Why I’m not (as of this writing) going to go see Transformers: Age of Extinction
By D.G. McCabe
It’s always fun reading movie reviews whenever a new Transformers movie comes out. Many critics seem to hold back their best zingers in anticipation of the release. They hold back on crap film after crap film, knowing that Michael Bay has another serving of giant robots fighting each other right around the corner.
I enjoy Bay’s movies as much as the next person. At times it’s nice to just sit back and watch the fireworks. Michael Bay is a fine craftsman of what he crafts. The best in the business actually. His skill in creating mayhem and destruction for the sake of mayhem and destruction is unimpeachable. Woe betide any who challenge him in this arena.
Here’s the problem – he is being challenged in this arena. Over and over and over again. Hour after hour after pointless hours of nothing but blowing things up. This is no mad scientist creating his Frankenstein’s Monster in isolation – his influence is insidious. Did J.J. Abrams really need to blow up a planet in Star Trek (2009)? Did we really need that ninety minute battle at the end of Man of Steel (2013)? Billions of box office dollars spent on the product of Michael Bay’s endless madness say: absolutely!
Bigger and longer and louder too – the new Transformers is two hours and forty-five minutes. For those keeping score, that’s ten minutes shorter than The Godfather (1972). You and I know full well that Bay doesn’t have ten minutes of story to tell much less one hundred and sixty-five.
To be fair it really isn’t Bay’s fault entirely: this trend really began with 1996’s Independence Day. In that film all of civilization was destroyed by a race so advanced that they mastered interstellar travel but not so advanced as to keep their Norton Antivirus up to date. Somehow, Bay has upped the ante on that film in which, I repeat ALL OF CIVILIZATION WAS DESTROYED.
I can only watch cities being laid to waste so many times on film. We need to send a loud message to Hollywood that we’re no longer going to sit back and let Michael Bay continue to infect the world of cinema with a never ending series of apocalypses. We were so close to ridding ourselves of him for good when Pearl Harbor (2001) and The Island (2005) bombed so spectacularly. But then he came back, like a muscular robot phoenix rising from the ashes of eternity to again trouble us with his insatiable war machine. Can we please, once and for all, just stop?
I’m tilting at windmills here. As much as critics love to hate Bay’s films we have to face the fact that we’re addicted, as a people, to his particular brand of Siva-ness. Maybe I should just face it – as long as he wants to keep making movies, Michael “destroyer of worlds” Bay will continue to find gainful employment doing so.
With that, I bid you all good day.
(c) 2014 D.G. McCabe