I make no bones about my fascination with Michael Bay’s Transformers films. For over a decade, Bay and the crew at Industrial Light & Magic have brought these 1980s icons to stunning life with amazing detail and stunning action set pieces.
I will concede that some of these films have been better than others. The first film is still the best of the five, by far. But even I had to admit that the films gradually lost their soul and sense of wonder with each successive release. The fifth film, The Last Knight, was definitely one of the worst. While I do love Michael Bay’s frenetic action style, it was clear that the story was running on fumes and new creative blood was needed.
The new blood manifested itself in Travis Knight’s Bumblebee, the latest Transformers film, and the first not directed by Bay. Set as a prequel (or something) to the first film, this movie was a solid rejuvenation of this now-lumbering franchise. Part 1980s coming-of-age movie (that literally takes place in the 1980s), part sci-fi action-fest, the film has placed the heart and soul firmly back in within the franchise. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.