I said it. I meant it. now CineFix is gonna explain it.
I’ve long been a fan of Michael Bay’s, ever since Bad Boys. Which I loved. And, as I’ve watched the Bay-hate simmer and grow, I keep thinking the following:
“You cannot deny the man makes enjoyable movies. Most movies suck, so how can you say he’s a BAD director?”
The mistake nearly everyone makes, when criticizing Michael Bay, is they confuse “stuff I don’t like” with “objectively bad”. See, there’s a vast gulf between “things that I like” and “things that are bad”.
I like a lot of things that are not the greatest examples of their art form, like The Core. I like it, but it is objectively a mediocre, cliched, paint-by-numbers movie with ATROCIOUS science. Contrariwise, I dislike a lot of things that are, by any measure, technically marvelous. (Most romantic comedies and many dramas fall into this category.)
Michael Bay is a very skilled and very precise director. He has control over his medium: right or wrong, his movies turn out EXACTLY as he envisioned. That is the mark of a high degree of technical ability, one 99.999% of directors will never achieve. He sets out to thrill the audience, and maybe move them a little bit, and has succeeded far more often than he’s failed, and even his failures are better than the vast majority of movies in existence.
Even if you dislike his brand of hyper-kinetic pop-corn action movies, you need to recognize that his skill as a director is real, and he displays it in every frame of his movies. That level of skill and industriousness is worthy of respect, even if you don’t respect his movies.