If this new trailer is any indication, the latest Transformers film, and possibly the last in the current continuity, might be what some fans have been asking for all along. Let's go down the checklist: Bumblebee as an actual Volkswagen. A robot mode that's relatively simple and clearly looks like the vehicle it's going to become. Less frenetic editing. A 1980s setting. And an evil Decepticon plane that actually looks recognizably like the old toys.
Not that the trailer is ditching Michael Bay's world entirely—the callback to Bernie Mac is clearly there for those who've been enjoying the movies so far. And again, Bumblebee can't talk, which is a bit of a retcon, but these movies have generally played fast and loose with such things anyway, and that is part of their appeal to those of us who do love them as they are. As for John Cena, we'll see if he can do for a prequel what his wrestling pal Dwayne Johnson could in other franchises.
We're also getting the series' first real female protagonist in Hailee Steinfeld, and the way she discovers her new car's secret is very much a shoutout to the toy line that we haven't seen before in live action. Like Bumblebee, we have some questions about her taste in music: was THAT song really popular stateside among girls who'd wear Motorhead T-shirts, before it garnered ironic appeal decades later? Oh well, as John Cena might say, there's nothing wrong with a cheap pop wherever you can get it.
Travis Knight's take on the material already feels a bit gentler than Bay's. It'll be interesting to see where he takes things, and if this is what the franchise needs to make a proper comeback.
Does this feel like a new enough interpretation? Is that what you were looking for? Roll out into comments and let us know if this was transformative.
More news than meets the eye
- Adorable transforming kid costumes!
- Star Wars Transformers are back!
- The original animated credits redone in stop-motion