Bumblebee: A Spoilerific And Very Late Review
2018's Bumblebee hit Hulu recently, so I thought I'd take the time to watch it. Mind you, I had no expectations. I've long since checked out of Michael Bay's series of Transformers films, as of the second installment to be exact, because they just aren't any good. However, something about the trailer to Bumblebee had me curious. That something was a very 1980's looking Soundwave during a very awesome looking battle.
It's this battle that the film kicks off with. Visually, it's stunning and nostalgic. All your favorite Autobots and Decepticons are there battling it out over the surface and in the air above Cyberton. All except for one very noticeable absentee - Megatron. Where is he? I'm afraid that question never gets answered as Bumblebee is very soon there after launched off to Earth.
He's told by Optimus Prime that Earth is the Autobot's only hope for survival, but that the Decepticons can't get there. It's this paper thin premise that the movie then shifts to a more budget friendly Earth scene...You know, like Masters of the Universe did.
Why did Bumblebee go alone? I don't know. Because the movie is named Bumblebee? That's the only explanation I can come up with.
On Earth, Bumblebee gets immediately attacked what appears to be the US military and then simultaneously by Starscream, who has followed him to the planet. Our hero is able to escape, but not before suffering major damages which cause him to loose the ability to speak, as well as, his core functions and memory.
Fast forward however long the movie's time advances and we meet Charlie Watson. She's a seventeen year old girl on the cusp of turning eighteen who's socially unaccepted by her peers and a jerk to her family who have tried to move on from the loss of her father. She's also a bit of a mechanic.
It's with her mechanic skills that Bumblebee gets worked back into the film. Charlie finds and obtains the beat up and "dead" Autobot in his bug mode at a junkyard. As one would expect, she's able to get the car running and soon learns that there's more than meets the eye.
From there, we meet Memo, yes, that's his stupid name. A bumbling, socially awkward teen who not only conveniently lives across the street from Charlie, but also works on the same boardwalk and wants to ask her out on a date. It's when he goes to ask, barging into her garage uninvited, that he too discovers Bumblebee.
What happens next, I still don't understand. The pair go to a cliffside "party", where we see "the jock" tell the whole crowd that Charlie used to be a diver. Said jock then challenges her to jump off the cliff with him and then he does. Charlie, however, doesn't. She walks away in shame, being humiliated by a group of girls on her way out. It's a pointless scene, which comes back around towards the end, but remains pointless even then.
The real threat comes when two Decepticons appear on Earth to find and destroy Bumblebee. However, this is a bit disappointing. We don't get two established characters. We get random male Decepticon with random female Decepticon. In other words, two throw away characters. They convince the government to let them use America's satellites to find Bumblebee and then of course betray them when they do.
Battle ensues, Bumblebee gets his memory back, defeats the two Decpticons in the long run, but ends up at the bottom of a flooded area in the process of the fight. Here is where things come full (pointless) circle. At the top of a tower, Charlie dives (very climatically) into the water and swims to the bottom to find Bumblebee who actually didn't need her help at all. They both just swim to the top and leave the scene. I still don't understand why so much emphasis was put on the girl being a high diver because it doesn't add or take anything away from the film. Bumblebee could have and should have just swam back to the top on his own. But nope. She has to dive! It was dumb.
The next day, the two say their goodbyes and Bumblebee rides off into the sunset with Optimus Prime...Wait....Optimus Prime? Where did he come from? Further, why did he let two Decepticons whoop on Bumblebee if he was there? Yet more questions that never get answered.
Overall, it wasn't a bad movie. It falters a bit under writing decisions that make no sense but recovers itself with others that are refreshing, such as how the boy doesn't necessarily get the girl at the end. They like each other, possibly still as friends, and they're not locking lips, making out in the street like so many other films end on.
Bumblebee also shines with its great choice of music throughout the movie. Apparently it's set in 1987, and because of this, it has a ton of great 80's music sprinkled in. However, you can't slip one past me in this regard. Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock's, "It Takes Two" does not belong in this film. It wasn't released until 1988. Nice try Hollywood, but you can't trip me up with my 80's music trivia. I'm nitpicking, but still, do your homework.
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