Bumblebee [2018] ★★½

Forgive me readers for I have sinned: I enjoyed a “Transformers” movie for the first time since 2007’s entertaining film starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox (feels like a long time ago now). We had 4 sequels since then, and they all sucked. So, what’s so different now? I’d say “Bumblebee” wisely turns back the clock to a time when “Transformers” were at their peak in the mid-80’s. That, and a coherent story, made this “prequel” flow smoothly. So yes, the year is 1987 and Hailee Steinfeld is likable as a young outcast in a small Californian beach town. She listens to The Smiths and fantasizes about owning a car. That is until she discovers Bumblebee, your friendly Autobot who is on the run from big bad Decepticons. Nothing revolutionary here. But it’s the way director Travis Knight handles this story that makes this movie stand out from other installments. Michael Bay approached the sequels with a theory that “bigger and louder” is always better. I beg to differ. “Bumblebee” takes it precious time fleshing out all the characters before the action truly kicks-in. It gives the audience a chance to root for all these characters and that’s something that was missing from all the Micheal Bay sequels. That’s not to say that the movie is flawless. The climax is fun but can be hectic at times. It’s the getting there that makes it entertaining enough for me to recommend. So what if I hate myself for having a good time? “Bumblebee” is a step in the right direction for the “Transformers” series. For the love of Autobots, don’t let Michael Bay near this series ever again.

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