Editorials

The Highs & Lows of ‘Bumblebee’

Welcome back as always to highs and lows. Here you will find the opinions of us here at  Apocaflix! Movies of a movie we have recently scene. In the article you will find what we think to be the highs and lows” of the movie. As always the article is SPOILER FILLED, so if you haven’t seen the movie, this is your last chance to avoid any spoilers about the movie.

Recently we checked out Bumblebee, the prequel and some may even say soft reboot to the Transformers franchise originally started by Michael Bay in 2007. While the franchise was a game changer in the beginning, it left many fans not enjoying the outlandish stories as well as a declining cast. However the demand for Transformers never slowed down, many just wanted a fresh take on the franchise. Enter 2018 and we now have our first Transformers movie not directed by Michael Bay, this time directed by Travis Knight. This movie revolves around the story of the beloved Transformer Bumblebee as he is sent to Earth to escape the war on Cybertron. When he lands on Earth it is 1987, and he is trying to hide from the Decepticons. He is found in a junk yard by a young girl named Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld). Together the two quickly become friends, but must avoid the 2 Decepticons hunting for him, Shatter (Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (Justin Theroux) as well as the US Government lead by Agent Burns (John Cena). So now that we have refreshed your memory, lets get to our Highs & Lows!


High: Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee

In this movie we saw something different from all the other Transformers movies, a female lead. While Shia Labeouf did a great job, he was never really anything with out his supermodel looking female co star. In this movie Hailee Steinfeld took the reins as the lead and never looked back. While she did have a male co-star in  Jorge Lendeborg Jr.  who played the weirdly named Memo, he was never really a love interest. She held her own as the strong female lead through out the whole movie.

Another bright spot from her performance was her relationship with Bumblebee. When she started out, her character Charlie was going through the loss of her dad and she really made you feel her emotions. Then when she meets Bumblebee, you see her character become happy and develop almost a new completely new personality. You felt a real relationship between her and Bumblebee. I am willing to even say that her relationship with Bumblebee was better than Bumblebee’s and Sam Witwicky. Overall her performance in the movie was fantastic. She played the perfect angsty 80’s teenager that you see in a lot of classic movies.


Low: Lack of Cybertron

Decepticons in Bumblebee

A lot of people were excited to see in the trailers that we were going to finally get to see the Battle for Cybertron. This was something that none of the previous Transformers movies delivered. We even saw classic fan favorite characters like Shockwave/Soundwave, Ratchet, Wheeljack and Cliffjumper. So when we finally see the the Battle for Cybertron, what did we get? Basically everything that we had already seen in the trailers. We basically see that the Decepticons have invaded the city and are pushing the Autobots out of Cybertron in order to take over. In order to keep their hopes alive they all scramble to a giant tower and use escape pods to flee.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed what we got from the scenes, but it left me really wanting more of Cybertron. I understand that the movie isn’t about that battle, its about Bumblebee and his actions after the battle, but it looked absolutely stunning on the big screen seeing these machines fly through the city shooting each other, blowing up and beating the you know what out of each other. Not to mention when Optimus Prime shows up and starts kicking butt, it really makes things better! But again as cool as it was, it left me wanting more from that specific scene as it was honestly one of the best parts of the movie, if not the best action scene. So hopefully we will get to revisit that battle because it was definitely one of the bright spots if only it was a little longer.


High: A Focused & Controlled Story

Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee

One thing that a lot of the Transformers movies did wrong was try to cram so much into the movie that it left you going, wait what? The first Transformers did a great job explaining the story but the movies that followed, I’m looking at you Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, left you scratching your head trying to understand what was going on. In Bumblebee you never were confused with what was goin on in the story. They kept the story simple without doing too much or trying to cram stuff into the movie.  The movie was easy to follow and never strayed off the path to tell a different story. It stuck to one story and one story only, the story of Bumblebee and Charlie.

The writers clearly wanted to make sure you understood the story of Bumblebee and Charlie and the friendship the two built together and the bond made between them. You were never wondering what was going on somewhere else and you weren’t distracted by a love story at the same time. There was no love story between two human characters. It is refreshing to see a movie where two characters can just be friends in the movie and still have the kind of relationship we got from Charlie and Memo because as we said, the story was always about Charlie and Bumblebee and that’s why the ending was so much more meaningful and heart wrenching. It was written perfectly.


Low: John Cena

John Cena in Bumblebee

Now this one I am a little bit torn on. Part of me feels that he doesn’t deserve to be a low and the other part of me feels he definitely does. So lets start do things off with why he deserved to be a Low. His acting in the movie is little over the top. I think that he definitely got excited with the idea of playing a rough neck military agent but unfortunately I feel like he took it a little to far. Whenever he spoke it didn’t really seem believable that he knew what he was saying or that he was this military agent that was charged with taking down Bumblebee. The biggest problem for me just that he wasn’t believable as this character. Another thing was his dialogue in the movie was absolutely atrocious. His character was supposed to be this serious badass but a lot of the times the things he said left you rolling your eyes. Especially at the end of the movie when he speaks and salutes to Bumblebee.

On the side of the coin, a lot of it might not have been his fault. As I said, a lot of the worst things he did was due to the dialogue he has for the movie. So technically that would fall on the fault of the writers for his character. If he was given better dialogue, maybe he would have been a little better of a character in the movie. There were parts of the movie that I did enjoy from him. Whenever he was in the midst of a battle or in the beginning when he is leading his troops against Bumblebee vs. Blitzwing, him commanding the troops was great. It was just anytime he had one on one conversations and his cheesy dialogue. But as I said, this Low could go either way.


High: Classic 80’s Movie Feel

Bumblebee

As we said earlier Bumblebee is set in 1987 at one of the heights of pop culture. The 80’s gave us many great things especially when it came to movies  The influence of the 80’s is clearly felt through out the movie. We see classic 80’s pop culture references like when Bumblebee punches his fist into the air reminiscent of the final scene in The Breakfast Club or we see that Charlie’s mom drives the same style station wagon that Clark Griswald drives in National Lampoon’s Vacation, down to the exact same colors. Or even simple things like when Charlie comes home and see’s her family all sitting down in front of the TV eating TV dinners and watching Alf. Everywhere you looked you got 80’s nostalgia in the movie and for adults who maybe were taking their kids, its kind of a cool little flashback to the 80’s.

Another thing that was noticeable was the influence of Steven Spielberg and his executive producer role that he had in the movie. Spielberg was a dominating force in the 80’s with movies like Indiana JonesThe Color Purpleand of course E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. If you have seen E.T., you will notice that there are a lot of similarities between the two movies, except that this one is about a girl and an alien car. Although there is clearly differences between the two movies, it still gives you that heart warming 80’s feel movie that makes you fall in love with the characters and you can bet that Steven Spielberg had a hand in making that happen.


Conclusion

If you have ever enjoyed the Transformers franchise and given up on it or maybe you grew up with the toys, give Bumblebee a chance. The movie is fantastic and an amazing change from the original Transformers franchise. I would go as far as saying that this movie is the best of all the Transformers movies that have been made. It hits so many check marks on what makes a good movie that I even had a hard time coming up with Lows for this post. If you thought that you were done with the Transformers movies this movie is going to put you right back into the fold of them and leave you wanting more.

So what do you think movie lovers? What did you think about Bumblebee? Did you enjoy it or did you hate it? Do you agree with our highs and lows, or did we leave something out? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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