I would like to start off with a positive and informative note. Accordingly to my little knowledge and research on film making, a director is essentially the main person who oversees the tone, direction, pace, and artistic control of a film. They basically have the final say on what goes on in the production of a film. There are exceptions of course. However, based on his own words and behind-the-scene footage, Michael Bay is a director who takes firm control and authority on his set. He invests himself emotionally in his works. In abstract and broad strokes, these are characteristics can certainly be to a director’s advantage and help make a great movie.
That being said, Michael Bay seems to take those characteristics to the negative end of the spectrum. I have read that Michael Bay did not want to make the movie for 2011, but rather 2012. And it kinda shows. Not that it was underdeveloped or that it could have used more time or anything like that. What I mean is that his contempt (for being pressured into making this movie for a time less of his choosing) clearly shows with moments tailor-made to purge the movie of anything likeable; not enjoyable, but likeable. Although with his embittered directing, I do appreciate the complete lack of sequel-baiting in this movie. Without spoiling much, one would have to get fairly creative to actually make a sequel for this movie.
This movie also reveals to me that I think Michael Bay is a lazy writer. To be fair, he did not actually write the script; writing credits go to Ehren Kruger. However, most directors (and I can only assume Mr. Bay does the same) make the final approvals of the scripts. In other words, if the script sucks and the director doesn’t have it fixed, then it is their burden to bear as well. How does it suck? Well, it seems apparent that significant plot devices (let’s simply call them McGuffins for short, because they have that much meaning to Mr. Bay) from previous movies in the franchise have less meaning/importance in the following movies. If anything, they have barely a passing purpose in the following movies. Not sure what I mean, here are the examples:
-The first movie, the hunt is for the Cube (All-Spark). It is what drives the plot forward. In the second movie, what is left of it is used to bring characters back and make Shia LeBouf’s character “important” to the movie.
-In the second movie, the Matrix of Leadership is what the Autobots are searching for as it will help them in the end; which it does. In this movie, it is relegated to bringing a character back from the dead (witnessing the start of a pattern here?) and not much else. Its meaning and importance almost completely superfluous to the rest of the movie.
To me, this shows that the writers are clearly just making things work as they come, and not as effectively as others can. What it shows about Michael is that he doesn’t understand how to make the material better than presented or that he didn’t even bother reading the script until it came to shooting. I really want to point out a couple points of Bay’s incompetence by saying: he fails at science forever! In the third act of the movie, BUILDINGS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!! He is trying to make cool action sequences, but they do not bend at those angles unless they are designed to; and those buildings weren’t!
Yes, people can glide in those body suits, but nowhere near the accuracy or lift to which those troops were going at it. Also, even gliding in those suits and getting tremendous speeds and distance with them, they are constantly falling; they do not fly *period*.
On a subtler and less angry note, Chernobyl is mentioned in the movie and was mentioned to be completely uninhabitable for 20,000 years. To my limited knowledge and research on the matter, this is, in fact, incorrect. Chernobyl is actually habitable with only some concern for radiation (namely if the protective measures fail), but background radiation (the concern cited in the movie) is not a factor. I am not upset about this, because I can’t really back it up as much as I would prefer.
After the firing of Megan Fox from the movie (bloody good thing too), I had some theories as to why exactly Michael Bay hires certain nubile, physically attractive, and unknown actresses as leading roles in these movies. I won’t state them here simply because I will not stake what credibility I have on making any potentially wildly libelous comments. You can draw your own conclusions at home though ^_^
On the topic of women in media, the old school stories usually weren’t too kind to women. They tended to be objects sought after, cruel manipulators, and otherwise worthless without men. Not only do I feel that all of those apply in Bay’s movie, but also that he actually demeans male as well. Sam, I feel, seems worthless and adrift without a girlfriend; like his life has no value if he can’t “pick up chicks.” Sorry, but every person can be an island. No one needs each other intrinsically. We want each other, but do not need; there is a HUGE difference.
On the topic of characters, why, oh why, do we need to have so many broadly written caricatures? Why are some of these characters so blatantly one-note? Can no one have definition beyond annoying f*&^%-tard? Also, why are some characters even in the movie to begin with? There are so many superfluous characters it is aggravating. I do not get emotionally invested in some of these part-time and non-dimensional characters who contribute nothing to the story or the overall plot; they are there, because they were paid to be there.
I may not have walked out on it, but I got out as soon as I knew that I could without missing any additional footage. I paid only $4 for this movie and I still feel like I paid too much. My only solace: that I spent just as much supporting my favorite theater.