Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) and Bumblebee (voiced by Dylan O'Brien)
in a scene from "Bumblebee".
For years since its live-action debut back in 2007, the "Transformers" franchise has endured all the ups and downs before franchise mainstay Michael Bay finally ran it to the ground with last year's fifth instalment, "Transformers: The Last Knight".
1) It follows the "Transformers: Generation 1" animated series closely
Thankfully, the upcoming sixth instalment "Bumblebee" is set to course-correct the franchise in the right direction. The movie, which also serves as a soft reboot, would mark the first time ever for fans to get a prequel/spinoff live-action "Transformers" movie.
Perhaps fans would also be glad that Michael Bay only retains his role as a producer this time around, where the directing reign has been given to "Kubo And The Two Strings" helmer Travis Knight. If you have been following updates on many movie websites, reviews for "Bumblebee" has been encouraging to the point it was even called as "the best Transformers movie ever made".
Well, we have seen it and all we can say this is indeed the Transformers movie most of us have been hoping for.
In case you need a little convincing, here are the five reasons why you should catch "Bumblebee" on the big screen when it hits our local cinemas next week.
We will be finally getting a "Transformers" movie where Bumblebee
is a classic yellow Volkswagen Beetle!
Over the past 11 years, many die-hard fans have been complaining about Michael Bay making too many changes on their beloved "Transformers" robot appearances. But rest assured that Travis Knight, the CEO of Laika Entertainment who previously made his directorial debut in the Oscar-nominated stop-motion animated film, "Kubo And The Two Strings" (2016), apparently understands what fans really want. That means apart from finally being able to witness a live-action Bumblebee transforming into the iconic yellow Volkswagen Beetle we used to love back in our childhood era, the rest of the Autobots and Decepticons are also faithful to the robot design of the classic Generation 1 animated series.
2) No more shaky cam!
One of the chase sequences in "Bumblebee".
Let's face it, Michael Bay just loves to frame his action sequences as hyperactive as possible to the point of nauseating effects. This is particularly evident in his last 2017 outing, that dreaded little sequel otherwise known as "Transformers: The Last Knight". Even though that much-maligned fifth instalment has the privilege to be shot mostly on IMAX cameras, Bay's penchant for epilepsy-inducing camerawork and overreliance of tight close-ups made his movie almost unwatchable. Thankfully, "Bumblebee" isn't the case here. As a veteran animator himself, Travis Knight understands that no elaborate choreography and extensive use of CGI would mean a thing if the action itself is incomprehensible. Which is why you can breathe a sigh of relief that all the action sequences in "Bumblebee" are crisply shot and edited. The kind where you can actually see what's happening on the screen.
3) You get to witness some of the scenes set on Cybertron
Optimus Prime made a cameo appearance in "Bumblebee".
Although "Bumblebee" is mostly earthbound, fans will rejoice that Travis Knight also included an extended set-piece that takes place on Cybertron. That means we get to watch some of the war sequences between the Autobots and Decepticons battling against each other. Not to mention the Cybertron scene will feature some of the fan-favourite characters making their cameo appearances including Optimus Prime and Soundwave.
4) It sets in 1987... so get ready for plenty of nostalgia
Hailee Steinfeld and her classic 80s punk fashion in "Bumblebee".
The 80s nostalgia factor has been a rage these days, regardless of Hollywood movies or even TV series. Given the fact that "Bumblebee" is positioned as both spinoff and prequel to the 2007's "Transformers", it made sense that the movie takes place in the 80s. Besides, it was the same decade that launched the "Transformers: Generation 1" animated series back in the day. Which means in "Bumblebee", there will be lots of 80s pop culture and references ranging from the vintage fashion to the classic oldies from Steve Winwood, The Smiths and Tears for Fears.
5) The movie pays tribute to the classic Amblin-style picture
Hailee Steinfeld and Bumblebee in "Bumblebee".
In case you have no clue or forgot what "Amblin" is, this is the legendary production company spearheaded by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. They, of course, produced some of the beloved 80s classics such as "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial", "Gremlins", "The Goonies", "Back To The Future", just to name a few. Since Spielberg is also on board as one of the executive producers, "Bumblebee" will feature some of those familiar good old-fashioned filmmaking styles involving the emotional bonding between the human protagonist (in this case, Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie) and the alien robot-in-disguise (Bumblebee).
Cinema Online, 15 December 2018