By George Bate and Julie Catherine
On the eve of the release of his latest film Ambulance, Michael Bay remains one of the most recognizable directors currently working in Hollywood. Bay’s films have grossed a whopping $7.8 billion worldwide, which makes him one of the most successful directors in movie history. His filmography has been met with mixed reception to say the least, with his big budget, high-concept, fast paced films both loved and hated. Here’s a breakdown of Michael Bay’s five greatest movies.
The original Transformers is as refreshing today as it was when it was released in 2007. The film is bloated and over-the-top, but undeniably enjoyable. It skyrocketed Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox to stardom status and brought the famous Autobots and Decepticons in a live-action work for the first time.
Premise: An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, comes to Earth, with a clue to the ultimate power held by a teenager.
Pain & Gain
One of the more unusual entries in Bay’s filmography, Pain & Gain is an outlandish take on an already outlandish true story. The movie is as hilarious as it is disturbing and features a terrific leading trio of Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie.
Premise: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). Their kidnapping and extortion scheme goes terribly wrong since they have muscles for brains and they’re left to haphazardly try to hold onto the elusive American dream.
With one of the most ridiculous premises in film history, Armageddon is a hit for director Bay and star Bruce Willis. Line after line is hilarious and quotable, and Bay directs the film with his characteristic style.
Premise: After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep-core drillers to save the planet.
Bay’s feature film debut launched a franchise that is still running to this day. Bad Boys is in many ways the quintessential action comedy and buddy cop film.
Premise: Two detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct.
Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Michael Bay. What a combination. The Rock is everything about what made the 1990s such a great decade for action movies. Once again, Bay doubles down on an outlandish premise with grandiosity and style.
Premise: A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.