Bumblebee May be the Best of the Transformers Franchise, but is it Any Good?

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As far as franchises go there are few as unappealing to me as Transformers. It is solidly built on a foundation of everything I (and many cinephiles) loath.

First off it’s a live action movie based on cartoon from the ‘80s based on a line of toys based on a line of toys from Japan. If that wasn’t enough to frustrate you let’s add the fact that the series is produced by  Michael Bay. Someone who is dead set on not only ruining our childhoods and cinema but also dumbing down America completely. Lastly you have five previous films in the franchise that you couldn’t pay me to rewatch. 

All that negativity aside I chose to give Bumblebee a shot. Why? Well everything is subjective, and just because a movie might not be “good” doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining. Bumblebee, I hate to admit, was just that—entertaining. 

This installment in the franchise did things differently than its predecessors. They hired a female writer named Christina Hodson, who despite having a poor track record with critics managed to write an funny and compelling albeit lowbrow action movie that most anyone can relate to. Most importantly to me is the fact she wrote a compelling female lead that young women can look up to and young men can learn from. Keep an eye out for Hodson’s next movie an adaptation of the DC comic series Birds of Prey. 

Another thing the production of this movie did right was hiring an animator to direct it. Travis Knight who’s know for his work with Laika studios. Knight who previously directed Kubo and the Two Strings and was an animator on all the major Laika hits like Coraline, Boxtrolls, and ParaNorman manages to transition into live action nicely. Having an understanding of animation really helped directing a movie heavy in CGI and it really shows. 

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you this is a smart movie, or a good movie, or even one I’d add to my personal home video collection. This is however a fun movie that was a nice break from reality. What critics are saying is true, Bumblebee is the best of the franchise. Just don’t expect any Academy Award nominations. 

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