Did Michael Bay just apologize for 'Transformers 2'?

Michael Bay has spent half a decade working solely on huge action movies about alien robots who transmogrify into product placement cool cars, with only the occasional break to focus on artsy stuff. But the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon will apparently be his last go-round with the franchise. So it’s not surprising that, at the end of this long strange trip, Bay is feeling a little bit more contemplative than usual. In a freewheeling interview with Collider, Bay talks excitedly about a whole host of topics. Main point of interest: Bay speaks openly about some of the problems that derailed the second film in the franchise (which, if memory serves, was subtitled Return of the Revenge of the Rise of the Fallen). “On the second movie we got burned,” says Bay. Noting the quickened pace of pre-production due to the writers’ strike, Bay notes, “We had to agree on a story in three weeks, and then we knew they were going on strike. It was a f—ed scenario all the way around. It wasn’t fair to the writer, it wasn’t fair to me, and it wasn’t fair to anybody.” The director does insist, “it was still an entertaining movie,” but he also admits, “I think we failed on certain aspects.”

Bay claims that they’re taking the lessons learned on Fallen to heart: “I got rid of the dorky comedy,” he says, which is presumably code for “No more minstrel-bots.” Admittedly, Bay doesn’t blame himself for Fallen‘s failures — it’s a bit strange to hear a director whose budgets regularly top $150 million to say the words “it wasn’t fair to me” — but even so, it’s interesting to see the Patron Saint of Onscreen Badassery admit that mistakes were made in his most recent movie. As far as mea culpas go, it’s no “Wahlberg Hates Happening,” but we’ll take it. (Please, though, no more Robot Heaven.)

PopWatchers, does hearing Bay point out problems with Revenge of the Fallen make you more excited for Dark of the Moon? Is he being too hard on himself? Should we all just start blaming the Writers’ Strike for everything that’s gone wrong in the last few years?

Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Comments (62 total) Add your comment
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  • LosAngeleno

    Is there any way Mr. Bay can give me my $12.50 back then?

    • Aj

      Yeah, I wish the movie had come with a disclaimer. Something like: “Warning, this movie was done during the writer’s strike, so don’t expect any story, character development and continuity”.

    • Mathieu

      “It’s no ‘Wahlberg Hates Happening'”? It’s exactly the same, EW. Wahlberg isn’t blaming himself for his terrible work in that film either; he’s just saying the film is bad, which shows far less humility than you give him credit for.

      • therealeverton

        /that’ll be because he didin’t do terrible work on the happening; he gave precisely the performance his director “directed” him to. Further proof of that is found in the “work” of other actors in the film who we know are very capable but also seemed devoid of acting talent. See also, Star Wars episode II.

  • Jenny

    So what was his excuse for the pile of crap that was the first Transformers film? I’ll at least give him credit for firing the girl who can’t act and who compared him to Hitler.

    • Jonathan


    • Michael Bay

      There was nothing wrong about the first one I made, it was the second one I had problems about.

      • Kevin

        Michael, please go back and rewatch the “Transformers hiding on the front lawn” scene… trust me, there are many things wrong with the first movie.

      • Seth

        Michael, I personally think the only REAL problem with the second film was the pacing. I loved the action scenes and how you went deeper into the mythos. The first seemed like it was a little shy to go all the way in terms of the story, action scenes, and comdey, and thus felt like it was trying to please everyone without trying its hardest in any particular area. As long as it is written well, I would keep the same directing style that was done with Revenge of the Fallen. The scenes were more coherent and I could piece the action scenes up alot easier than the first.

      • Omnimorphic

        Michael, You don’t need to appologize. You have made Three of my all time favorite movies, TF1 & TF2 are at the top. TF2 is my #1 choice of all time, because it is such a thrill ride, and it is so silly/dorky. I laugh at it the lines over and over and over again. I wish the final fight had had more work, true. I felt that there were a few turkey shots of animation as well – but it leaves all other action adventure movies cold. Do not pull back on your style. TF3 is the only movie I’m looking forward to in 2011 – have you seen the trailer for Green Lantern? Garbage! Fast Five? Real Steel? I need this movie to be as incredible as TF2. Screw em all, just do what you do best.

      • Elysia

        Seth….that was FAR from the only problem. I knew I was in for a painful 2+ hours during the opening sequence. I’d need a lot more than “but the writer’s strike!” as an explanation before I invest any time and money in watching the 3rd.

  • nodnarb

    Don’t stop now… there’s still Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and The Island to atone for.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Sorry, but if loving “Armageddon” is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

      (Sure, it might make more sense to teach a bunch of astronauts how to drill a hole, as opposed to teaching a bunch of oil drillers how to be astronauts…but where’s the fun in that?!)

      I’m with you on “Pearl Harbor” and “The Island” though.

      • Jesse

        Yeah, I’m good with ARMAGEDDON and THE ROCK. And casting Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson in THE ISLAND. I need an apology for everything else. :)

      • therealeverton

        Agreed on armageddon, blatant propoganda though it is, also Pearl Harbour is terrible. The Island was a good idea that fell apart after the insane, flying motorbike escape. a decent rewrite / edit could have made that a pretty good movie.

