I saw this yesterday. Probably should have wrote about it when it was fresher on my mind. But the short of it is; yes, go watch Bumblebee and make it a box office success.
Non-spoilery review/discussion after the jump. Spoilery discussion in a separate post, maybe. As usual, I may or may not swear.
So, the two big questions are, 1) Is Bumblebee good? and 2) Should you go watch it?
1) I dunno. But it’s certainly not bad.
The thing is, being human, I just can’t fully separate myself from associating the Bayformers with the live action movie aspect of the Transformers franchise. It’s been 10 years of conditioning and constant disappointment despite ever lowering standards and expectations. On top of that, much of the Bumblebee movie hinges on the bond between Bumblebee and the human, Charlie. And as I’m a bit older and jaded now, it’s harder for me to “click” with such bonding.
But aside from maybe some nitpicks, there’s absolutely nothing bad about Bumblebee, at all. Even if the movie doesn’t click with you, as it sort of doesn’t click with me, doesn’t mean there’s anything bad about it. I’d go on to say that if you DO find a reviewer who says it’s “bad”, then that reviewer is probably an entitled first world bitch who sees movies in absolutes of “BEST THING EVER!” and “WORST CRAP FOREVER!”.
So, there’s nothing bad about the movie, but is it a good movie? I guess it depends. If I saw this as a kid, or if this was the first live action TF movie and I was in the age group I was when the first Bayformer rolled out, then I would probably rate it a 10/10. Seriously, I think kids would love this. If only because the theater I was at had a bunch of kids in that 6 to 10 year age group and they seemed to love it. If you were an open minded adult viewer, I think you would give it a solid 8/10. In fact, most reviewers on Youtube seem to give it that rating. If you’re someone like me, whose soul is shriveled and heart is closed off, then BB’s probably just a strong 6/10 or 7/10. Regardless, BB really shouldn’t fall into “bad” territory unless you’re weird (which is okay), pretentious (which is not okay) or you’re a bitch (fuck you).
2) Yes, go watch the movie in theaters and make this a box office success. I want the goddamn Optimus Prime spin-off. Then gimme the Ironhide spin-off for the third movie where he’s this aging John Eastwood type who’s too old for this shit but bonds with a little human child or something.
Not only does Bumblebee deserve to do well, it needs to do well because it would reset all sorts of precedents for the franchise, and there are worse shows to watch this holiday season. Although I hear Aquaman is doing well. No idea what the plot is for that. I’m not especially hyped to watch that unless I hear a synopsis of the plot that isn’t just a rehash of the whole “Aquaman is the returning King of Atlantis while Orm wants to take over as king while Black Manta is doing bad stuff” plot that we’ve been getting for years. If it’s something new, I’d give it a try. Also, fuck Mary Poppins. I mean, it might be good but the trailers imply otherwise.
BONUS REVIEW POINT: Oh, and to everyone who is saying the movie is too E.T. f*** you. I censored that because it wasn’t a harsh f*** you. But seriously, you know why every E.T. derivative like Iron Giant, Short Circuit, Lilo & Stitch and so forth follow the same beats? Because those are the beats that work for this specific type of film AND that’s just basic storytelling. Unless you’re doing something with an irregular story flow like Memento or a Doctor Who X-Mas Special, then stories are generally told with a beginning, middle and end. Or an Act I, Act II & Act III if you will. E.T. and its derivatives (which includes Bumblebee) all follow the same pattern because it works. Messing with the flow for the sake of messing with it, yields no benefit. Also, Bumblebee’s probably closer to Iron Giant than E.T., not just because he’s a big robot, but also because he’s a war machine.