and who’s sassy lines are still my favourite from the whole movie. For the record, after seeing him branch out in movies and skits lately, I’m interested in seeing him pull off a rom-com role! But back to the movie, I think the excellent performances of these three up-and-coming stars should not to be forgotten in light of the emotional talent that star Hailee Steinfeld, incredible as always, brought to this film. The relatable, raw, realistic ideal of a hero that she portrays for teenagers like me was definitely the highlight of this film though. I mean the fact that Charlie saved the world, not by being some flawless glam-girl, but through her normal, angsty, rebellious, cunning, independent ways that left me feeling invincible after this movie. I finally feel like normal teens can be heroes too and for that, I will remember her character for years to come.
In terms of cinematography, I noticed a few creative angles and literary devices although not many. I was touched by the parallelism between the scenes of Charlie diving for her dad at the beginning versus to save Bumblebee at the end. It symbolized her diving into the unknown and showed how one’s love for a friend can help individuals out-step their comfort zone and the fears holding them back. Other than that there weren’t really any deep messages other than the same basic level you would find in any other movie. That’s okay considering the original Transformers wasn’t meant to be deeply analyzed or viewed for anything more than fighting scenes. Based on those, it makes sense that this movie would also focus on action CGI graphics rather than symbolism. Especially, when the Bumblebee plot itself is already such an emotional tear-jerker. So overall no harm is done by this movie's sacrifice of strategic symbols for the thrill of more action scenes. And to be fair, their action scenes are excellently timed which makes up for any lack of deep messages.
All in all, Bumblebee is worth your time no matter who you are because it has sass, comedy, emotion and great tunes to appeal to all audiences. It’s an easy watch during your free time and is only the start for some of the world’s quickly rising actors and actresses.