Michael Bay Trying To Make Up For Transformers 2 ‘Mess’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

transformers 3 dark of the moon michael bay Michael Bay Trying To Make Up For Transformers 2 Mess

From losing writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman as well as franchise poster girl Megan Fox, to losing appreciation from fans and critics alike with the sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, director Michael Bay has a lot to overcome to make a positive impression with Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

The first step is acceptance and many of the cast of the previous film admit that their second Transformers outing wasn’t very good. Now, director Michael Bay is also continuing to play up the fact that mistakes were made with the last movie and that it was rushed. His goal however, is to make up for all of that with the third chapter in the live-action adaptations of the successful Hasbro toy franchise.

In speaking with LA Times’ Hero Complex, Bay opened up about the Transformers franchise, admitting the failings of his last film, but promising light at the end of the tunnel.

“It was kind of a mess, wasn’t it?… Look, the movie had some good things in it and it was entertaining and it did very well, but it also failed in some key ways. I learned from it. And now with this third movie we’re going back to basics and I absolutely believe this is going to be a much better film than the second one.”

Outside of Optimus Prime getting plenty of screen time to showcase his increased ability to be a robotic bad-ass, there wasn’t much good for me in Revenge of the Fallen. It took the weak and problematic elements of the first Transformers and extended them all, instead of removing them or improving them.

New behind-the-scenes Transformers 3 set photo

A big part of the reason for the failings of the story and visual effects of Revenge of the Fallen had to do with the writer’s strike and strict deadlines to meet Paramount Pictures’ release date. That’s less of an issue with Dark of the Moon and Michael Bay hopes to capitalize on the opportunity.

“I’m still having fun and especially with this movie. Look, we got burned on the last movie. The big thing was the writers strike, it hurt the film and it made it hard on everybody. We had three weeks to get our story and, really, we were going into the movie without a script. It’s tough to do that. It was too big of a movie. There were too many endings or too many things that felt like endings. There was so much animation [in the visual effects postproduction work], too, and we ran out of time. We used the schedule of the first movie for the second movie but on the second one way more labor was needed for the animation. And then it felt like we were writing the script in the edit room, trying to put together a story.”

There were obvious incomplete special effects and in a movie as big as this, based almost solely on the visual spectacle, if they can’t do it right, why bother forcing an early release? Unfortunately, even though the film was far too rushed, with an problematic story and rough special effects, the film (arguably undeservedly) banked over $800 million worldwide at the box office and sold an incredible amount of merchandise for Hasbro.

I don’t like seeing precedents like that set, when it involves a low quality product earning high profit, but we do have something to look forward to with Bay’s third attempt working with the Cybertronian cast.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the last Transformers movie that Michael Bay will be working on, and same goes for its star Shia LaBeouf. Because of that, Bay seems determined to turn the series around and end the trilogy with something fans can be happy about and something that won’t detract from moviegoers thinking about seeing Bay’s next movie in a few years time.

Is the third time a charm for Bay and Spielberg?

Steven Spielberg, a producer on the Transformers movies who chose Michael Bay to direct sheds some light on Bay’s motivation and positive attitude in working on Dark of the Moon:

“As the plot thickens in the third installment of ‘Transformers,’ Michael’s work on it feels fresh and energized … with lots of new and inventive ways of turning a page on this franchise.”

I want to believe this but when I think of Spielberg talking Transformers and Michael Bay, I get confusing flashbacks about Bay revealing that Spielberg told him Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was “awesome,” referring to it as his best work yet. I get that critics often don’t side with Bay’s summer popcorn affairs, but Transformers 2 is sitting with a 5.9/10 on IMDB with over 100,000 votes and a nasty 20% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 3.9/10.

We’ve heard it all before. Spielberg and Bay are saying Dark of the Moon will simply be the best thing since sliced bread, and star Shia LaBeouf is promising that this movie will actually be “good.” But we all have learned and should all know better. This all means nothing until we see otherwise with the final product.

The good news is that the first official teaser trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon was actually very cool, but it didn’t show any real footage of the main characters or Autobots/Decepticons. Let’s hope the next theatrical trailer shows us something to excited about.

Ever since the first Transformers, which I actually enjoyed, I’ve been waiting for them to take that formula and knock out the bad parts to bring audiences something special. For everyone’s sake, I hope Bay delivers one of the best films of the summer.

Follow us on Twitter @ rob_keyes and @ screenrant.

Transformers 3 hits theaters July 1st, 2011.

