Michael Bay Doesn’t Care Who Hates ‘Transformers’

Michael Bay directing "Transformers"
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Michael Bay is calling your bluff.

According to the director, even his biggest critics will end up watching “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the latest installment in his ever-growing franchise.

“They love to hate and I don’t care; let them hate,” he told MTV’s Josh Horowitz. “They’re still going to see the movie! I think it’s good to get a little tension. Very good.”

So far, “Age of Extinction” is the worst reviewed movie of the series with an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first “Transformers” movie has the highest with 57%. However, “Age of Extinction” has an A- Cinema Score.

Bay said it’s important for everyone to voice their opinions, as negative as they may be, as it only advances the conversation and drives him to create better films.

“I used to get bothered by it, but I think it’s good to get the dialogue going,” he said. “It makes me think, and it keeps me on my toes, so it’s good.”

“Age of Extinction” is evidently review-proof as it crushed the box office on Friday with $41.6 million Stateside — the biggest opening day of the year. It’s on track for a $104 million-plus debut, another best for 2014.

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  1. Habers says:

    one of the worst film franchises i have ever had the displeasure of viewing. the cartoon and animated movie have been totally butchered and re-written for this hunk of shiite … unbelievable!

  2. chris says:

    Mr Bay, i don’t understand why you aren’t showing any respect to the Transfomers Franchise? I saw your first Transformers movie and it practically had nothing to do with the Transfomers franchise. I understand that it’s all about making money. But i think you can make a great amount of money if you go according to the Transfomers franchise. What i mean by that is showing the transfomers correctly, showing their home planet Cybertron, letting the audience actually see the transfomers many diffrent personalities, and to top it off… The introduction of Unicron and the transfomers creators the Quintessons. Im really sorry Mr Bay but the 1986 Transformers movie remains the best Transformers movie in my opinion. Please consider a movie that is truly and correctly about the Transformers.

  3. Melanie says:

    Well I for one just love the transformer series that Michael bay has brought up, they fill me up with so much excitement and joy and I just love them. I am definitely hoping that he comes back to direct and produce the next two movies. The bots look amazing and the detail is amazing. The only two transformer shows/movies I’ve seen is Michael Bays movies and Transformers Prime(tv show). And just so you know I am a 15 year old girl.

  4. Bruce says:

    micheal bay is obviously delusional. we are not “haters that just love to hate” MICHEAL BAY IF YOU ARE LISTENING (which you are probably not). The #1 reason people hate you is because you have BUTCHERED the original storylines. the transformers are not supposed to look like this on-screen, go watch the original transformers cartoons. only in the age of extinction was optimus prime finally looked correct (sort of) as a boxy semi truck. also Grimlock is not supposed to be 20 times bigger than optimus prime, they are equal size roughly and also of equal strength. the only difference is optimus is smart and grimlock is dumb. etcetera, etcetera, stop raping the icons we knew from the 90’s. same is said for ninja turtles why did you make them all look like they all have downs syndrome? WHY????!!!!!

    • Ehren says:

      It is misguided to blame Michael Bay for his movies. He doesn’t force people to watch them and is entitled to his own creative expression. It’s kind of the same as people hating Justin Bieber, when really they should be hating the society that makes him an idol. The fact that he continues to enjoy immense success is his cue to keep doing what he is doing, as any rational person would.

      • bruce says:

        No Ethren you are missing the point Micheal is taking a well known and old stir and altering it so much is is distorted from what it originally was.

        For example take anything that you used to watch or know and lets twist it around. Did your parents tell you that Santa Claus was jolly? No actually he’s a convicted pedophile and ax murderer . You used to watch my little pony? Actually my little pony is codeword for underground sex clubs. You really have no concept Ethren of you can’t understand how badly he’s altered the original stories.

  5. Nick says:

    I loved the first three movies – I thought they were great entertainment. This latest one is appalling. Cool story and characters, utterly crap directing (to the point where I think Michael Bay needs a drug screen). The visual effects were pathetic – it’s like anything and everything was thrown in with no critical evaluation at all, resulting in a movie packed with cringe-worthy effects that often don’t even make sense. It was worse than a video game.

    There was no continuity of shot – going from one scene to the next there would be objects, characters, and entire shots that were out of place (appearing and disappearing) and out of sequence. The lack of military involvement means that every single shot involving combat is unrealistic, unbelievable and, in some place: simply idiotic. There’s a few hints of scientific terms in the film that made me want to kill myself – the alien used the term “dark matter drives”…FYI, the term “dark matter” is a human nickname to a form of matter we don’t understand, so why the hell would an entirely alien race use a human nickname? There’s a new type of transformer can break apart entirely and then join back together in any way…so how could they die? Such a creation would continuously join back together after being ripped apart.

