The “Transformers” franchise often draws eye rolls from cinephiles. However, the franchise has proven to factor into the Oscar race on several occasions. The third film in the franchise, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” received pretty bad reviews, yet still picked up 3 Oscar nominations. While the last film, “Transformers: The Last Knight” was blanked, the high-level special effects and sound aspects of the film will always make these features potential contenders. Today, we got a look at the most recent film in the franchise with “Bumblebee,” starring Hailee Steinfeld.
The new feature looks like a huge step up for the franchise. This is the first time this property has been directed by someone other than Michael Bay. The reigns look to be in good hands with Travis Knight, director of “Kubo and the Two Strings” taking over. It also does not hurt that Steinfeld, an Oscar-nominated actress in her own right, will be taking on the lead role. Even John Cena looks good in this film, despite playing into type. Still, when Cena takes roles seriously, we’ve seen sparks fly.
The question will be the audience and critical reaction to the film. Despite looking better than previous features, there’s still a strong bias against the “Transformers” franchise at this point. Often cited as the epitome of the big budget, CGI driven blockbuster, the franchise finally lost steam the last time out. Does a focus on Bumblebee help this cause? While Bumblebee is probably one of the B-list characters worthy of a spinoff, he does not have the household recognition that an Optimus Prime or Megatron film might garner. However, with Knight at the helm, this could become something special. After all, the future of the Transformers franchise is riding on it.