Written by Cristian Stanic
At the risk of incurring the wrath of an angry mob, we’ll just come right out and say it – Michael Bay’s Transformers films are not that bad. Sure, they have flaws, like any movie, but for a movie about big toys from space fighting each other, they are pretty alright.
Post-Dark Of The Moon, there were some more noticeable cracks forming, but the first three are mostly solid. So when it was announced that a prequel(?)/ Soft-reboot(?) was being produced by Michael Bay, directed by Transformers newcomer Travis Knight, and would focus on sweet boy Bumblebee, we got excited! Then the Comic-Con panel happened, and like Optimus said, we are elated! This is a chance to right some of the wrongs many people had with the original films before we move on to greener pastures. So here’s what we’d like to see from 2018’s Bumblebee.
Put down your pitchforks and listen. The problem with the old movies wasn’t that they had a lot of big action and explosions, it was everything around the explosions. The fights are awesome; keep the fights. Slow motion giant robot battles; we are down for those. When you boil it down really, isn’t that something we should all want to see from these films? Isn’t the appeal of the toys that we get to transform them and race them around and make them fight and stuff? We wanna see that reflected in the movies!
BETTER HUMAN CHARACTERS
If we’re going to continue this trend of focusing more on the humans than the cool robots, can we at least get some better humans? No film buff is going to sit down and tell you about why Sam Witwicky is a brilliant, well-rounded character (although a case could be made for that, depending on how passionate you are).
The original cartoon had a strong focus on the robots while maintaining a good amount of human stuff too, but they weren’t the main characters. Now we can understand why they chose to focus on humans in the first ones. Focusing on some unrelatable robots is risky, and you want your audience to feel that investment in the main character. That said, if we have to have them, please just make them less bad, ooooorrr, just make the robots more relatable, which brings us to our next point.
FOCUS ON THE ROBOTS MORE
Now it does seem from the trailers like this is the direction we’re going with this one, but we cannot state it emphatically enough, show some love for the robots! Bumblebee is the perfect character to start with for this trend. Everyone likes Bumblebee! Optimus is a bit hard to vibe with, being Mr. Moral Man, Altruistic dude, but Bee is just a kid, and now he’s a kid who’s found himself stranded on Earth, seemingly alone, in unfamiliar circumstances, and with weird, fleshy aliens. This is the perfect way to make the Autobots more relatable, and thus put the focus back on them!
Two steps forward, one step back. You were doing so well! Bumblebee’s design, in the form of his original Volkswagen Beetle, looks spot on. He’s very round, light yellow, and friendly-looking, as he should be, a far cry from all the exposed metal, dark yellow and black, warrior-looking Bumblebee we had in the original films.
Plus, with the recently unveiled Optimus Prime design from the Takara Tomy toy, it honestly looks like they’ve both jumped right out of the original ‘80s cartoon and into real life.
And Starscream looks great with his old design too! Wait, that’s not Starscream? Blitzwing? No, that’s definitely Starscream. He looks just like a G1 Decepticon Seeker, and Blitzwing’s a Triple-Changer. Oh, there are other Triple-Changers in this movie? So wait, you’re introducing Shatter and Dropkick as two new Triple-Changers… But you’re bringing back Blitzwing, the MOST iconic Triple-Changer, and you’re making him look exactly like Starscream? And he doesn’t Triple-Change into a tank and a jet!? Yeah, sorry, we can’t really understand this logic.
Shatter and Dropkick
This one is a bit of a hot take. This kind of single-character driven (ha) story lends itself to a very small-scale conflict. Maybe Bee just has to protect one town, against a small group of Decepticons? Now that Dropkick and Shatter have been revealed along with… Blitzwing… maybe just keep it to those three. At this point, it might be good to play it safe and stick to something that isn’t too over-the-top. We’ve seen the Transformers fight in a city like a thousand times now, can we get some different setpieces?
JOHN CENA’S IN THIS?
Really? Damn, that’s awesome. He’s so cool. Can we make him the next Dwayne Johnson-type actor? Please? Buy a ticket to this movie just so we can make John Cena a big thing please, thank you.
Bumblebee opens in cinemas December 20.
Lead image: Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie in Bumblebee