Since the debut of the Transformers live-action franchise in 2007, each of the five films has enjoyed a degree of commercial success, with 2011′s Dark of the Moon earning a series-high $1.123 billion worldwide, and last year’s The Last Knight marking the low point, with only $605.4 million.
Yet, despite their blockbuster status, the films have been criticized by longtime fans for straying far away from the source material: the 1980s toy line and animated series.
The original cartoon focused primarily on the Autobots and the Decepticons waging an unending war, but the live-action films used that conflict more as a backdrop for the adventures of human characters. While that may also be true of Bumblebee, the latest installment of the franchise opts for a different approach. Not only does it offer some much-needed character development for everyone’s favorite yellow Beetle, it also features the live-action debut of something Transformers fans have longed to see: the war for Cybertron, in all its ’80s glory.
Michael Bay’s five Transformers films briefly flashed back to the war for Cybertron, most notably in 2007′s Transformers and in the opening scene of Dark of the Moon, but they never spent much time on that pivotal event. Those scenes were brief, and showed a much more generic depiction of the Transformers home planet, where indistinguishable Autobots and Deceptions battled each other.
However, right off the bat, Bumblebee lets us know it’s a different kind of Transformers film. As soon as the movie begins, audiences are transported to a war-torn Cybertron that feels as if it were lifted straight from the original cartoon. Not only that, the Autobots and the Decepticons there are heavily inspired by their Generation One designs. You’ve probably seen glimpses of them in the marketing for Bumblebee, and we can confirm they’re as glorious as old-school fans might have hoped.
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