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Bumblebee Review: Getting the Transformers Franchise Back on Track

by Brandon Russell | December 11, 2018December 11, 2018 3:30 pm EST

Back in 2007, Michael Bay’s helped Transformers become a worldwide phenomenon, with his first two live-action movies grabbing a combined $700 million at the worldwide box office. Then Bay released three more films in the same universe, with the latter two acting as a soft reboot for the franchise. Needless to say, it was time for someone else to take over.

Bumblebee is itself a reboot, stripping away the bloat that became a staple of Bay’s movies. Instead, Bumblebee focuses on the characters, rather than the spectacle. What audiences get is a character-driven, action-packed throwback that reinvigorates the franchise in a major way.

At long last, you can feel good about going to see a Transformers movie again. As of this writing, Bumblebee has a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a major jump in quality over previous entries. Transformers: The Last Knight, which came out in 2017, has a measly 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.

While the movie doesn’t come out until December 21, the reviews are already out, with many critics saying Bumblebee is a fun and wondrous entry into a franchise that very much deserves to be adored by audiences around the world.

IT’S FUN AND FUNNY

“Bumblebee, for its part, has just enough wit, playfulness and charm to develop a voice of its own, which is no small thing in the context of a flashy, lunkheaded studio franchise.” Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times [Read]

“Brimming with fun and charming scenes, a compelling story, and a great hero in Hailee Steinfeld, Bumblebee is a joyride of a film. Way more than meets the eye.” Caillou Pettis, Starburst [Read]

“Bumblebee redeems and reinvigorates the Transformers live-action film franchise with some heartfelt fun…the best live-action Transformers movie since the 2007 film.” Jim Vejvoda, IGN [Read]

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IT’S A NOSTALGIA TRIP

“Bumblebee is the live-action Transformers movie we all wanted in the ‘80s.” Fred Topel, We Live Entertainment [Read]

“Bumblebee is basically the movie that fans of the 1980s animated series wanted all along.” Peter Debruge, Variety [Read]

“It’s an effective reimagining that also bears a knowing resemblance to classic youth-oriented films from Bumblebee executive producer Steven Spielberg.” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter [Read]

“Knight’s plot lifts—E.T., The Iron Giant—are transparent, but at least he lifts from the best and makes warm work of the job.” Kevin Harley, Total Film [Read]

IT HAS HEART

“It has lots of good action, cool robots in disguise, and a dynamite opening to scratch the itch for Transformers. But it also has an ample amount of heart to make the story accessible.” Germain Lussier, io9 [Read]

“The movie succeeds where all of Bay’s films failed because, despite being a story centered on battling robots, Bumblebee never loses sight of its humanity.” Chelsea Steiner, The Mary Sue [Read]

“With a narrative on a decidedly smaller scale, a plot that’s entirely coherent, and a hefty dose of Warmth and heart, Bumblebee is a much-needed and richly-entertaining departure the Transformers franchise so desperately needed.” Doug Jamieson, The Jam Report [Read]

“Feels less like another Transformers film as we’ve come to know them than a live-action spin on the classic Ted Hughes-inspired animation The Iron Giant, slathered in John Hughes-esque coming-of-age trimmings.” Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph (UK) [Read]

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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