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Article – The Issue With Michael Bay


Posted November 12, 2014 by

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The Issue With Michael Bay

Michael Bay this week announced working on a new upcoming film which isn’t Transformers! His next film will be about the attack on US men in Bengahazi based off the true story 13 Hours which plays out the political side of things but can Bay pull off a political film? Well the true answer, no.

Let’s obviously not just throw the guy under the bus just yet and leave it at that. Michael Bay can direct, sort of. Now I’m not a huge fan nor will I ever be of the rampaging Blockbusters Bay shoves in our faces but his films do earn the big bucks to carry on. The thing with Bays films are they’re loud, over dramatic and just wreak havoc in some shape or form. For the past few years he’s concentrated on the Transformers series with each one making even more money but getting worse reviews and becoming even longer. Looking at those films you’d scratch your head as to why someone who makes the big boom bang of films would tackle something like his new film? Understandable for directors to want to branch out but Bay has more taken a turn to first off do what ever he likes when it comes to films, make them bigger and more confusing as they go and to just drop all character for his films. Now seeing the Transformer films which started off, let’s say ok, they’ve taken a turn into fast moving action which can’t even be taken into the brain and bland characters who just run around screaming.

Bay hasn’t just done those films over the past few years however. Last year saw the release of Pain & Gain which ties quite neatly into what I’m getting across with Bays basic lack of directing. Pain & Gain saw Mark Wahlberg, Dwyane Johnson and Anthony Mackie as three buffed up dudes working in a gym and get sick of being pushed around. They decide to kidnap a gym member and torcher him into signing over all his money to them then things get dramatic and rough for the trio etc, etc. Now surprisingly reading that you wouldn’t believe that the film is actually based off of a true story. Michael Bay took the story quite well and portrayed the three men, who now serve prison sentences for what they did, and created a comedy action film in the same taste of Bad Boys or what I think he was aiming for. The difficult being with this not being a other Bad Boys was that while watching you know these guys are bad and you just don’t even want to try liking them!

Michael Bay hasn’t always been terrible though. He made Bad Boys which really kicked off Will Smiths career and was a top film for the 90s. The Rock was another 90s film starring Nickolas Cage at the height of his career and even Armagedon in 99 with an array of big cast members which had heart and soul making everyone shed a tear for Bruce Willis. So where did he go wrong? Those past films had a lot of character. They didn’t feature constant explosions and so fast paced action your brain can’t keep up. It was simple. It was enjoyable and watchable. So why can’t this be the focus now?

Bay made Pearl Harbour which is considered a horrendous film as it lacks heart and character and focuses on a very difficult storytelling situation yet Bay tackled it and didn’t do a very good job at that. So should he tackle this new story? Probably not. There’s plenty of issues people have with directors taking on certain stories and ideas but perhaps this is too far for Bay or too much to handle. I already have some bizarre imagery in my head of how Bay will make it look. Guys with big guns, lots of slow mo shoot outs and somewhere the American flag just slowly blows over the screen as his patriotic side kicks in. It’s an issue I have not just with him but with Hollywood and Blockbusters in general being all about ‘How do we get as much money as possible’ which I find plays a large part in the back of Bays mind.

So what do you think of Michael Bays next film and will it propel him back to his 90s work? We can all still have hope!

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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 22.37.10

Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor


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