The final Bumblebee trailer has dropped online, ahead of the film's release in theaters later this week. While it's the sixth live-action Transformers movie overall, Bumblebee is the first directed by someone other than Michael Bay. It's also the first installment in the series to get a near-universally positive reception from critics, with Bumblebee's early reviews praising the movie for being a heartfelt coming of age story (by way of a Transformers adventure) bolstered by impressive action sequences and a great leading performance by Hailee Steinfeld.
Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) and written by Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)), Bumblee stars Steinfeld as Charlie Watson, a teenaged car expert who crosses paths with Bee in the year 1987. The film doubles as a prequel to the 2007 live-action Transformers movie and a soft reboot that simplifies the franchise's mythology, after last year's Transformers: The Last Knight tried to expand it. Judging by the critic pull-quotes in the final trailer, the movie is all the better for it, too.
You can watch the final Bumblebee trailer in the space below. The trailer, like the film itself, starts off with Bee on the Transformers' home planet Cybertron, before he journeys to earth on Optimus Prime's orders. From there, the trailer hits most of the same beats as the promos before it and shows Bumblebee being pursued by not only Decepticons, but also hard-edged U.S. Agent Burns (John Cena), who's been misled to believe Bee is a fugitive who escaped custody on Cybertron. Of course, there's some humor in there too, as Charlie and her pal Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) teach Bee how to toilet paper a house.
As the trailer's critic pull-quotes note, Bumblebee is being celebrated as not only a great Transformers film, but also "a great movie. Period". That's all the more welcome news since, over the past decade, Bay's run on the series was widely criticized for becoming increasingly bombastic and soulless with each passing installment. By comparison, Bumblebee is one of the best reviewed films hitting theaters this month, next to other critical darlings like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
It's a good thing too, seeing as Bumblebee will have some intense competition when it premieres in theaters this Thursday. The film is set to open directly against Disney's sequel Mary Poppins Returns and DC's Aquaman over its first weekend, and is expected to gross less than either of those (pretty hotly) anticipated movies. At the same time, Bumblebee has fantastic early word of mouth working in its favor and should have longer legs at the box office for it. Plus, it "only" cost $102 million to produce and doesn't need to become as big a hit as the Transformers movie before it to turn a profit, either.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018