    Also, Michael Bay seems to have absolutely no idea what a human can survive – the main girl in the movie is killed about 6 times (I mean spaghettified), but she jumps to her feet with barely has a scratch. The “Michael Bay” humor in the movie is kind of like watching 3 old men giggling at their own farts – it’s awkward, painful, and leaves me with a sense of pity.

    I’ve watched the first three movies half a dozen times, but for this one: once was too much

  6. CitizenTM says:

    I have not seen any of the Transformer movies, nor do I plan to. Bay gets enough viewers into his garbage rides. Why does he believe some of his ‘haters’ will view them as discreet pleasure.

  7. Transformers 4 age of extinction was great stop all your negative comments please I saw it 7 times really cool in imax

  8. Did people forget the 2nd Transformers movie?? THAT was GARBAGE!

  9. Actually those of us who generally dislike Bay’s work may also be indifferent enough to skip it. Del Toro did Pacific Rim and proved that mechanical objects fighting can be fun and engaging in the hands of an actually talented director. Bay is coasting on a brand name. (meanwhile, off topic, why am I seeing this Ellen “ashamed” ad on an upscale site like Variety?)

  10. Charles Manning says:

    Just got back from watching AOE and it was ok. I went despite the negative press from critics and gave it a shot. Lots of explosions and CG, storyline was kinda blah. The story required you to fill in the gaps left by the writers. I can’t point them out without creating spoilers but I can see what the critics were complaining about. Transformers was one of my favorite cartoons and toys when I was a child and it’s nice to see them on the big screen but I wonder if Bay actually watches his movies after they’ve been made. A few tweeks here and there in editing might have fixed a lot. Don’t go in expecting anything other than big robots fighting with big explosions. Best part of the movie was the absence of Shia Lebouf and the inclusion of Mark Wahlberg.

  11. Robert H says:

    People may be missing the big picture with the Transformers–it’s not art, it’s not storytelling–it’s all a commercial–all about product placement. Bay is providing a big-screen opportunity for Chevy, the toy makers, etc to push their product.

  12. Anthony G says:

    This is pretty sad, while I don’t believe I love to hate I definitely don’t like what Michael Bay does, taking great concepts like Cloverfield and Transformers and turning them into what I refer to as “shaky cam garbage” with little to no actual story being told. From what I’ve been told the new transformers film takes product placement to a whole new level while making the characters act as if they’ve lost their mind while drinking some sort of milk product? If that and the new Transformer block style is what is really going on then I have some concerns for his career and why it isn’t already over.

    • Alex says:

      @Anthony G
      Okay, bud, that was so uncalled for! You DO love to hate! I do not understand why everyone says that Michael Bay is “ruining their childhood” by creating his own version. If you your whole damn childhood was ruined by a movie, you people are very unstable indeed. EVERYBODY GET OVER G1 TRANSFORMERS ALREADY! I liked G1 too, but what is wrong with redoing the Transformers into a modern series of movies? I am a grown adult and never watched Transformers as a kid. The Michael Bay movies got me into Transformers and I loved them so much that now I have seen almost every version of Transformers from good old 1980’s G1, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Transformers: Animated, and Transformers Prime. I do not care what series it is, I love Optimus Prime and the other Transformers kicking ass in battle. I still love Transformers Prime the best, but Michael bay’s movies have real cars, real people, great action, and the robots seem so real. I never dreamed of talking robots that turned into cars when I was a kid, but all I wanted was to have a “magical” car or truck that would talk to me and be my friend. If anything, the Bay movies made my childhood dreams come true. Sure the animated shows/movies are great, but a live-action film makes the impossible possible for a few hours. Movies are supposed to be an escape from the hardships of the real world and everyday life. Movies, animated and live-action, take us to places and worlds that we could never go on our own. We can read about other places and worlds in a book, but it isn’t the same as “living” it and seeing it come to life before your eyes up on a big screen. Movies are for entertainment, our enjoyment. So sit back and enjoy the ride. As for the a–hole critics, who cares what they think? It only matters what you think and if you enjoyed the movie. Do not let critics or anyone spoil a movie for you with their stupid opinion. A lot of people haven’t seen Transformers and lots of other good movies because they are brainwashed by every little smart comment that they hear. Transformers: Age of Extinction was a fantastic movie and Michael Bay rocks. Let’s roll out, Optimus Prime.

      • Bruce says:

        That’s the whole point, you never watched transformers as a child. if you had you’d understand how much he’s mutilated the original storylines. artistic freedom is one thing but Micheal bay allowed humans to be able to create transformers through a lab, and those transformers turn into hovering cubes that reassemble themselves after they’re destroyed? they can never die, wtf? and speaking of G1 generation 1 as you did. did you not notice he’s mixed the look of optimus prime as a boxy truck (g1) then transforms him into super truck and grimlock is 20x bigger than optimus, so Bay is mashing all the generations together. no you didn’t grow up watching the cartoons so you don’t understand.

