Thursday, September 12, 2019

Transformers Roots Restored

Yes, I’m once again late with a Transformers movie review. I know, you're all stunned.

This time it isn't because of travel, there were just a lot of other good films released around Christmas.

Bumblebee goes back to the beginning of Transformers in a couple of ways.

From the film franchise standpoint, it returns to the Speilbergian “Kid and their magical living car” heartwarming tale that was a piece of the original 2008 film. The Eighties setting highlights the similarity to films of that era.

They did a great job picking the period references. It's not only Eighties music, its Eighties music used in movies.  And while I personally loathe The Breakfast Club, it was the perfect reference for the time period.

Interestingly while it is a more kid friendly story, it drops almost all of the infantile type humor thrown in the previous films.  They were a lot of fun, but it is obvious why Michael Bay was cast as one of the “Frat Boy” villains in Mystery Men. Some of the deleted scenes show they cut out some areas where it was going that way. 

This one’s a straight up family story with a lot of heart and fun.

It returns to Transformers roots in another way, more deeply and impressively for this old geek.  The flash backs set on Cybertron and the appearances of other Autobots and Decepticons look and sound astonishingly close to the original Generation One appearances.

It was far too awesome for words!

The human cast was solid. Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie was sympathetic and carried the story. Her family was a little goofy without being caricatures.  Memo was a supportive friend not shoehorned into a romance.  John Cena played an honorable antagonist.

As for Bumblebee, he was as brave, loyal and lovable as every incarnation of him has been.
The Decepticons were flat out evil, but given better characterization, intelligence and motivation than we’ve seen of them on the big screen.

And in case I didn't mention it enough, seeing the G1 designs (Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Soundwave, Brawn, Arcee, Shockwave, Ironhide etc. etc.) in fully realized photorealistic rendering was magnificent.



longbow said...

I'm still realing from when you showed me that iron-hide snuff movie 20 + years ago

Jeff McGinley said...

It was scarring for all of us. Thanx for reading.