Bumblebee Review: No Michael Bay? Sign me up!

3 and a half stars
Who knew you could have a Transformers movie without overly sexualised women, borderline racist stereotypes and an overusage of explosions?
Well, Michael Bay clearly did not know this because the latest film in the Transformers franchise Bumblebee has none of these things and is all the better for it.
Directed by Travis Knight, Bumblebee is the best film in the Transformers series by a wide margin.
It is still not great but compared to what came before it is a massive step forward.
The film takes place in 1987 and tells the story of how the titular Bumblebee came to earth and lost his voice.
What follows is a mash up of Transformers with E.T as a teenage girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) finds Bumblebee and tries to hide him from government agents, led by none other than John Cena, who plays Agent Jack Burns.
As a result, the story of Bumblebee is generic but still a welcome change to what came before.

Bumblebee head rub.jpg
Watching Charlie try to hide Bumblebee from her family and the government felt very reminiscent of older films in both a good and bad way. 

The characters are actually likeable and relatable, there are a couple of funny moments and the action is not overplayed, unlike with Bay’s series.
Speaking of the Bay Transformers movies, Bumblebee recons a lot of events that happen in those movies but, given how said movies are also guilty of this, that is nothing new.
If anything, I would argue the recons serve to separate Bumblebee from those terrible film, which I definitely appreciate.
The opening scene is by far the best of the film and, even though I am not a huge fan of the Transformers, I know it will please many people who are.
Bumblebee is not without its issues because, as I said, the plot is generic and even though the characters are likeable they are a little stereotypical.
Along with this, the story drags a bit at times and it is pretty easy to figure out where the film will go.
All of that said, Bumblebee is still a good film that actually delivers some genuinely heartfelt moments.
It is definitely the best of the franchise and I hope to see more Transformers sequels like it… so long as Michael Bay no longer directs them that is.