Even Michael Bay Thinks His Last ‘Transformers’ Movie Sucked

It was just a little under a year ago that star Shia LaBeouf made some surprisingly frank statements to the press about to the widely-derided sequel ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’, in which he admitted: ” I wasn’t impressed with what we did… There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone.” If perhaps not the most scathing criticism we viewers tortured by the film might lay on it, this was still remarkably forthright for someone in the industry (someone who planned to make another ‘Transformers’ movie, no less) to say in public. Well, that was nothing. Now even director Michael Bay is owning up to the movie’s awfulness, and he’s using stronger language.

“When I look back at it, that was crap,” Bay said in an interview with the British magazine Empire. Ain’t that the truth?

Of course, in typical Michael Bay fashion, he doesn’t quite accept any of the blame for that himself: “The writers’ strike was coming hard and fast. It was just terrible to do a movie where you’ve got to have a story in three weeks…I was prepping a movie for months where I only had 14 pages of some idea of what the movie was. It’s a BS way to make a movie, do you know what I’m saying?”

This is fairly consistent with the attitude that Bay struck in the bonus features on the ‘Revenge of the Fallen‘ Blu-ray release. The director spent a good portion of the audio commentary pointing out other people’s errors during the production, as if to demonstrate how much smarter he is than everyone else.

The thing is, those same supplements on the disc make it pretty clear that most of the worst ideas in the movie were Bay’s own doing, and had nothing to do with the Writer’s Strike. The included documentary has actual footage of Bay instructing the VFX people to make a little robot hump Megan Fox’s leg. He giggles like a schoolgirl at how hilarious he thinks it is. (In the commentary, Bay even talks about how proud he was of the scene.) He later goes off on a defensive rant in the commentary about obnoxious “geography buffs” who might complain that the back door to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. doesn’t open onto a desert.

I also fail to see how a rushed production schedule would somehow force Bay to insert offensive racial caricatures into his movie. What, he didn’t have enough time to think of something that wasn’t racist? That’s his instinctive go-to idea when he’s in a hurry? Let’s put a couple of blackface characters in here shucking and jiving! Awesome! Maybe he shouldn’t have come up with that idea (or given it the thumbs-up) in the first place.

Oh, and if the Writer’s Strike was to blame for everything wrong with ‘Revenge of the Fallen’, how does that explain why all of his other movies are equally stupid?

Anyway, despite Bay’s lack of personal accountability, even the mere acknowledgement that his last ‘Transformers’ movie stunk is a very odd thing for a man to do while promoting the next one.

[via Wilnervision]


  1. I used to look forward to Michael Bay’s movies in the 90s, but he seems to be all about the money these days…how else can you explain doing three TRANSFORMERS movies back to back? Has he lost all desire to expand his craft and try different things?

    • Adam

      I don’t know. I kind of like the fact that he’s sticking with Transformers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a child of the 80’s and LOVED the Transformers toys and cartoons growing up. I hate his movies though. At least if he’s making back to back to back (to back to back…) Transformers movies, he can’t ruin some other perfectly good movie. Ohhh, gives me an idea – lets dump Nic Cage in Transformers 4, so that it’s one less movie he can ruin too.

  2. Adam

    That actually gives me a great idea for Weekend Roundtable type discussion – Could you assemble a group of A/B list people to make a movie so bad that it’s awesome in its unintention comedy? I’m not talking like low-budget Troma movies, but mega-blockbuster scale movies. Directed by someone like Bay, produced by Lucas and/or Bruckheimer, starring Nic Cage, Sly Stallone, Megan Fox, etc. Suggestions?

    • I think they’ve already done this with “Poseidon” a few years back. You can make the same arguement about M. Night’s “The Happening”, although I’m not sure the budget was that huge for that one. Two “big” movies so bad, they’re actually laughable in their “seriousness”.

      Of course “Old Hollywood” used to do this all the time. Today, it’s just too damn expensive.

    • What do you consider to be “so bad its awesome?” I mean, I love Demolition Man, but I can point out many people who thought it was bad.

      I for one liked Mamma Mia, so this would depend on what you call a Big Budget movie.

      I guess most obvious movie in recent years would be Avatar. Going back and recently rewatching it, yeah, it is as bad as Josh says it is, but it is awesome.

      Any of the Batman movies before Batman Begins, and the majority of the Superman movies (with the exception of the first one, and the Richard Donnar cut of the second one) could fall under this category.

      And of course, Flash Gordon, however, I think that was designed to be that way. I LOVE it because it is so bad.

      Good topic, probably needs some more boundaries.

  3. Pedram

    He was also responsible for those two big wrecking ball thingies between Devastator’s legs. I even remember him in the extra features saying “now that’s funny!” and I totally rolled my eyes. At least he promises that there will be no more dorky humour (like robots farting) in the third. That was one of my main gripes about the second actually (the “humour”).

  4. Brandon Erwin

    I think we all just need to wait and see. I personally agree with all the comments about how flawed ROTF was, but at the same time I can’t say I didn’t at least enjoy it. Even in This Websites review of the first one, it was admitted that “there’s no denying that ‘Transformers’ is a cinematic roller coaster par excellence.” After seeing the trailer for the third installment, I am at least a bit excited that it has more of a “dark” appearance.
    And Josh, I like your post about the redneck robots, but was it not You that said “The metallic monstrosities in the movie bore no resemblance to the classic characters they were named after.” I think that Very True statement is enough to keep me hoping the new film will lack mullet sporting robots.

    • Josh Zyber

      Brandon, that toy I showed in the last post is a movie tie-in product based on the design of the character in the film, not the other way around.

      What I said in the RotF review was that the characters in the movie bore no resemblance to the original 1980s characters (which they don’t). However, Hasbro has a whole line of newer Transformers toys based on the movies.

      • Brandon Erwin

        Haha 🙂 Thanks for pointing that out, I missed that part of you’re article Josh. While that Did just knock my expectations of the film down a little, I still can’t wait for the new one. Robots, Action, Violence, Loud…I’m not really going to care how flawed the story is. I appreciate a Good film, and understand that these are far from cinematic masterpieces, but I still enjoy them for what they are. Do I want them to be better? Hell yeah 🙂 I still expect this movie to be a hit though, and hope that because we all have such Low expectations, the movie will prove to at least exceed them. And Sorry for Misquoting you, I should have paid more attention!

  5. motorheadache

    Da-ha! Remember all those people that were bitching about Josh’s review? Now even the guy who made the damn movie says it sucks!

  6. I’m a big Michael Bay fan, I personally dont think any other director has the visual flair and excellent eye for action like he does, same goes for Paul WS Anderson, can they do much else, like writing a decent script that doesnt sound like a 12 year old wrote it? Nope I can agree with that, but that doesnt stop me from highly enjoying their films, older Bay was much better, Bad Boys is one of my favorites and it was amazing the stuff he could pull off with the budget he had, some amazing chases, action, explosions and Smith and Lawrence were hilarious…..The Rock, The Island and the original Transformers I cant get enough of, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and now Transformers 2 I find myself not really wanting to watch again 😉 But even those last few I mentioned have amazing action scenes and visuals, IMO he’s one of the best at that and I can forgive a lot with my tastes