Source: LA Times

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  1. I really hope it’s good. TF was my favorite childhood toy and cartoon, and ROTF ruined that.

    • If you have it on mute in the background in 1080p it isn’t so bad. It’s actually a nice spectacle to see……

      • Ha! Funny cause I did that the other day.

        • Yeah been there. it’s good on the projector with decent music on the background -Modest Mouse (and ofcourse the lovly skip a scene button helps)

          I still cant get over all those scenes of sam in college

  2. Shia Labouf apologized for TF2 and promised that this movie would be better. He also apologized for Indy4.

    i give him credit for knowing when he did wrong and saying sorry, lets just hope what he’s saying is true

  3. I think if he means what he says TF3 will be one that I really enjoy. As long as none of the robots have wrecking “balls”, and no little robots hump anyone’s leg (I mean what was he thinking?) I should have a good time :)

    • Ow yeah I forgot wheelie was some Sort of Mafia Leg Humping Machine

    • Actually, Wheelie has been confirmed to return along with Tom Kenny who voice him and Skids.

  4. Despite what some here on the site may think, I will keep an open mind on this until I see signs that make me think it won’t be good.


    • The first one was fun and enjoyable, not of epic proportions but a great theater film. I have faith Bay can redo that. Francis Mcdormand wouldn’t sign on to a poorly written script (I hope) :).

      • She’ll be in nothing more than a cameo from what I’ve heard as Secretary at the UN.

      • I agree there with you Sully, also don’t think Malkovich would either. sSo there may be some hope to be had here.

    • Having seen the near-abomination that was Revenge of the Fallen, it’s hard for me to give Bay any benefit of the doubt.
      But, still, I was thinking that I still would withhold judgment until I heard more about it.
      Then I saw the toys for his “Dreads” characters. Seeing that they have dreadlocks doesn’t exactly seem to bode well. Are they the second coming of Mudflap and Skids?

  5. I liked the first half of ROTF Then it went downhill.
    but its still better then the cartoon after the animated movie came out and they killed Prime.

  6. Anyone who gives this man money to make a movie needs to be admitted.

    • LOL, Church, based on the return on investment I would happily give Bay money to make a movie. 8)


  7. “this is going to be a much better film than the second one”

    While it’s a nice promise and is probably true, its not too hard to increase over a zero, so right now i’ll just put faith in the teaser and Shia

  8. I get the feeling that when a director shells out a list of faults surrounding a film, and none of them come back to his own performance, something is terribly wrong.

    • Have you ever read or watched anything on Alien 3? David Fincher had a horrible time with that film and he has made some really great films since then. Sometimes it’s not just the directors fault. It takes A LOT of people to make a film production.

      • Exactly! Orci and Kurtzman’s writting were part of the reason the story was crap, and they made up for that with TRANSFORMERS PRIME.

        • Transformers : Prime was highly enjoyable. Why wasn’t there more episodes? It seems like they only aired the first 5.

          • The rest of the season starts airing in February.

            • Well that makes sense. Thanks for the info :).

  9. ok its very easy to make a crappy movie when your goals and standards are already skyrocketed.

    i think revenge of the fallen is a very GOOD movie considering the MASSIVE amounts of problems on the set that occurred and the fact that they literally pulled the story together in the editing room.

    could it have been better yes but understand that the studio rushed the project and the writers strike along with the fact that the first transformers movie took what? 4 years and the second took a year and a half basically.

    I think we all forgot that transformers one and two have a level of special effects that has NEVER been done in any movie ever and its unfortunate that devastator didnt do much as far as killing autobots since they spent at least a quarter to HALF the visual effects budget on him.

    and we forget the scale of a movie like revenge of the fallen is incredible. ROTF broke tons of records and attempted massive explosions and never before filmed locations. I guarentee most people didnt even know that those places existed.

    now im not saying ROTF is a good movie because it isnt and there are TONS of problems but what i am saying is that you work with what you got and even though they had a massive budget they didn’t have much in terms of time. movies to me should be envisioned not simply constructed. look at avatar. it was a dream james cameron claimed to have since he was a kid. transformers 1 was envisioned…transformers two was pieced together with out any real envisioning.

    RESPECT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO BAY FOR HIM TO ADMIT HIS FAULTS AS WELL AS SHIA. I think SPIELBERG could definitely step his game up though hes gettin lazy and thats not ok.

    • I dunno, admitting a movie was bad AFTER it gets destroyed by critics and makes a boatload of money is a marketing tactic.

