Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. Michael Bay is not so bad.
Before you go on an angry rant, screaming how Transformers movies suck, let me tell you what I mean by that. He might not be a director, but he is a brilliant businessman. After all, his movies might lack story or quality acting and contain many, boring action movie clichés, but they do continue to make money.
Transformers Age of Extinction made over $1 billion worldwide, putting it at number one spot in 2014. It didn’t do as well in the U.S.A., but it still beat such films like Interstellar, Gone Girl or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. In my humble opinion, all of them are far superior films and they received better reviews from both the critics and the fans.
If his films are really that bad, why do they earn so much in the box office? Logic would dictate that bad movie equals less ticket sales, less ticket sales equals less money. The thing is, people do watch those movies in large numbers. But what sort of Jedi mind trick has Bay employed to lure them into cinemas. Simple, he made those movies for one of the dumbest part of any population, in any country. Teenagers. More specifically, teenage boys.
They don’t need interesting dialogue, compelling story or good acting, to like a movie. All they need is explosions, tits and ass. A teenage boy will watch Transformers movie and see giant robots fighting, cool explosions and Megan Fox bent over a motorbike. All things he responds well to and wants to see more. But that is not necessarily wrong, can we really blame Michael Bay for making a sound business decision?
Yes. Because this decision had a result of hurting the real fans of the franchise. Men, who watched the original animated series in the 80’s, who are now in their 20s, 30s or even 40s. Those who remember the good old days, when even the animated shows for children had some meaning and were well written. They didn’t relay just on awesome effects and sex to attract their audience. So it’s not a surprise that they feel betrayed and hate Michael Bay for ruining some of their cherished childhood memories, just like George Lucas did with Star Wars.
However, the fault is not entirely Bay’s. The purpose of every film or TV show is to make money, either through ad revenue, merchandise or other. That hasn’t changed for decades and it remains to be the primary driving force behind every decision made in the industry. Sometimes it’s not the makers of the films, directors, actors etc., but the producers. The businessmen behind scenes, making sure that the whole venture actually turns a profit. So they do what they can to lure as many drooling zombies into theatres, using Megan Fox’s ass. That, unfortunately, means antagonising the true fans, with more refined taste. Fans, who will continue to buy tickets and watch Transformers, because they love that franchise. They want it to succeed so much, they are willing to risk disappointment.
The more ambitious projects, the ones directors and actors pour their hearts into, are the ones made for Oscars, Golden Globes and other awards. Unfortunately, they tend to not do as well at the box office as the dumb ones. I demonstrated that on examples from 2nd paragraph.
I guess my point is; as the ancient wisdom of some random dude, who’s name I didn’t bother to look up; hate the game, don’t hate the player. Okay, maybe hate the player a little bit.