ByHank Strickler, writer at

In the last year or so since Transformers 4: Michael Bay Swims in Money came out, I’ve heard people compare Bay’s 160 minute turd to Pacific Rim three times. This is wrong for so many reasons. I’ve literally hurt my brain trying to understand why so many people are still going to see transformers movies. Even someone dumb enough to keep the name Shia finally jumped ship before this one.

I know Guillermo Del Toro’s movie about giant robots smashing things (Pacific Rim) is nearly as dumb as Michael Bay’s 4 movies about giant robots smashing things. But I love the former and I honestly hope Michael Bay dies alone all Citizen Kane-y remembering the one good Indy flick he accidentally wandered into years before, (slowly whispers) “Take… Shelter…” (if you haven’t seen Take Shelter, you absolutely should. Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain will knock your socks off).

There’s a key difference in the two. Del Toro made PR and dismissed the idea of coherent story structure in order to make a good, silly action movie, because realism would impede that. Instead, he sunk his teeth into outstanding visuals, a few great fights (a robot smashing a Godzilla thing with a cruise ship? Yes please.) and one epic speech from the man, the myth, the legend himself: Stringer Bell. I mean Idris Elba, aka Stacker Pentecost, aka I’m naming my firstborn Stacker.

If you object to the movie because of all the logical inconsistencies: the coastal wall; the sword; the EMP; stopping the Jaeger program; Charlie Kelly being a biologist; I’m afraid you’re missing the point entirely. Could some of those aspects have been fixed? Yes, but then it wouldn’t be Pacific Rim, in all its hilarious awesome/dumb glory.

Michael Bay, on the other hand, thinks his movies are just misunderstood. He has a style, we just don’t get it because we’re dummies who don’t have houses made of gold. Bay’s movies, with the possible exception of The Rock, are all mashups of interchangeable, blurry, repetitively choreographed fight scenes with protagonists the audience will all actively be rooting against by the time the screen goes black.

Because it’s making an absurd amount of money and Michael Bay has no soul, there’s going to be a 5th, 6th, and 7th (a 7th!) Transformers. The good folks over at Warners quickly green-lit a PR sequel not long after it opened too. If you must see Transformers again, it’s your life. But you should check out Pacific Rim 2 (Atlantic Rim?), in case you’re looking for a better version.


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