      • Mark says:

        ” I am a grown adult and never watched Transformers as a kid. ” Exactly. You insistently disqualified yourself. Everything you say doesn’t matter.

      • Jack says:

        Totally agree with you Alex! AOE rock and Optimus Prime is such a bad ass in this film!
        SPOILER ALERT! Optimus Prime actually killed a human! WOW!

      • Abigail Hope says:

        I so agree, Alex! Who cares what critics/other people think? If you enjoy the movie that is all that matters. I agree that a lot of people do not watch Transformers and other movies because of what people say about them. Age of Extinction was great! And hell, yeah, let’s roll out Optimus Prime!

  13. Jack f says:

    Why is english so bad. It seems the language has been tarnished over the last decade.

  14. aditya says:

    Transformers Age of extinction is best flim i have ever saw in my life
    michael bay is awesome best director
    deadly waiting for the fifth installment

    • Alex says:

      So totally agree with you, buddy! Who gives a damn what the critics have to say? I love the Transformers movies and Michael Bay rocks. I so can’t wait for the next one!

  15. Blake says:

    I don’t think Michael Bay has anything to add to the formula anymore. His only redeeming factor is that he’s a director that gives you the most “bang” for your buck. More like hes complete pushover and only really cares about the “bang”. No real creative vision and a complete sellout. So easily replaceble and for cheap too if needed. We know his formula and style. I don’t see why we can’t crank out more robot ala Transformers filled mayhem to sell to China and abroad. Ad revenue and placement can be negotiated for and solicited by pretty much any other director and producer. Michael Bay isnt exactly a household name in China.

  16. We don’t hate Transformers, we just hate you.

  17. Glenn C. says:

    Bay is right. Who cares what the critics think. The box office is proving otherwise. He makes films you just sit back and enjoy without having to go too deep into the depths of serious filmmaking. It’s for entertainment. That’s it. Good for him!

  18. Directorrick says:

    I think Bay is a director who cares about only what he cares about and does not look to create an artistic, thoughtful story that utilizes the very best of film making traditions or a stylish innovative movie that has a message. He makes loud, stupid, stunt-filled homages to visual cinematic excess, over and over.

    And I have seen all of them usually more than once and will continue to.

    Sigh.

    • Dave Casey says:

      You want an artistic, thoughtful story? About cars and trucks that turn into robots and fight? Really?

      • Bruce says:

        The 1986 movie Transformers was exactly that. that cartoon movie was ahead of it’s time. the animation and coloring in it is really good even if it was put out as a movie today.

    • Alex says:

      Oh, go watch Gone with the Wind or Titanic if you want “an artistic, thoughtful story that utilizes the very best of film making traditions or a stylish innovative movie that has a message.”

  19. LLNYRN says:

    As much as I enjoy my “serious” films (Foreign, B&W Classics, Documentaries, etc.), sometimes you just want to check your brain at the door and watch “spectacle”. And having a love of IMAX, I try to see most BIG films on that format now.

    With movie prices out of control here in New York City, I made the decision long ago to not see genres like dramas and comedies in the theaters. I wait for them to come on cable or NETFLIX (unless it’s something demanding to be seen).

    I was never a fan of “TRANSFORMERS” the cartoon series (though I did like “BEAST WARS”. Good writing on that show). And I didn’t like the first two Bay films. But “DARK OF THE MOON” and this latest one I enjoyed tremendously. I love the camera angles the guy creates (almost like comic book panels), the SFX, the quick edits, etc. Though the way he photographs 20-somethings pretending to be teenage girls can be a bit voyeuristic. But I’m sure that’s to appeal to teenage boys, who are this films primary demographic.

    Though some of the attacks are well deserved, I feel that Bay definitely gives the majority film public what they want. I really get tired of the thought that anyone who sees Bay’s films (or any other of their ilk) are “morons”, don’t know a thing about “real films”, etc. Those are the types of generalizing critiques I really hate.

    Hell.
    “2001” is my favorite film of all-time.
    But as I stated in the beginning,
    I like to check my brain at the door sometimes too.

  20. Abigail Hope says:

    I don’t really care what people think of Michael Bay or the Transformers movies. I love all the movies and Age of Extinction was the best one under the 2007 original movie. The new cast was a welcomed change, especially Mark Walhberg as Cade. For me, the movie is all about the hot cars, edge-of-your-seat action, and robots kicking ass. We don’t care what you critics think! We care about Optimus Prime! Optimus was more bad ass in this movie than any other! And a note to the people who have not seen this movie yet: do not let the critics or other people’s smart ass comments keep you from enjoying ANY movie. If you like it, who cares what other people think? Just because some people say that the movie is awful doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. Movies are for entertainment; they do not always have to be Oscar winning masterpieces. Most Oscars and awards go to movies that nobody has heard of or cares about anyway. Take that all you critics and Bay haters!

