UPDATED: Monday, December 24, 2018 06:00
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Monday, December 24, 2018 6:00 AM


Rottentomatoes gave this film a 94% rating, Metacritic, I kind of fall somewhere in between (maybe an 85). I can't say I loved this movie, but they came pretty damn close to getting me there.

Set in 1987, Charlie (Hailee Stanfield) comes across a beat up yellow volkswagon and quickly becomes it's owner, when she discovers that this is no ordinary Beetle. There's something about her father dying and her mother taking on a new boyfriend, a dullard (who's name I forget), but he's depicted as a Disney dufus vying to become her stepdad.

Anyway, both the mom and he are hardly consequential in the film except to represent authority. And there's the obligatory annoying little brother, but you guys knew that. But the story revolves around Charlie, still in Tomboy stage and becoming a young woman of 18. The story really begins in earnest when she discovers that the Beetle is really an alien being from another planet who hides in plain sight in the form of the above-mentioned vehicle. By the way, there are some hilarious scenes with the Bot adapting to life on Earth, whom he is supposed to protect.

But you get the idea, a fish out of water story, in this case a car, a girl and the life she leads. What's different is that the franchise returned to what got audiences hooked in the first place. Transformers went from a "boy and his car" to Bots in space and epic battles, explosions, etc. But gone is the Michael Bay explodo-fest, replaced by the original human element depicted in the first Transformer movie. Stanfield is wonderful as Charlie and the story is cute (written by a female writer, Christina Hodson and directed by Travis Knight, who also directed Kubo and the Two Strings (2016). Believe me, this director knows how to tell a story. This would have made a really good summer movie and I think it would have faired better at the box office (odd that the studio would choose to compete against Aquaman and Mary Poppins).

John Cena is also in this and he's hilarious, but the driving force in this movie
is Hailee Stanfield. This girl is a star, she's going places. BumbleBee is strictly a popcorn movie, one which you could take the kiddies to see. There's a kiss on the cheek and handholding, and that's it. PG-13, but it's harmless. There is quite a bit of action, so there's that. But otherwise it's tame by today's standards. Go enjoy, I did. And judging by the audience, they did too.







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