BUMBLEBEE is a Transformers prequel set in the 1980s and it's a bit different than previous Transformers movies. While it still has the great CGI special effects, BUMBLEBEE has a different feel to it. First, Michael Bay is not directing this installment. It's directed by Travis Knight who is probably best known for his 2014 animated film The BoxTrolls. It also features a teenage girl as the main character, Charlie (played by Hailee Steinfeld), who's lost her father and is trying to adjust to her life with a new step-father and as a young girl on the verge of turning 18. Also, the 1980s era setting gives the movie the feel of some classic 80s movie like Back to the Future and ET. It also includes a pretty gnarly 80's soundtrack.
When the movie starts a civil war is raging on Cybertron, the Transformers home planet. Autobot leader Optimus Prime, who only has a small part in the movie, sends his young lieutenant B-127 on a mission to earth to secure a base and to wait for the arrival of the Autobots on their new home. But "BUMBLEBEE" is followed to earth by two Decepticons who injure him and damage his voicebox leaving him unable to speak.
Young Charlie finds him in a trash pile at the marina and takes him home to rebuild him but quickly finds out he's not your average VW Beetle. The two Decepticons who traveled to earth to destroy BUMBLEBEE, one voiced by Angela Bassett, convince the government agents on the trail of BUMBLEBEE, led by John Cena, to allow them access to US satellites to track down the rebel Autobot. One of the flaws of the movie is Cena's character. He's a bit one dimensional as the federal agent in charge.
BUMBLEBEE is a chance for the fan favorite Autobot to show what he's got. While I kept waiting for more Autobots to come to his assistance in this movie he is a one-man army.
The movie has a lot of heart. It's funny and the scenes with BUMBLEBEE and Charlie are the best parts of the movie. For me, this is the best of the Transformers movies. The movie is rated PG-13 for violence and has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes. On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" I rate BUMBLEBEE a LARGE.