I’m not sure about most of you, all two of you, but to me Michael Bay is no scribe, no muse, no writer. He’s not that kind of director. He doesn’t have a sense for the pulse of the words racing against the page. He’s a explosionist. He’s a pyrotechnician. His claim to fame is blowing up shit, people, buildings, anything. He starts with explosions and looks backward to see how the story can evolve from a robot plummeting into a fireball. Dialogue? We don’t need no stinking dialogue.
I don’t hate the man, and on some level I greatly envy his genius. Yes, his genius. His films always looks the same, true, but they look the same in that gorgeous deep blue sort of way. All of his skies are perfectly azure. His wisps of smoke are gently white. His explosions bright balls of flame. Blue, white, orange. His palette may be limited but it contains the best of all possible colors.
Bay’s genius lies in his action, which is often beyond mere words. It escapes description the way the hell of prison escapes description, the a man’s love for his wife and kids escapes description. Like pornography, you just know it when you see it. Really, you don’t think Bay would’ve earned the billions he’s earned at the box office by shear luck alone? Almost every movie he’s ever made has been a hit. All of them have been profitable.
One of his best films is The Rock, a story about domestic terrorists who take over and imprison Alcatraz prison. Two people, alone, are sent to save the souls held hostage on the island: an FBI chemical freak and John Mason, played by Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery, respectively. The two enjoy all sorts of hijinks trying to outsmart the terrorists before the terrorists launch a chemical attack on San Francisco. So it’s no surprise Bay had or has a sequel idea for the film, even though Cage has aged and Connery is long out of the game. Read what he says here:
“The sequel that I have in my mind for this movie is basically after Nic Cage is married to Carla, they drive off. Nic Cage has this microfilm of all this bad government confidential [info], like, who killed JFK? The government comes after Nic Cage with a vengeance. We’re talking out to kill. It turns into more of a thriller. Nic Cage has nowhere to turn, because he’s been stabbed in the back by the government, and they’re after him. Maybe he takes Carla, I’m not sure. Maybe they separate. I’d really like to separate Nic and Carla, and have Nic try to employ the help of Sean Connery. Basically, taking The Rock off exactly where it left off.”
Carla is Nic Cage’s wife to be, and the film ends with Sean Connery’s character giving up a spool of microfilm that contains the truth on a variety of history’s greatest mysteries.
But I don’t like it. I think Bay is being silly here. Not enough explosions for one thing. Not enough action. He makes it sound like a thriller instead. Would Bay have directed? Probably not. And I doubt Connery and Cage would have signed on.
It’s an interesting thought, but no, some films end where they do because that’s where they belong. A story is told and that is that. Bay should know better and I suspect he does.