Let’s get this out there first: Jay would never have a favourite Transformer, because they are all beneath her and far too nerdy. But if, IF, she liked Transformers then Bumblebee would definitely be her favourite, because he’s a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Jay has owned three Beetles, blue, white and red, and she would have owned more if only Volkswagen hadn’t stopped production. So last time we got her a car we picked a yellow Mustang which probably would have been a yellow Beetle instead if Volkswagen was better at business.
Just like Jay had to start fresh with a Mustang, Bumblebee is a fresh start for the Transformers franchise after a good start turned into a string of horrible sequels. We are taken back to the 1980s as the Autobots flee their home planet of Cybertron, which has been taken over by the evil Decepticons. Bumblebee is one of the fleeing Autobots and he ends up on Earth with instructions to scout out the place and wait for his friends to arrive. But of course, the Decepticons track him down first and the little yellow Transformer needs the help of his new human friends to save the world.
I was expecting Bumblebee to be as terrible as the last Transformers movies, or possibly worse. It’s not. It’s smaller, more focused, and succeeds in getting the franchise back to its roots by telling a story about humans working together with good robots to stop bad robots. I feel certain that in doing so, Bumblebee also sets an unbreakable record for most 80s references crammed into a single film, by including ALL OF THEM except Hands Across America which Jordan Peele must have reserved in advance for Us.
Despite its efforts, Bumblebee is still not actually a good movie, and I’m sure Jay hated every last minute (except possibly the parts where the Beetle was driving along the California coast). But it’s a fun diversion, it’s by far the best Transformers movie since the first one, and maybe there’s hope for the future of this franchise as long as Michael Bay can keep away from the director’s chair.