BUMBLEBEE (PG) Making the buzz we all want to hear, US, 113 min
Whoa! How’s this for a Christmas present? If you’re a Transformers fan who has suffered through the indestructibly inane movie series - risking lasting damage to your powers of audio-visual perception - then Bumblebee will set everything right. This is not a joke. Somehow, against all odds, this 1980s-set origin story for longtime Transformers MVP Bumblebee is a pure, playful and genuinely pleasing retro delight. It has taken the franchise more than a decade to get its act together, but finally we get to experience what a Transformers movie should have been all along. The story kicks off with a dynamic prologue outlining how a plucky Autobot named B-127 made it all the way from the planet Cybertron to a junkyard on Earth, disguised as a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Rechristened Bumblebee by a kindly tomboy teen mechanic (Hailee Steinfeld), our hero is just beginning to enjoy his new life when some Decepticon enemies from his past decide to pay a visit.