Well it took over a decade, but it looks like we’re finally getting the live-action Transformers movie we’ve always wanted.
The first Transformers movie not to be directed by Michael Bay, Bumblebee already looks like a sharp departure from the last five Transformers movies. No explosions, no ominous music, very little gunfire…and at long last, Transformers that actually look like their comic book counterparts.
One of the fundamentally off-putting aspects of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies has been the design of the Transformers themselves. While I’m not an ardent comic book loyalist and I do appreciate the how much CGI work goes into creating the Autobots and Decepticons, the sheer number of moving parts on each Transformer has made them incredibly uncomfortable to look at, particularly when it comes to their faces. There’s just too many things moving around to focus on what the character is doing and saying, which makes forging an emotional connection to said character a lot harder.
But from the trailer alone, Bumblebee’s new design fixes these problems. With simple yet surprisingly expressive armour plating, I already have a much greater sense of his emotions than I ever did in Michael Bay’s movies, which take place twenty years after Bumblebee. And while I’m sure this will raise some issues with the timeline, the truth is…I don’t care.
I’m not sure if that’s unprofessional or not, but the incredibly light-hearted feel of the trailer makes me think that Bumblebee will work just fine as a stand-alone movie rather than a prequel. The interactions between Bumblebee and the lead human character Charlie Watson (played by Hailee Steinfeld), so caring and loving—they share a hug, for Primus’ sake—feel more like they’ve come from The Iron Giant than a Transformers movie. While the trailer and plot synopsis hint at the film’s connection to the ongoing Autobot-Decepticon war, the heavy emphasis on the relationship between Bumblebee and Charlie is setting up a heart-warming, character-driven film that we’ve never seen from the Transformers franchise.
Bumblebee comes out on the 21st December, and I can’t wait.