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Top 10 Reasons Why Michael Bay Movies Are Hated

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Clayton Martino His films receive a lot of criticism, but is it justified? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Michael Bay Movies are Hated. For this list, we're looking at the reasons critics and audiences dislike Michael Bay films. Special thanks to our user FlorinP for suggesting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest using our interactive suggest tool.
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Script written by Clayton Martino

Top 10 Reasons Why Michael Bay Movies Are Hated


His films receive a lot of criticism, but is it justified? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Michael Bay Movies are Hated.

For this list, we’re looking at the reasons critics and audiences dislike Michael Bay films. We are focusing primarily on those movies which were directed by Bay, although we are also including films where he acted as a producer.

#10: Too Much Patriotism

Okay, we get it: Americans are proud to be American and are passionate about patriotism. But with his overreliance on patriotism as a theme, Michael Bay would have you think that America is the only country in the world. Almost all of his films include the American military in some form or another, glamorized Bay-style of course, and he peppers American flags throughout his sets like they’re going out of style. Think we’re kidding? According to some sources, there are 53 flags in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” alone. That works out to 1 flag appearing for every 3 minutes of screen time.

#9: Terrible Comedy

Bay has famously declared that he makes movies for teenage boys. This might explain why the comedy in his films is so awful. Even then, do teenage boys really find robots peeing on people funny? Worse still, how is watching Sam Witwicky’s mom eating pot brownies even the slightest bit amusing? The comedy crime film “Pain & Gain” had a few laughs, but that was mainly due to the presence of The Rock. Critics are firm in their belief that there’s no creativity behind the humor in Bay’s films, and that his attempts at comedy are an embarrassment.

#8: So. Much. Product. Placement.

All of Bay’s films are notorious for pushing consumer products, but none comes close to “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in this regard. In total, there are reportedly 55 different brands featured in the movie, including Armani, Budweiser, and Chevrolet. What’s most frustrating, however, is how obvious they all are. While some filmmakers choose to insert products carefully and artistically into scenes, Bay puts them front and center. We get it: they paid you to hawk their wares. The only thing this achieves is making the audience NOT want to buy their product.

#7: Ruined “Transformers” AND “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

If you grew up in the ‘80s, odds are you liked both “Transformers” and the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” And odds are Michael Baynearly ruined both of these series for you with his terrible films. Bay failed to capture the heart that made both these franchises so appealing, choosing instead to focus on confusing action sequences and massive explosions. While Bay was only the producer on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the film was panned by critics because it wasn’t entertaining and lacked the fun that enlivened the earlier films. Totally not bodacious, dudes.

#6: Panders to Lowest Common Denominator

Yes, directors generally have a target audience in mind when they create films and yes, they stick to what they do well. Martin Scorsese, for example, usually focuses on mob films because they are what he does best. But is it possible for Michael Bay to do something that doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator? For once, we would love to watch a Bay film that actually makes us think or shows us something new. Maybe a little strong character development or plot, for a change. Anything but a guy drinking a protein shake and doing curls throughout the film.

#5: Objectifies Female Characters

On the whole, Michael Bay’s male characters are pretty much one-dimensional. But his portrayal of female characters is generic and stereotypical at best, insultingly sexist at worst. The women in his films are almost always objectified. Look no further than the first “Transformers” film and its practically naked Megan Fox leaning over the hood of the car to see what we mean. One of the big moments of “Armageddon” involves Bruce Willis basically giving Liv Tyler over Ben Affleck – and all she does is cry and watch her men try to save the world from the comfort of her home. And don’t even get us started on “Pearl Harbor.”

#4: Racial Stereotypes

However, Bay’s portrayal of race is actually worse than his objectification of women. Not only are these characters not funny, they are downright offensive. The characters of Mudflap and Skids in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” are particularly loathsome, with some critics referring to them as some of the most racist caricatures ever seen in mainstream film. Bay responded that he was simply trying to put more personality into the film. Uh, no Mr. Bay, you’re simply showing your cultural ignorance.

#3: Bad & Clichéd Camerawork

From a more technical standpoint, Bay’s films are simply poorly shot. He’s over-dependent on slow motion, which he uses almost every time there’s an explosion or any loud noise – which, in a Bay film, is more often than not. We also see the same low-angle shot of a character every time they get out of a car. When you use this shot over and over, it loses any effectiveness and becomes annoying and clichéd. Bay’s action scenes are also incredibly confusing, making it nearly impossible for the audience to understand what is actually happening.

#2: Emphasizes Action Sequences Over Story

We’ve been building to this point for basically the entire list. Many people enjoy action sequences – what they don’t enjoy, however, are films that contain dozens of action scenes but no story. Bay’s plots often don’t make any sense, and we can’t help but feel that this is because he spends the entire time dreaming up over-the-top explosions and fight scenes. Action scenes are effective when the audience cares about the characters involved. In Bay’s films, however, we barely know anything about the characters, making these scenes hollow and ultimately boring.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
- Produced Horrible Remakes of Horror Films
- Annoying Marketing Campaigns
- Reuses Footage from Previous Films
- “Pearl Harbor”

#1: His Awful Movies Are Box Office Successes

At the end of the day, as much as we complain about Michael Bay, he isn’t going to stop making films because of one reason – money. Believe it or not, Bay has never lost money on a film he directed. Considering that several of his films have had budgets of over $150 million, this is equally impressive and annoying. Both “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” for example, made over a billion dollars worldwide, despite being almost universally panned by critics. As long as the cash registers keep ringing, Bay has no incentive to mess with his winning formula.

Do you agree with our list? Why do you hate Michael Bay movies? For more exciting Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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