The Transformer franchise has certainly torpedo’ed itself into the audience not being excited to see another film with these robots. With this film Paramount brings in Travis Knight who did ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ to create a character driven story about one of the Autobots — Bumblebee. Hailee Steinfield does a great job as the lead character Charlie. The personal story that they put into focus about Charlie’s family situation after losing her father. The core focus of the film is how she copes and moves on with the loss in family and move forward.
The story for Bumblebee the autobot is his strive for survival for going to Earth after the Deceptions take over Cybertron. The Cybertron sequence is one of the best of the whole franchise. It finally shows their homeworld than just mention it in a casual conversation several times. The CGI is quite good in this sequence as well, one of the best selling points of the movie. I did appreciate that they gave him a voice with Dylan O’Brien for the first part of the film. I wished that he could have gotten back the voice at the end but it still felt like the film was trying to stay in continuity with the other films. Though thankfully the film sets clear it is a reboot of the franchise.
They literally call themselves Decepticons. That doesn’t set off any red flags?
My only negatives of the film is that it did feel a little small in scope, but in contrast it helps the brand of ‘Transformers’ to go small. The film also borrows a lot from ‘E.T.’ and ‘The Iron Giant’. Though there are a lot of similarities to those films it didn’t detract too much from the film from being enjoyable. Though it makes it more predictable — the actors, director and production design help lower your guard into the nostalgia for the pleasant ride. Angela Bassett made for a great villain with her voice work.
I’m glad that this story had a solid arc that wasn’t trying to set up 15 million other movies and sub franchise. Paramount has finally gotten a strong handle of this franchise to make it something audiences want to see more of than distaste. I hope that they take this smaller approach and keep away from being like the Michael Bay films. They don’t have to have the same humans in every chapter but an overall story would be nice so it didn’t feel disjoined or chaotic.