      They said it was golden prior to… Again, marketing

  10. If he want to make good movie how come he replace a bad actress with a non-actress?! Yeah, i’m sure a victoria’s secret model would be great lead female role.

    • Saddly I think that’s why he wanted her in the first place. For me, she’d better be able to act better then Fox. I mean she’s playing Spike’s futrure wife and it’s actually a character from the G1 cartoon. So she’d better do more then just flaunt her bosom, even if she is a model.

  11. So Michael Bay wants us to trust him one last time and give up our money for the last film in his trilogy of Transformer crapola so it can be a huge success and he can go on to ruin yet another franchise.

    No thank you. I will wait for the reboot and hope they pick a director and a production team that loves and understands Transformers.


  12. Anyone else smell a Transformers prequel coming to us in about three years?

    • With Jar Jar Prime? Yeah I do

      • Um, “Jar-Jar Prime”?

        Wasn’t that either Skids or Mudflap?

  13. I’ll admit that I enjoyed the hell out of Transformers 2 despite it’s numerous flaws. Here’s hoping Transformers 3 is better though.

    • Co-sign.

  14. I’m willing to give Bay the benefit of the doubt. But it’s nice to see the second movie has been acknowledged as a “mess.” It was. I’m a big Transformers fan and because of that I enjoyed the first movie, but the second movie had too many failings for even me to like it, much less buy it. That was certainly one of the worst movies of the last decade.

    Still, the writers’ strike does make a lot of things mediocre – and now Bay really doesn’t have any excuses so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with his last opportunity to prove himself as a filmmaker deserving of respect.

    Also, his optimistic comment about Transformers 2 was made after he had managed to piece together all the scenes and made a story out of it in a short period of time. I’m sure he was feeling euphoric about that accomplishment.

    But I have to admit, I think of what Bryan Singer had to contend with in making the first X-Men movie, and suddenly Bay doesn’t seem so accomplished in comparison. Singer’s X-Men movie ended up being praiseworthy and Bay’s TF2 was just a stinker.

  15. You know what my question is, once this movie hits and either sucks or is actually good, will the next movie be a reboot or a sequel? Im pretty sure Bay is done here, so will the next director say “Forget what you saw behind the curtain, move along” and bring his own story, or will we be forced to play along with the fact that there is a transformer robot heaven for the rest of the Transformer timeline

    • There’s rumor that TRANSFORMERS 4 is in the works as a sequel, but that’s just a rumor. I’d say a reboot/sequel (kind of like Mission Impossible 4) would be made with new lead characters. Lebeouf has already said the he won’t come back, and that may be the same for most of the cast.

      What they could do is have the film set like 8 years after DOTM, and bring in Carly and Sam’s kid, Daniel, and have him take over as lead with a new supporting cast.

      • Transformers will continue but it’ll be with a different director.

  16. Anytime someone involved with a film says ANYTHING about it before it’s released — it should be completely ignored. I’m tired of hearing from Directors/actors/producers how wonderful a film is and how it’s the best thing ever only to have to backpedal or ignore it completely after it’s out.

    I’m beginning to believe that the more the hype from the makers, the crappier the movie. The great movies don’t need the pre-release hype, and they seem to let the critics take care of that.
    Sorry to be so negative, but this is one area that can be very frustrating with movies.

    • I will ignore you and all your comments.

  17. For the past two years Michael Bay has been considered the poster boy for bad directors. While a director SHOULD take the blame for a bad film, I think it’s gone far beyond that and the level of criticism Bay’s received is more harsh that he deserves. I for one am willing to have an open mind and give him another chance. However, if Dark of the Moon turns out to be a mess as well, then I think Bay loses all credibility.

  18. i hate when people slam a movie just because its not as good as it could have been or should have been. Personally i feel like ROTF was exactly the same as the 1st one. Meaning it was a cool, enjoyable movie, it was just too reminiscent of the 1st. Although i will say that Shia Labeuf and John Turturro did a better job on both of their charecters. Shia steeped it up as an actor and its retarded that he has to appologize for his films just because the fans complain. Jon Favreu’s not doing Iron Man 3 because you guys all knocked the 2nd one. Im the biggest movie buff there is but i stil no when not to hold a movie in such high regards, so that im dis appointed at the final product. If you werent apart of the filmmaking and your just a fan watching the movie, calm down a bit if a movie’s bad, wouldnt you rather write a comment praising a film you loved rather than slamming one you hated?

