First Reactions to Bumblebee Largely Agree It’s the Best Transformers Yet

Bumblebee has critics buzzing and may boost the Transformers franchise in a satisfying new direction. The robot adventures have always been fun and larger than life, but sometimes their heart is more steel than human. The 1980s prequel appears to be reintroducing that much needed emotional hook.

The Transformers series has been largely popcorn fare, so critics were surprised to find how engrossing the character-driven installment actually is. Travis Knight took over directing duties from Michael Bay and it apparently shows. /Film’s Peter Sciretta was awestruck to find he liked Bumblebee even better than the original film. “Better than TF1, and I really liked the first Bay film a lot,” Sciretta tweeted.

Knight brings his renowned animation skills from celebrated studio Laika. Fandango’s Erik Davis said that the retro vibe of the robots actually “makes it easier to follow and enjoy the action.” Bay undoubtedly can orchestrate some stunning spectacles, but it can be easy to lose details in the chaos. Apparently, we’ll get a more intimate look at the Transformer vs. Decepticon battle in Bumblebee. Of note, no one seems to be griping about hearing Bumblebee speak for the first time. That’s a good sign that the gamble pays off.

The film may be named for the yellow gentle giant, but Hailee Steinfeld is receiving universal praise as Charlie. Ever since her breakout in True Grit, she’s been a major talent to watch, so it is no wonder Steinfeld is stealing scenes. Collider’s Perri Nemiroff said, “No surprise here, but Hailee Steinfeld is fantastic.”

Set in the 1980s, a tricky era to be sure, Knight apparently gets the ambiance right. Harkening back to the height of teenage nostalgia and enlisting what sounds like an epic soundtrack, critics loved the retro style.

Overall, this is great news for Transformer fans and Knight’s introduction to the franchise. There are plenty more storylines to explore and if fans agree with the critics, there will definitely be demand for it.

Bumblebee opens nationwide December 21.

Featured image: Left to right: Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie and Bumblebee in BUMBLEBEE, from Paramount Pictures. © 2018 Paramount Pictures.


Kelle Long

Kelle has written about film and TV for The Credits since 2016. Follow her on Twitter @molaitdc for interviews with really cool film and TV artists and only occasional outbursts about Broadway, tennis, and country music. Please no talking or texting during the movie. Unless it is a musical, then sing along loudly.