“Look, people can be terrible about things they don’t understand.”Charlie Watson
This soft reboot of the Transformers franchise often feels like a cars-and-robots take on How To Train Your Dragon, similarly centred around an outsider bonding with a powerfully destructive but kind and damaged creature. Michael Bay’s films revelled in robotic carnage, whilst scenes featuring humans were generally an afterthought (it’s evident from Bay’s filmography that he doesn’t really get or care about humans). That is inverted here, with humanity at the core of the film. Between True Grit and The Edge of Seventeen, Hailee Steinfeld has swiftly become one of my favourite actors of her generation. She has less to work with here, but her warmth and charm routinely make us forget she is acting against a central character that wasn’t present; it is this, as much as ILM‘s wizardry, that brings Bumblebee to life. Bumblebee may be largely predictable family-friendly fare, but beneath the metallic sheen is humanity that the franchise has sorely lacked.