With PAIN & GAIN blasting into theaters in all of its roided-out glory, I thought it was a good time to go back and look through his 9 previous films and rank them in order to try and find his best film. Full disclosure; I’ve been a Michael Bay apologizer for a long time now, so if you can’t find the enjoyment in his films, then you’re going to hate this list. But for those of you that just want to see stuff blow up, sit back and enjoy this list of Michael Bay’s films in order of their Michael Bay-ness.
9. BAD BOYS II (2003): After suffering the backlash from PEARL HARBOR and ARMAGEDDON, BAD BOYS II is Michael Bay’s F-you to the world. He took everything that people had been complaining about (senseless plot, mindless action, racist and misogynistic undertones) and threw it into the audience’s face. The result is a film that’s so bad, it’s good, but only if you can laugh along with Michael Bay.
8. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (2011): I’m in the minority with the Transformers films, but I enjoy the giant robots killing themselves and destroying the earth. But the third film in the franchise gets a little out of hand, culminating with the third act, which features a 45 minute battle scene in Chicago where Michael Bay pulls out every stop to make it as over the top as possible. But hey look; giant robots.
7. PEARL HARBOR (2001): He tried. PEARL HARBOR is Michael Bay’s TITANIC in that he tried to combine his trademarked extravagant action sequences with a touching love story. But the love triangle got uncomfortable really quick and the action felt out of place for a WWII film. It’s not as bad as the critics made it out to be, but it was still a sign that Michael Bay needed to focus on being Michael Bay.
6. TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (2009): Now that he had the characters established, Michael Bay could get back to doing what he does; blow stuff up. The second Transformers film does just that slightly edges out the third film because of the great forest battle. The story got a little confusing and I wasn’t sure even Bay knew where it was going, but hey; giant robots.
5. THE ISLAND (2005): After the F-you that was BAD BOYS II, Michael Bay followed that up with THE ISLAND, where he wanted to merge his action style with a complex science fiction story with moral implications. But critics and fans rejected the film, pointing to outdated, overused action stunts, a plot that never really got going and empty lead characters. I cite this film as the reason Bay went all action and no plot with his Transformers movies; why bother if fans just want to see stuff blow up in new ways?
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