I'm 30 years old now, I've been watching Michael Bay films since I was 14. Even though these days, I don't get so excited over his movies (although 13 Hours looks awesome!), I'll still have a soft spot for him.
When Transformers was announced, as someone who never watched it as a kid, I wasn't too excited. But damn, he nailed it. The tone was perfect, it had a lot of charm, the pacing was great, the action wasn't ever too much and the effects were revolutionary.
Transformers 2: Yeah the writer's strike killed it, but what was more disappointing was the fact that the movie was still made despite it. I don't understand the Hollywood business though, so I'm not qualified to give an opinion, but artistically it was disappointing from Bay.
Transformers 3: Screw the haters, I liked it! Although there wasn't the emotional pull to it that Armageddon has.
It was wrapped up nicely after T3. I was over the moon when Pain & Gain was announced as his next film. The first half is just perfect. The 2nd half isn't great, but if Bay kept up the magic of the first half, then it would have been by far his best film. Bay 2.0 was about to begin... but then Transformers 4 was announced.
Now I only just watched Transformers 4 last Saturday. For someone who spent every day glued to this website when he was 15, if you went back in time and told that kid that one day he's wouldn't be too bothered about a Michael Bay movie... well I'm not sure what he would have done...
Anyway, I watched it.... and you know what... that first hour was magic. I was 15 again! But then the next 2 hours.... what the hell happened?
Whilst each action sequence was impressive, and makes you doubt any other filmmaker could do it, when you mash all those sequences together, it was 2 hours of non-stop mayhem. Not Bayhem, just mayhem!
Whilst the technology may have been groundbreaking, the casual viewer had already seen this before. In fact, the sequence where Wahlberg and Savoy fight is probably the most refreshing thing in the film because it's so simple, and you actually care what's going on. But when the rest is just, robots smashing into each other scene after scene, no matter how much work it took to create it, it's just frikking boring.
I just can't see what Michael Bay sees in this franchise anymore. What emotionally pulls him to it? I hope he's moving on now with 13 Hours and becoming a serious film maker again. Despite the flaws Pain and Gain and Pearl Harbor have, at least they were a real good go at getting out of his comfort zone and making great films. But surely there's only so many giant robots a guy can animate for nearly 10 years of his life.
You got your trilogy (and the token 4th one) sir, please go back to being Michael Bay. Make those Armageddons again, return your characters to the foreground, and dare to do something different. Whilst 13 Hours may be a start, don't go back to your comfort zone. You're a story teller, not a technology whore!
And if you do make Transformers 5.... can my band do the soundtrack... we're better than Imagine Dragons