The old-school flavor of Bumblebee’s robots-meet-humans plot is a refreshing throwback to family-adventure yarns of the 80s and 90s, where a bunch of kids/teenagers (sometimes with adults in tow) come across something fantastical with which they form an emotional bond and experience an adventure of a lifetime a la E.T., The Neverending Story, The Goonies, Jumanji, and Back to the Future among others.
However, Director Travis Knight is also cognizant enough to mix all the charming nostalgia with just the right dose of modern-day, CGI-fueled, slick action to appeal to today’s viewers while also offering them a good lesson in how to serve up an action film that’s as heartwarming and ebullient as it’s exciting and adrenaline-pumping, something sorely missing in action films aimed at families nowadays (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle being one of the exceptions), more so those belonging to the Transformers franchise, barring the first big-screen, live-action adaptation in 2007.
The scenes between B-127 aka Bumblebee and Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) are truly touching along with being a whole lot of fun, in no small part due to Steinfeld’s spot-on expressions and the robot’s kindly disposition, hitherto unachieved in any Transformers film. The latter though, also has a lot to do in way of kicking some nasty-robot butt, thus appealing to viewers of all ages.
Bumblebee may not be among the best family-friendly action films out there nor does it break new ground (John Cena also feels wasted), but a lovely combination of nostalgic charm, heartfelt emotions, glitzy VFX, and smash-em-sock-em action makes it a wonderful trip to a cinema hall for the entire family.
Movified Rating: 3.5/5