Dead bodies, body kits and babes: The Work of Michael Bay Pt. 2
Making some more easy bank, Bay returned to his roots with a sequel to âBad Boys,â with more explosions, more sex and more violence, and of course, more car body kits getting exploding into the stratosphere. âBad Boys IIâ was a much darker, even bitter film than its predecessor, ignoring what made the original film guilty pleasure fun. âBad Boys IIâ is Bay at his most extreme, pushing the R rating and including an especially heinous scene of a childâs repeated use of the n-word. Critics hated it, but it made money, so look for the third installment by Bay very soon.
Bay had his first taste of box office disaster with âThe Island,â a film which cost $126 million to make and only earned $36 million in the states, but $163 million total. By Bay standards, it was an embarrassment. But the strange thing is, it is actually one of Bayâs more interesting films, the one that might actually be seen as something of a lost gem. The story, which was accused of plagorizing the 1979 film âParts: The Clonus Horrorâ as well as elements from the novel âSparesâ and Philip K. Dickâs âthe Penultimate Truth,â is a science fiction/escape tale about Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson trying to escape from a contaminated America to reach âthe Island,â a place inhabitable in the wasteland. There are lots of silly âcloneâ plot points and silly coma drama, but it was at least an interesting divergence from Bayâs usually shtick. The worst thing about the film, and something which would become a trend with Bay, was his use of prominent and obvious product placement: including, Valvin Klein, Reebok, Miller Light, NBC, Apple, Nokia, Ben & Jerryâs, Budweiser, General Motors, and Microsoft, to name a few.
Then game âTransformers,â an idea so obvious to be a success that it is strange it hadnât happened sooner. Mix in child-toy nostalgia, cool cars, hot chicks, robots and explosionsâaudiences couldnât help but go see it. Visually, âTransformersâ was a huge success, taking CGI to its limits, with each part of the Transformersâ CGI transformation from car to robot intricately mapped out so you could see every gear, every piston change. The first âTransformersâ had a legitimate story, though a silly one. The second âTransformersâ abandoned all pretense of plot for more action, more Megan Fox, and more conservative political subtext. The second âTransformersâ movie was an even bigger success than people imagined, with product placement and public relations pushing the film down Americaâs throat. It was one of the worst reviewed movies of the year, with even star Megan Fox, who owes everything to Bayâs casting of her in the franchise, ripping on the movieâs ridiculous plot and even Bayâs tyrannical directing style.
With the amount of money that Bay and his producers and the studio are rolling in, they would be stupid not to close the franchise with another film. Bay has already signed on for the third installment in the franchise to be released in 2011. It is likely to be a film so big that it threatens to destroy the world as we know it. Thank you, Michael Bay.
About the Author
Alan McGee is a freelance writer from MN.
Never on Sundays