Bumblebee is easily the most well made Transformers movie. It is calm, it isn’t jingoistic and not at all misogynistic. For a Michael Bay ruined franchise like Transformers, achieving these three things itself is a historic feat. Bumblebee is a spin-off and it is almost equivalent to what Rogue one was to the Star Wars franchise. Bumblebee may not be a classic, but it is definitely one movie Michael Bay should watch to become a moviemaker rather than a blockbuster maker.

So the story this time is about how Bumblebee ended up in Earth. The attacks on Cyberton force the autobots to retrieve from there and Optimus Prime asks Bumblebee to go to this planet called Earth to build a base. The movie is basically about Bee’s intro to earth and his new friend Charlie Watson. How Bee survives the Decepticons’ attack and manages to fulfill his duty is what the film all about.

If you have seen Disney’s Herbie movies, especially the 2005 version, chances of you finding Bumblebee as a mix of Transformers elements and Herbie are high. But then that’s also a good thing. That similarity helps the movie in having a sensitive and sensible story that has importance for characters rather than a pile of chaotic action sequences. The very fact that the amount of catastrophe we see on screen is nowhere near what Michael Bay used to infuse, itself is a humongous relief. If Herbie was an essentially children’s film, Bumblebee is an updated version of that kind of a story which can please the adult as well.

Hailee Steinfeld has got a character that perhaps gets the most amount of screen time in the entire franchise.  Charlie Watson has a personal crisis and layers of conflicts which makes her a character towards whom you will feel affection and the actress manages to perform the character very neatly. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. doesn’t have too much to do here, but his small comical hiccups generated genuine humor on screen. John Cena is pretty much there for the posters.


Travis Knight has totally understood why Transformers never really got a wide acceptance and he purposefully eliminated most of the things that made Transformers franchise a noise pollution agent. Firstly there are characters here with purpose and conflict. Charlie’s problem isn’t the lack of a macho boyfriend and the missing she feels in the movie gets a solution through the whole story. Women are not objectified here and in fact, the movie at times explores the emotions of the leading lady. The fights have a sense of relevance. The editing gives you a sense of the space and continuity isn’t lost in the process. The inherent nature of the franchise limits the movie from reinterpreting stuff. I loved that sequence where a scientist fellow gets a technology orgasm seeing the Decepticons make use of the human satellites. I sort of hoped for more such scenes.

Bumblebee was really easy and fun to watch. It isn’t overly flashy and ridiculously clumsy like the other movies in the franchise. The humor is in sync with the story and asI said earlier, there IS a story. It is the best film to come out from a franchise that never cared about the viewer.

Rating: 3/5

Final Thoughts

Bumblebee is the best film to come out from a franchise that never cared about the viewer.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.