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‘Bumblebee’: Light and entertaining prequel to ‘Transformers’

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, December 16, 2018  /  10:35 am

Bumblebee is a spin-off in the Transformers universe that is placed prior to the first film, Transformers (2007). Set in 1987, it focuses on the yellow Autobot, Bumblebee.

Eighteen-year-old Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) never thought that her birthday present, a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, could turn into a giant yellow robot almost as tall as her garage.

She finds him in a junkyard and unbeknownst to her, he is B-127, who escaped his home planet Cybertron to find a safe place for other Autobots to gather and build a base of operation. Cybertron is currently in danger due to a battle between two groups: the Autobots led by Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and their ruthless enemy, the Decepticons.

Watson later names him Bumblebee (voiced by Dylan O’Brien) because of the sounds he makes. The robot lost his memory and his ability to speak, so the two communicate with each other using songs in the radio station.

Watson, unable to move on from her father’s passing while maintaining a distant relationship with her family, starts to change with the presence of Bumblebee. She smiles more and becomes eager to start her day. But Watson keeps her yellow robot away from her family as she is afraid to lose him and only shares her secret with her neighbor, Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.).

Read also: 'Bumblebee’, a 'Transformers' spin-off to look forward to

Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld, left) keeps Bumblebee (voiced by Dylan O'Brien, right) away from her family as she is afraid of losing him. Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld, left) keeps Bumblebee (voiced by Dylan O'Brien, right) away from her family as she is afraid of losing him. (Paramount Pictures/File)

Watson has to help Bumblebee in saving the Earth, especially from two Decepticons who discover Bumblebee’s existence. Both also have to escape from Lieutenant Jack Burns (John Cena) who is obsessed about destroying the robots.

Bumblebee is the first film within the Transformers franchise that is not directed by Michael Bay, although he is listed as one of the producers. Helmed by Travis Knight, the film is lighter and more entertaining compared to its predecessors owing to the storyline and jokes that are evenly spread in the film.

Its use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) effects, especially in the battle scenes, makes the film looks more appealing, but sometimes the 1980s elements in the film seem to be oversimplified. (wng)

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