      • ltchy

        lf there isn’t a drinking game that involves taking a shot everytime you see the American flag in one of his movies, there should be…

    • Griefo

      No. The Island was easily his best movie.

    • Movie Buff

      This made me laugh out loud because I made this exact comment before I even read the article! Dialogue in his movies has always sucked.

    • Rachel

      I liked the Island. It’s his human film.

  • LOL

    Who goes to Michael Bay movies?

    • Troll


    • Gene

      People who contribute to their hundred-million-dollar box office gross? Your attempt at smartassery backfired.

    • Kevin

      Republicans. And sadists.

      • LOL

        Kevin FTW! Gene is a dip$hit.

  • Blue Silver

    Obviously, we all do! :)

  • Beauty

    He needs to give an apology and money back for that racist piece of crap known as Transformers 2. Now he wants to blame it on the writers strike? I bet he didn’t care when he was cashing his check. Jerks, put out a project they know is crap and take people hard earned money.

    • therealeverton

      Still to find a single person who can explain to me what was racist in Trnsformers 2. The little, “gangsta rap” / “Ali-G” imitating, simpleton, robots didn’t come accross as racist to anyone in my family, or any of my friends. Is it an American thing? If so where was all the fuss about jazz? Either in the 1st Bay film (” what’s cracking little b******?”) or in the cartoons etc.

      Is it something that you have to be American to see as racist? Like I said my fa,ily is all Jamaican / British (English) and we just didn’t see a problem at all.

      • Fatima

        Those two robots were modern day minstrels shuckin and jivin for us all. At one point one goes “I can’t read too good.” I had to leave the room.

    • Tsan

      Sadly, we Americans live in a society where everything is construed as being racist. I’ve met tons of white people who can’t string together a coherent sentence, much less read one. So why is this racist? Because everyone here assumes they’re taking a stab a black people. So going with that idea I’d say the ones calling it racist are the racists? Or does that make me racist? Who knows, who cares, either way it was a lackluster cast, a lackluster crew, and a god awful director, it being ACTUALLY racist would probably have been an improvement.

      • therealeverton

        It does seem that way sometimes. Sure pay attention to the real deal, but thiis is just looking for trouble. the assumption that the robots are a dig at black people in general as oppossed to the morons of all colours, (and I see way more white and Asian people imitating that ignorant gangsta rubbish than black people, is a little telling. Or how about the fact that the Transformers learn the languages and cultures of Earth from the internet and chose traits that they identify with. being young and stupid they latched onto a culture (not a race or a colour) that fits that. they could have been “ignorant hillbillies” but I guess that aint as funny.

        Nothing about them offended me at all. Like the Chris Rock comments I used in my original DELETED reply

  • DavidJ

    I was a huge fan of the first movie (at least as a fun guilt pleasure), but there’s no denying the second was just a giant, chaotic mess. I’m hopeful that Bay reigns things in a bit for the third, but I’m not gonna hold my breath…

  • john

    tony scott, michael bay, james cameron, jerry bruckheimer and the late don simpson killed main stream cinema.

    • Quirky

      I wouldn’t but Cameron’s name with those guys. Sure Avatar was predictable eye candy, but it was still great looking eye candy. Plus I have too much love for Aliens, Terminator 2 and The Abyss to ever consider Cameron a hack.

      • Turanga Leela

        Those are the Cameron films I love, too. But I just couldn’t make it through Avatar.

      • Rachel

        Nevermind, Avatar at least it was pretty and technologically fascinating (NERD!). It’s that piece of crap Titanic Cameron has to atone for. It was horrible. For me worse than Transformers 2. Titanic was soooooo contrived. At least Transformers 2 isn’t meant to be taken seriously. Titanic won goodness knows how many Oscars and it SUCKED. Total pablum!

  • Jonathan

    I’m sorry bur for me Both movies sucked!

    Too much Comedy/Human Characters (where was the majority of humans in the 2nd one – WASTE! that could have been Transformer screentime) and not enough Transformers for my liking. I’m sick and tired of how the US Army can beat Decepticons!!!

    Better script and better acting please….I’ll happily wait for the next franchise. Look at Darknight :)

    This is just my opinion…have a good day all :)

  • Curt

    Transformers 1 – Incredible. Transformers 2 – Wicked Incredible…can’t wait for the third.

  • Michael Bay

    I think I did pretty good, for my paycheck.

  • Mephisto

    “Michael Bay doesn’t read scripts. He reads paychecks” – James Cameron

    • Kevin

      That’s funny coming from the guy that wrote the awful screenplays for Titanic and Avatar.

      • Jace

        So awful that they made billions of dollars, right?

  • Michael Bay’s dealer

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug…

    • Michael Bay’s dealer

      But thanks to all of you dummies, I get rich…

  • Derek

    What is the “artsy” stuff you refer too? Figuring out how to shoot another sunset with military running to the choppers? or a helicopter rising up over the edge of the grand canyon?

  • Who? Me?

    If you spent 12.50 to see the crap, you deserve to lose it, along with every penny you have.

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