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‘Bumblebee’: Most Adorable Action Movie Ever

Jami Citko, Staff

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According to most of the Transformers fans I’ve met, the movies…don’t exactly live up to anyone’s standards. In plainer terms, they’re terrible. And the fact that I, someone who has never seen a single piece of Transformers media, immediately associate their newest film with the word “adorable” might seem out of place…but hear me out: seeing this movie was a fantastic experience. 

I had no idea of what to expect before seeing Bumblebee, so I’m glad it began with a classic Transformers fight scene to remind the audience “Hey, this is an action movie about giant fighting robots, don’t forget.” Why was this necessary? Because most of the movie is about human beings. 

The basic premise is that Bumblebee was sent to Earth to scope it out before the other Autobots arrive, given that the Decepticons don’t find it first. However, our protagonist is immediately met with not-so-friendly fire from the startled human beings that he first encounters as well as a Decepticon who has followed him there. Suffering from damage, including the loss of ability to speak, Bumblebee is forced to hide as a Jeep in a junkyard until he is found by a teenage girl. She may have been looking for a car, but she found a friend. 

I personally love the contrast that this movie presents. Two divergent worlds collide; there’s a near-perfect balance between robot fighting and human feeling, which awkwardly harmonize within the lovable Autobot protagonist. This is a refreshing form of character development, one that resonates well with today’s audience. 

The other main protagonist, a teenage girl by the name of Charlie, is representative of common teenage feelings but is also pleasingly unique. Plagued by unresolved grief after the death of her father, she must deal with family members who don’t seem to understand her feelings, spending the majority of her time alone working on her dad’s old car. She seems to be in a state of depression or at least feeling stuck in her current situation, as she definitely isn’t satisfied with her life, something relatable for many of today’s teens. Bumblebee’s appearance gives her a new perspective on life and allows her to explore her own identity. This main duo is a companionship like no other and a very creative way of developing a story. 

The only negative thing I have to say about this film is that some of the plotlines and characters were cliché. I know, I just said it was a new take on an old franchise, but the main character is an outcast teenager suffering from a traumatic family event who must learn to accept her circumstances and move on. She had an interest in the past that she has left behind because it reminds her too much of her deceased dad. She is picked on by the snarky local popular crowd and befriends the weird lonely kid next door. While the alliance between Transformers and human beings is done brilliantly, the human story alone isn’t necessarily anything we haven’t seen before. 

Okay, so I’ve covered the human feelings aspect, but I know many of those interested in seeing Bumblebee aren’t in it solely for emotional connection. Action scenes are definitely important in a movie like this one…but I will say that most of the movie is spent establishing character relations and building up to the inevitable final battle. It’s the character relations, though, that make the action scenes meaningful. My heart wouldn’t have been pounding during those anxiety-filled fight scenes if I hadn’t cared about what led up to them. This isn’t just an action film; it’s a well-rounded story with wholehearted characters and breathtaking combat. 

I enjoyed this movie immensely (though maybe I’m slightly biased because my boyfriend, a lifelong Transformers fanboy, was silently screaming beside me in excitement practically the entire time) and am impressed by its ability to combine two completely different complex worlds into one masterpiece. Was it the best film of the year? No, but it’s worth the watch, and although I might not be ready to call myself a Transformers fan, I am proud to call myself a Bumblebee fan.

Jami Citko, Staff

Living simultaneously in the world and in the Twilight Zone

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‘Bumblebee’: Most Adorable Action Movie Ever