Michael Bay is a director who gets a lot of flack, but is it really deserved? Sure, the bombastic director might not be known for his subtlety, but that isn't really what fans are looking for when they sign up for one of his explosive, in-your-face action movies.
As a director, there is no denying Bay's knack for epic compositions, dynamic swooping camera movement and editing that slams the viewer into the drivers seat and creates something overblown, gripping and distinct.
Below are five of my favorite scenes that demonstrate the undeniable white-knuckle quality of a well-executed work of Bayhem, but do you agree with my selection?
5. Bad Boys II - Car Chase
Yes, yes, I know that Bad Boys is a better movie overall, but the classic car chase scene in Bad Boys II is Bay at his bombastic best. Mike Lowrey skillfully weaving his Ferrari through the traffic is white-knuckle stuff, but the way that Bay has managed to inject comedy into this tense scenario is what really makes this scene for me.
4. Transformers - Optimus in his Prime
I loved Transformers as a kid and I thought the first movie in Bay's trilogy was a pretty spot on transition to the big screen. Huge, humanoid robots were never going to call for subtlety and the loud, shiny, sometimes ridiculous feel of the film struck a cord with millions of lifelong fans.
The final battle when Sam rams the AllSpark into Megatron's chest and extinguishes his spark is well choreographed, keyed up and emotional all at the same time and, it could be argued, one of the best representations of Transformers on the big screen.
3. The Island - Final Scene
When the clones are freed and see the outside world for the first time, it's a truly beautiful ending to this tale of oppression and exploitation. The final shot of the figures in white surveying the wonders of nature with fresh eyes is an example of Bay's cinematographic style at it's best.
2. The Rock - The Shower Scene
By far Michael Bay's most critically acclaimed movie, The Rock is an absolute classic of the genre and the shower scene is a real stand out. When the emotive speech turns into an unjust massacre, this is the sort of scene that will cause a lot of grown men to have "something in their eye." Powerful stuff.
1. Armageddon - Asteroid Hits
Bay at his explosive (quite literally) best. Simple.