Love him or hate him, Michael Bay has carved a niche for himself in Hollywood as a top rainmaker in spite of his movies being generally slammed by the critics.
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Looking at his cinematography record, it is pretty obvious that Bay hasn't really ever been a critical darling :
1995 Bad Boys 43%
1996 The Rock 67%
1998 Armageddon 39%
2001 Pearl Harbor 25%
2003 Bad Boys II 23%
2005 The Island 40%
2007 Transformers 57%
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 20%
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon 36%
2013 Pain & Gain 50%
2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction 18%
His only film to have a positive reception on Rotten Tomatoes is The Rock (1996). But more importantly his only commercial flop is The Island (2005) and that is mainly considered a marketing failure. So Bay delivers in this money minded business and he knows that he isn't going to win any Oscars. Critics have often labelled his films as misogynistic, racist, cynical, mean-spirited, brainless etc. and he has been nominated for 4 Golden Raspberry awards as Worst Director. He had once before responded to criticisms against him saying
"I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime."
This about sums it up. This guy knows what he is doing and knows his target demographic well, so it is no surprise he has built one of the most successful film franchises of modern times with the Transformers.
His latest blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction is set to dominate the weekend box-office with opening box-office figures tracking at 96 million which will make it the highest opening this year beating Captain America 2. And considering the fact that this franchise is increasingly making tons of money overseas it might be another entry in the billion dollar club. This seems baffling...at first glance, at least. Currently [Transformers: Age of Extinction](movie:206531) has a 18% score on Rotten Tomatoes and top critics give it a measly 6% which makes it a series low. So how can this ever translate to the gargantuan earnings? Why so much discord between Transformers fans and critical reception?
"Transformers" is uniquely a critic proof franchise. Fans of this franchise know exactly what they are in for; i.e. elaborate action set-pieces, CGI spectacle, loud explosions, but don't expect for soul, character development, coherent plot which are generally essentials of any other movie. The core essence of all four Transformer movies is almost the same with minor changes and there is demand for more of the same.
On the other hand critics view 800-900 movies a year including foreign films slated for limited release. Because of this they judge films based on original concepts, coherent narrative, story, well developed character arcs, tone, themes, etc. Since all four Transformer movies are very similar, in essence, they feel that these are unnecessary sequels only aimed to milk money without bringing anything fresh to the table.
Responding to negative reception of his latest entry in the transformers franchise, Michael Bay says:
"[Naysayers] love to hate, and I don’t care; let them hate. They’re still going to see the movie! I think it’s good to get a little tension. Very good."
Also he adds
"I used to get bothered by it, but I think it’s good to get the dialogue going. It makes me think, and it keeps me on my toes, so it’s good."
With another box office success on his hands, Michael Bay doesn't need to fix his M.O.
Personally, I am not a huge fan of the franchise. I believe we can get giant action block-busters and still have soul, character depth, narrative. Captain America 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow are most examples of movies that succeed at doing just that. But...at the same time, I get why people love this franchise. It's a lot of big fun on the big screen.
Source : MTV
I am curious to know what you think. Do you like the current Transformers franchise? Would you rather have them reboot it?