8 Subtle Ways Michael Bay's Movies Are Even Worse Than You Thought

Explosions aren't even the half of it.

Michael Bay is regarded pretty unanimously outside of US flag-waving circles as a terrible director. His movies are overlong, turgid exercises aimed at the lowest common denominator that inexplicably make an obscene amount of money (he's the fourth highest grossing director), making Bay something of an emblem of everything wrong with the business at present. And yet, while all that's true, he's also got a style he's perfected over decades that imitation has proven is nigh-on impossible to replicate. You have to (almost) respect him for that. The main trait is the illusion of constant action, with short edits stitching together obtuse shots. There's dutch angles and sunsets galore to give it a recognisable visual language, and then the shaky-cam explosions kick in. The difference between Bayhem, otherwise known more eloquently as "f*cking the frame", and repeated trademarks of other directors is that in most other cases the recurring style is a form of artistry that strengthens the movies (Bridge Of Spies is as obviously a Steven Spielberg as the newly released 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi is Bay's); the brutish execution of Bay's kills them. But Bayhem is just the start of the cliches that litter Michael Bay's movies, and while the way he constructs the films is nauseating by itself, it's these little known traits that occur time-and-again (particularly in his post-2000 works) that really ensure each new outing is inevitably terrible.

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.