Are Michael Bay Movies Good?

Michael Bay movies

What is the definition of a good movie? It’s a hard question to answer and it’s a big reason why I started this blog. Michael Bay movies, including his new one Pain and Gain hitting theatres this weekend, tends to be a target for this question so let’s take a look at everyone’s favourite mega-egotistical cinematic punching bag of a director. Would you consider Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, or Transformers 1 through 3 good movies? A lot of people do think they’re pretty good or he wouldn’t be able to make the HUGE blockbusters that he does. Sorry, movie studios don’t just hand over money unless they know they’re going to get it back, and then some. Transformers 3 was made for almost $200 million, and it made more than a billion.

Let’s look at why his films would be considered “good”:

1)   Spectacle – If you’re going to the movies to see things you don’t normally get to see, in amazing high definition detail and over the time sequences, it’s hard to see he doesn’t hit the mark. Whether it’s a re-enactment of the bombing on Pearl Harbor, barely hanging to the side of a skyscraper at dizzying heights in The Island or a trolly vs Ferrari fight on the streets of San Francisco in The Rock. When you go to a Michael Bay movie, you know you’re going to see something you would normally not get to see, and on a grander scale.

2)   Humour – Some would argue that it’s not the most “high-class” of haha but there is a level of brevity in his movies that makes them fun and accessible.  You can tell that the characters are winking to the audience that they aren’t taking all this too seriously and that we’re all along for the ride. Michael Bay hasn’t really made a fully blown comedy yet, and I’m not sure if he could, but I’m also not sure if I want him to. Sprinkling his often adolescent, but not out of place, humour in between unbelievably orchestrated action scenes helps the movie along and cleanses the pallet for the next onslaught.

3)   Clear story – You can’t argue that Michael Bay movies are a pretty straight forward A to B plot with a few explosions along the way. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many movies try too hard to be smart, but only a very few are actually good at pulling it off. Being convoluted for the sake of trying to seem intelligent does not a good movie make. There is no mistaking the motivations or challenges presented in Bay’s movies. It’s like a roller coaster, you know where you’re going and you can see the track to get there, but you still enjoy the ride.

I’ve heard many people say they hate Michael Bay movies because A) they hate mindless action, B) the plots are too simple, or C) they’re just plain dumb. But do these points, which are fine as opinions, mean his movies are not good? I’d just say you’re not the audience he’s making them for. And based on the money they make, it’s a pretty big audience.

Some of the Google+ Community Comments:

Cameron Perry – He knows what his audience wants and delivers. Hard to argue he’s good at what he sets out to achieve. How many directors can really claim that?

Rodricus Kirby – I think he does make good movies. They may not be “thinking man’s” movies but he had his own style and explores stuff that everyone can watch.

Ryan Shoots – And he’s relentless in his vision. I can respect him as an artist for that. I don’t particularly enjoy the plots that much but they are a joy to watch because of the technical mastery of those involved.

Peter Otzen – His movies are good in the way that American Idol is a good TV show, or Fifty Shades of Grey is a good book, or McDonalds is a good restaurant. Yes people go to eat there, a lot. But no one in their right mind would say it’s good food.  Same with Michael Bay’s movies.

JD Duran – I love Michael Bay movies…his humour is great and the action is always good.

What are your thoughts on the man known as Michael Bay? And now for your viewing pleasure, every explosion from his movies.

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  1. I love this blog post and it’s exactly what I think. Do you care if I use some of this on our podcast this week? I’ll of course he sure to mention you.

  2. Hey JD,
    Absolutely share on your podcast. What’s the show called? I encourage you share the link to the show here in the comments (and if you don’t mind, putting a link to this blog in your show notes)
    Russel recently posted…Are Michael Bay Movies Good?My Profile

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