The first Bumblebee reviews are in, with many calling it the best Transformers movie. Many have been wondering how the spin-off was going to stack up next to the rest of the franchise, and it looks like it might have started the new precedent for the future. It's been over a decade since Michael Bay proved that the iconic Hasbro toys and cartoons could be turned into a giant success at the box office. However, the movies weren't noted for being all that great in the story department.
With the upcoming release of Bumblebee, the franchise is going back to its roots. The movie takes place in the 1980s, which is when Transformers was one of the hottest franchises in the world. Since the beginning fans have wanted a movie that was closer in tone to the cartoons with a solid storyline as well as good characters that were developed, instead of a giant wall of action and mayhem. According to the early reviews, Bumblebee is able to pull all of that off and more.
A lot of the reviews take Bumblebee and compare it to the rest of the Transformers franchise. Peter Debruge from Variety states that Bumblebee, "is basically the movie that fans of the 1980s animated series wanted all along." Debruge and many of the other critics give credit to Michael Bay for turning the franchise into a juggernaut, but also note that there wasn't much substance behind any of his movies. Jim Vejvoda from IGN states that the movie is an "emotional journey," and gives praise to Travis Knight for the emotional facial expressions of the CGI characters.
Other reviews go on to say that Bumblebee is a very satisfying action movie that the whole family will be able to enjoy. As of this writing, there are currently 12 reviews for the movie on Rotten Tomatoes and they are all positive, resulting in a 100% Fresh Rating from the site. That number will more than likely change as more reviews trickle in. Justin Lowe from The Hollywood Reporter had this to say about Bumblebee.
"By taking the Transformers universe in a new, more intimate character-driven direction, screenwriter Christina Hodson (who has the Suicide Squad Harley Quinn sequel Birds of Prey up next) plays directly to the franchise's roots. Skillfully shaping what's essentially a coming-of-age story for both Charlie and Bumblebee, Hodson layers in a sense of wonder and discovery that effectively recaptures the innovation and energy of the 2007 original. It's an effective reimagining that also bears a knowing resemblance to classic youth-oriented films from Bumblebee executive producer Steven Spielberg."
Additionally, the performances of Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Justin Theroux, and Angela Bassett have all been praised as well. This bodes well for the upcoming box office debut of Bumblebee, which will see it go head to head with Warner Bros. and DC Films' Aquaman. The DCEU project has also been getting a healthy dose of early praise, which means it will more than likely be a good battle at the box office. You can read the rest of Justin Lowe's Bumblebee review over at The Hollywood Reporter.