Bumblebee

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Bumblebee
"Here comes E.T: The Reboot, disguised as a rom-com."

Out in the gutter space of Michael Bay’s mind where robots rule and Transformers are conceived there’s a war going on. Optimus Prime, the head honcho of Cyberton, thinks the time might be right to find a safer home base. He chooses Earth because it’s half hidden by growing green stuff (don’t ask how or why) and so sends a couple of trusted bots to check it out.

Also in situ is a VW Beetle that can do the Trans party trick of turning into a superbot, or a fast car for those speed freaked homo sappies who run the show. Thankfully this little guy who drives the machine is different. He’s not a natural fighter. He likes to hide in the junkyard, California, 1987, where an old bloke who collects wrecks fixes up the VW and brings it over to his garage where his teenage granddaughter Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) falls in love with it and makes it work and then loves the robot who lives inside. She calls them Bumblebee.

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Here comes E.T: The Reboot, disguised as a rom-com. Charlie and Bumblebee have something going that means a lot in this place where machines matter and softer emotions have always been a kiss away from a punch in the head, Steinfeld attacks the conflicts and contradictions with courage. She’s not afraid of looking like an idiot in Bumblebee’s embrace.

When things get heavy and Optimus Prime turns up and there’s little shelter for sweet sanity, Charley has family probs to deal with and Bumblebee hits the road. To Bay or not to Bay that is the question. Will the concept of Transviolence outshout the delicate moves of the little car on the deserted highway?

Charley’s personality which is strong without being obtrusive completes the circle. Bumblebee is made in the Spielberg style, a mixture of sentimentality, big eyes and a character that finds its own dimension which is warmer and less demanding than you might expect.

Reviewed on: 17 Dec 2018
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Bumblebee packshot
A transforming VW and a teenager strike up a friendship and try to save Earth.

Director: Travis Knight

Writer: Christina Hodson, Christina Hodson

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Dylan O'Brien, Megyn Price, John Cena, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett, Pamela Adlon, Grey Griffin, Peter Cullen, Marcella Bragio, Kenneth Choi, Gracie Dzienny, John Ortiz, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Steve Blum

Year: 2018

Runtime: 113 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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