Michael Bay has to be without question one of the most maligned directors of modern times; the filmmaker famed for his frantic, hyper-kinetic action flicks is often dismissed as lowering the intelligence and expectations of the average viewer, such that they gladly accept his braindead cinematic offerings without putting up too much of a fight.

Though Bay is only mocked by film buffs, there’s no denying the fact that the man can put together some visually entrancing action sequences, even if his films do most often succumb to idiotic scripting that only a teenage boy can see past.

That said, Bay does demonstrate brief bursts of intelligence and genuine filmmaking pizazz throughout his career; they just have to by cherry-picked from what is usually a middling final product. Here are 10 surprising moments of genius from Michael Bay…



10. The Final Showdown (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

After the mess that was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, few expected Bay’s third Transformers film to be up to much, yet he proved us wrong with the thrilling Dark of the Moon. Though it still featured the stupid, goofy humour and an excessive run-time, the latter is at least partially justified by a final battle that runs in at almost an hour long, as Chicago is veritably laid to waste by the Decepticons.

This is easily the most brutal of the Transformers movies; the wanton destruction clearly causes the death of thousands, and seeing the city be torn apart in such grandiose style allows Bay to harness the very best of his directorial repertoire.

More to the point, because the film was shot in 3D, the action is actually a little more stable and coherent than the last two films (as the 3D camera rigs are considerably larger than normal equipment). This stupendously entertaining finale restored my faith in Bay as an action director; the guy just needs to pick better scripts.

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This article was first posted on April 24, 2013