In late December 2018, Transformers prequel/spin-off movie, Bumblebee arrived in cinemas. The movie – directed by Travis Knight – starred Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena and detailed the early adventures of the fan-favourite Autobot, Bumblebee.

Have you caught up with it yet? Well, if not, don’t worry – you will find this post most useful.

In this post I am taking a look back at the initial critical reception of Bumblebee, from when it appeared in cinemas. Below is a collection of review snippets, which were originally published by critics following a press screening.

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Bumblebee movie review round-up

Image: ©Paramount Pictures

Here is what the critics said back in 2018:

  • Perri Nemiroff of Collider, said: “#Bumblebee is the best Transformers movie – BY FAR. Beautifully shot, tons of spot-on humor and absolutely brimming with heart. No surprise here but Hailee Steinfeld is fantastic. The whole thing is just an utter delight!”
  • Peter Debruge of Variety called Bumblebee a “relatively enjoyable” movie describing it as an “elaborate homage to Amblin” – the production company co-founded by Steven Spielberg.
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  • Phil Hoad of the Guardian, awarded Bumblebee three stars (out of five), also noting the Spielberg influences. He said: “With a new director at the helm, the standard Transformers crassness has been replaced by a sweetness reminiscent of classic Spielberg.”
Image: ©Paramount Pictures
  • James Dyer of Empire awarded Bumblebee four stars (out of five) and once again noted the Amblin/Spielberg influences. He said: “Knight has served up a gleeful romp with wit, warmth and a whole lot of heart. It’s taken six movies to get here, but we finally have a Transformers film that’s more than meets the eye.”
  • And finally, Jim Vejvoda of IGN awarded Bumblebee a score of 7.0 (out of 10) and called the film “a much needed tuneup.” He said: “Bumblebee is the best live-action Transformers movie since the 2007 film, even though it doesn’t quite recapture the wow factor of seeing the robots in disguise come to life that very first time. But it does wisely bring the series back to basics in its character-driven storytelling and simplified approaches to both Transformer designs and visual effects, and by jettisoning the excess and nonsensical storytelling that had come to define the franchise. It was nice to enjoy a Transformers movie again.”

So, there you have it – the general feeling was that Bumblebee is an improvement on the Transformers sequels and a fairly enjoyable movie to boot. And having seen it myself, I whole heartedly agree.

But what do you think? Have you caught up with Bumblebee yet and if so, is it the best entry in the live-action Transformers franchise? Thoughts in the comments section please.

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