The “Transformers” series has long since run out of steam. Still get it BUMBLEBEE one of the most famous car robots has its own spin-off. We reveal in our review why this is so different from the Michael Bay escapades and why the film is one of the most entertaining of the year.
The Plot Summary
In 1987, the mysterious mechanical creature Bumblebee (originally voiced by Dylan O’Brien) in the form of an old VW Beetle is hiding in the junkyard of a small Californian coastal town from the evil Decepticons of the almost completely destroyed planet Cybertron. Shortly before her 18th birthday and looking for her place in life, the rebellious Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) finds the broken and battle-weakened robot, without knowing what is really hidden behind the bright yellow car. With mechanical skill and a lot of patience, she begins to repair it and quickly learns that this is not just an old scrap mill. When Bumblebee comes back to life, an unusual friendship develops between him and Charlie, which the neighbor boy Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) quickly gets wind of. When his enemies become aware of him, the two teenagers decide to help their motorized friend…
Movie explanation of the ending
The “Transformers” series is probably one of the most controversial blockbuster franchises ever, as there are only two opinions when it comes to the roaring robot action battles: for some it is the ultimate in modern (brain-off) popcorn entertainment, for the others are just clumsy CGI noise from the material butcher Michael Bay, who specializes primarily in riots, stunts and explosions (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”) basest instincts satisfied; clumsy product placement and the permanent sexualization of the female characters included. Now the fans of the series seem to be slowly dwindling. Viewer numbers had been declining since the fourth part, “Era of Extinction,” and part five, “The Last Knight,” ended the franchise at an all-time low. And although we are among the very few who were particularly impressed by the last two films, as Michael Bay finally played by his own rules of directing and storytelling, Bay’s decision to turn his back on his car robots made perfect sense. Nevertheless, it continues! With “Bumblebee”, “Kubo” director Travis Knight has taken on the idea of a spin-off that takes place almost thirty years before the events of “Transformers” and, as the title suggests, primarily tells the story of the yellow tin monster of the same name. And he does it in such an intimate way that you can only feel the Bay DNA (the filmmaker only appears as a producer here) in isolated cases. First and foremost, “Bumblebee” is a nostalgia trip that breathes the air of eighties adventure films and is simply about how a young woman and a robot become friends.
The interaction between Hailee Steinfeld and Bumblebee seems real every second.
The “Transformers” saga was originally based on the action figures of the same name from the toy giant Hasbro. After the worldwide theatrical release of “Bumblebee”, they will benefit more than ever from the fact that there is always the right collector’s item to buy alongside the screen tin cans, because never before have people felt the need to be more interested in watching a “Transformers” film to bring such a playmate into the house. Although the towering protagonists of the first five films were always “human” to a certain extent, “Bumblebee” now shows what a difference it makes when the technical focus is not on fitting as many Transformers as possible into a single scene. Instead, the effects specialists choose quality over quantity here and concentrate entirely on Bumblebee, whose facial expressions have never seemed more real than they do now in his own spin-off. Noticeably more attention was paid to the design of the torso, limbs and such simple details as peeling paint than in previous films. No wonder: Bumblebee is one of many Transformers dem Protagonists on which, alongside Hailee Steinfeld (“Pitch Perfect 2”), also the greatest focus. And when the young actress then interacts absolutely authentically with this huge, initially shy and later increasingly outgoing creature, there is no longer any doubt for almost two hours that this Bumblebee really exists.
To show how different “Bumblebee” is from the escapism with which the “Transformers” films have made friends and enemies alike, one look at the finale is basically enough. Of course, who is fighting against whom and how the fight ends cannot be revealed at this point, the only important thing is how many characters are involved: where entire hordes of robot creatures used to cavort in a final battle, the crashing final battle in ” Bumblebee” only involved two Transformers. And cameraman Enrique Chediak catches it (“Deepwater Horizon”) then so clearly and with the help of as few cuts as possible that for the first time in a long time you get the opportunity to really enjoy a robot fight like this. At the same time, the fact that it has to rumble so violently at the end is also one of the few weak points of “Bumblebee” – if you’re honest, the film would have worked a lot better without the conventional use of antagonists. Whenever the script (Christina Hodson, “Shut In”) the story about the Bumblebee-hunting Decepticons Dropkick and Shatter advances, the film stalls. It’s simply much more exciting, amusing and emotional to watch how Charlie, who has felt lonely and abandoned since her father’s death, gradually becomes a real daredevil.
John Cena takes on the Decepticons Dropkick and Shatter as Agent Burns.
With her unaffected charisma, Hailee Steinfeld proves to be the ideal choice for the role of Charlie. She doesn’t just master the few and therefore well-dosed action scenes with flying colors (even if “Bumblebee” doesn’t exactly win a subtlety award when it comes to foreshadowing, keyword: diving). Steinfeld also demonstrates remarkable comedic timing and is also really captivating in the emotional moments between her and the bumbling Bumblebee. Unlike in the “Transformers” films, the duo of screenwriter and director is not just about stringing together chronologically spectacular action set pieces. “Bumblebee” scores above all with a classic “two unlike beings become friends” plot, which is full of cross-references to “ET” (Steven Spielberg’s producer influence is clearly noticeable here several times), “Herbie” or other stories from the brand “Elliot the Dragon” throws around. Of course, none of this is original in the sense of “never seen before”. “Bumblebee” is primarily a predictable film in which the danger is limited, so that nothing stands in the way of a family outing even with very young viewers. But at the same time, those responsible never make a secret of their love for 80s nostalgia, which the soundtrack, peppered with lots of 80s evergreens, also underlines on an acoustic level. But the creators don’t just throw it around; For example, Bumblebee learns how to communicate with his driver using carefully chosen lyrics. This is one of an infinite number of fundamentally likeable ideas that turn “Bumblebee” into an entertaining, harmless, loving and sincere pleasure with heart and soul – and here we have comedy grenade John Cena (“The Sex Pact”) hasn’t even started yet, where – even in the truest sense of the word – every shot is a hit.
Conclusion: “Bumblebee” has almost nothing to do with the soulless material battles of the “Transformers” series and is instead an enchanting adventure full of humor and emotion, which is noticeably reminiscent of “ET” and other comparable films, but is never carelessly quoted. but rather passionately celebrates the charm of such family films.
“Bumblebee” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from December 20th – also in strong 3D!