    • You do have a point but, we all do have a right to our own opnions don’t we? And we have a right to say what we want about a movie we didn’t care for. That’s what this site is for. And yes there where parts of Transformers 2 I didn’t care for, like all of the ball jokes, Wheelie humping legs, see those things just don’t belong in a movie that’s supposed to help the fans of Transformers like myself relive a little part of our childhood. And you know when a film is truly bad is when the actors even admit it. That’s why we slam films we didn’t like.

  19. My biggest problem with this franchise are things people just accept. Where did the Transformers come from at the beginning of the first movie, were they just hurtling through space? And how could they survive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and make craters but are then injured so easily? Also they tried to make the Transformers way to intricate and in fight scenes you can’t really tell what is going on. Why not use more color(parts from the car as body armor) to easily identify them. I won’t be seeing this in theaters, the second one was way too bad for me to give this one a chance.

    • acslaterson- being a Transformers fanatic I actually know why the transformers can survive ‘re entry’ -it’s because thats the way their protoforms are designed- to withstand insainly high temperatures and enough armor and special liquid metal skin to survive inpact. Once they scan something however, they lose all of that until they convert back to their protoforms. Anyway I for one will definately be going to see Transformers DOTM and really,I’m going to take Bay and Shia’s word for it and so, I can’t wait!

    • Good point Ryan but I think they meant more for the game to be a lead in, into the G1 series. Maybe it’s just me though. And yes incase you are wondering I have played the game all the way through.

      • It’s not a lead in to the G1 series, it’s a lead-in to their current cartoon Transformers: Prime, only for some reason the G1 aesthetic was used.

        • I honestly can’t remember my source now but it said the game was a lead-in into the G1 series. I’m just curious as to where you herd or read that?

  20. Still on the fence about the 3rd one. The 2nd, let’s be honest, was really bad. But I like the position Bay is in right now. Just coming out of a bad movie and he knows that it failed, nothing will motivate him more to make up for it right now with the 3rd one. He will put everything he has into this one and I think it might pay off. I guess we will just have to wait.

  21. I was bummed to read above that the writers jumped ship. They wrote the first one, so we all know they’re capable of good writing. They didn’t have their heads on straight when they wrote the 2ns one for obvious reasons. Too bad. I think they could’ve closed the franchise out with a great ending. It sucks to know that Bay and Shia are done after this one, but they’re doing the right thing. They don’t need to follow franchises into the ground. That’s for has been movies and/or low budget one hit wonders (ala the Nightmare on Elm Street/Friday the 13th/Halloween/Saw franchises). The Transformer franchise should be done at 3. It’s an epic franchise. Don’t turn it into straight to DVD sequels. Not sure who the writers are, but about to go onto IMDB and learn more about who they are and what other work they’ve done. Last but not least, Fox not being back is of little consequence. She was nothing more than masturbatory fodder to appeal to the pre to pubescent boy fans of the franchise. This blond replacement (sorry, haven’t memorized her name yet)may not be as “hot” as Fox, but if she graduated high school, then there will more than likely be more intellectual content to her lines…..

  22. One more thing, thank GOD there will be no more of the twins, and hopefully no other bots even resembling them. Gold tooth having, unintelligent, pathetically inaccurate urban slang talking robots have no place in the franchise. They were just too “off topic” to the story line AND the other robots. They also pissed off a lot of black people out there, who found them to be incredibly offensive to the black culture. I am a black man, but I PERSONALLY wasn’t offended by them, although I knew a lot of black people who saw the movie that were. Regardless of if any readers of this post found them to be offensive or not, Bay himself seemed to get the point regarding the amount of controversy surrounding them, and thought it better NOT to have them return in 3. What would be the point of ending the franchise with MORE controversial robots? That would be undesirable attention to say the least. Completely disregarding all the “ALLEGED” racial undertones surrounding them, they were still totally non conducive to the storyline, and it would have been a waste of time (and CGI costs) to have them return.

    • I’ve seen some pictures of the twins vechile modes on set so I think they will return. Hopefully they’ll get killed off early in the film.

  23. Funny how Bay gets slated but Spielberg escapes all criticism!

    • Well, you gotta figure, what can you criticize Spielberg FOR? His role in the franchise is to FUND the project, nothing more. It’s BAY’S job to make sure that everything about the movie is as good as it can be. That’s the good thing about being a producer. You can’t be blamed for the flop of any movie that you produce.

  24. hmm

  25. Could someone please point me to these “incomplete” and “failed” visual effects from ROTF?