After last year's Transformers: The Last Knight flopped both critically and financially, it became increasingly clearer that the Transformers franchise was in need of a major upgrade.
Enter the little beetle that could.
Helmed by Travis Knight, the CEO of Laika Studios best known for Kubo and the Two Strings, ParaNorman and Coraline, Bumblebee marks a radical shift of gears for the robots in disguise.
Not only is it the first Transformers movie not directed by Michael Bay, Bumblebee will also be a smaller scale adventure designed to recapture the spirit of its animated roots. In this stripped-down spinoff, Bumblebee the Autobot finds himself on the run in the year 1987 and finds refuge in a small junkyard, where a teenage girl named Charlie takes him in.
If Bumblebee delivers a much-needed win for Paramount, it will be the first step in the studio's ambitious plans to expand (and reboot) the Transformers franchise, which includes a potentially attractive crossover with G.I. Joe.
Now that online reviews are beginning to roll in, let's find out what the critics have to say about one of the biggest releases of the year:
#Bumblebee is the best Transformers movie - BY FAR. Beautifully shot, tons of spot-on humor and absolutely brimming with heart. No surprise here but Hailee Steinfeld is fantastic. The whole thing is just an utter delight!— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) December 8, 2018
#Bumblebee is TOTALLY an 80s movie in the BEST way possible. Has major Spielberg and John Hughes vibes. There's like 4 running Breakfast Club gags and @HaileeSteinfeld (who is great) spends half the movie trying to make Bumblebee appreciate The Smiths. Holy crap I loved that.— Mike Rougeau (@RogueCheddar) December 8, 2018
WOW!! #Bumblebee is AMAZING!! The BEST #Transformers movie EVER! A perfect blend of action, humor & heart! What a pleasant surprise! This is what the sequels should have been like all along! #HaileeSteinfeld is awesome! It’s GREAT FUN!! @bumblebeemovie— Scott Mantz (@MovieMantz) December 9, 2018
I am a big fan of #BumblebeeMovie, y'all. It won me over. It captures the magic of the first one - tons of heart and story built around some eye-popping action sequences. And it is laugh aloud, hysterically funny at points.— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) December 8, 2018
1. Bumblebee - 81
2. Transformers - 63
3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 47
4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - 38
5. Transformers: Age of Extinction - 36
6. Transformers: The Last Knight - 32
Photocredit @ Paramount Pictures
Bumblebee opens in cinemas on 20 December 2018.