  21. Greg Howe says:

    Transformers was awful. Galvatron should have been 3 things. 1) cannon 2) fighter jet of some sort. 3) robot. Galvatron was not a semi like optimus. Also lock down’s ship reminded me a lot of unicron

  22. M says:

    Hey MB, just wondering if you would ever do a Robotech, Invide invasion movie? That would be FN awsome!

  23. Richard says:

    If someone enjoys something then who cares what other people think, its what it matters to that person.

    • Abigail Hope says:

      @Richard
      Thank you! I used to get so upset because some stupid people do not like the Michael Bay Transformer movies. I don’t care what people say about it or if they like it or not; I love the movies and they mean something to me so I don’t really care what other people think.

    • Alex says:

      Exactly.

  24. angrydeli says:

    Never saw a Transformer movie, never will. Michael Bay is an arsehole and should not be allowed to make movies.

    • Alex says:

      The only a–hole around here seems to be you! Michael Bay is a great and how do you know that you will hate Transformers if you have never seen it?

  25. Blake says:

    Movie gave me a headache watching it. I suppose if you like robots fighting, high speed chases, hot chicks and explosions its the film for you. Story, plot, and characters were irrelevant and badly done to the point it pretty much a farce. I’d rather not comment on the acting. I don’t think that matters on a movie like this. But this kind of film has been done so many times already…but it still drives the audience in and makes money. So it has its place. But I think that’s more the power of the transformers brand. I’m sure Asia loves its robots which explains its profitablility in China. Also pacific rim. Michael Bay shouldn’t be so cocksure about his part in driving profits. Would it hurt to get a better script and writers? I’m sure that wouldn’t cut too deep into the profit margins. I’m confident that Michael bay can work with better material if he chose. But I’m guessing most of the budget is spent in effects and action storyboarding and that’s his forte. Compromise maybe for the sake of a better film? No need to be lazy just because it makes money regardless. Hmmm on second thought its a product placement mini fest. We have advertisers to please. Forget I said anything.

  26. james20 says:

    Sounds like the general movie going public are morons.

  27. Sal U. Lloyd says:

    Sounds like spoiled kid to me!

  28. jennie says:

    I loved it…

  29. Montemayor says:

    Michael Bay has a net worth in the neighborhood of $400 million, his latest celluloid offering cost about 150 million more than some countries will generate this year, he just got at least half a dozen major and familiar corporations to throw obvious product placement into his product— and hey, check it OUT, by herculean effort he managed to make a start-of-summer movie that halfway entertains the utterly jaded. WOW. Flabbergasting. I wanna lick his feet clean, kiss the ground where he walks, and name my first four children Michael B.

  30. Sam says:

    Well, now the Transformers fans understand what the Twilight fans felt when they and their beloved books and movies were bashed and hated. Silly, ridiculous, well made or not fans love their stuff and speak with their wallets. Hail to fans.

    • Abigail Hope says:

      Thank you, Sam! I never have seen the Twilight movies or followed that series, but I so understand how they felt. I am a huge fan of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies and it hurts me that people are so negative about these movies. Fans speak with their wallets; I so have used my wallet on this film and proud to support it!

      • Bruce says:

        actually the reality of it is that Twilight had ridiculous acting, humans that transformed into werewolves that were the size of a house (literally), the main female character was not even pretty or sexy or smart (as it shows in her later career in other movies which shows her obvious bad acting and her career as far as I can tell is over) , also the weird and awkward social interactions between the actors was creepy and pretty much gay.

        this hate with Bay is because he’s twisted the look and story of Transformers so much is unrecognizable. I’m not sure if the Twilight movie was accurate to the books but no this Bay thing is different. Pray he never makes a Twilight movie, they YOU will know how it feels

  31. Bud Baker says:

    All I got to say about any and all Transformer movie “they are fun to watch”

  32. Abigail Hope says:

    I admire Michael Bay for his positive attitude. An example to us all! Age of Extinction was so awesome! The action was great, the cars & trucks are so hot, the new cast is fresh, the plot is engaging, the action had me on the edge of my seat, the Dinobots rocked, and Optimus Prime was the best of all! His voice is beautiful and he is such a strong leader. He was the most bad ass that I have ever seen him in this movie! Great job, Michael Bay! Keep up the great work!

  33. John says:

    I agree with many of the comments here. This movie is about transformers and anyone who’s watched the show knows it’s about transformers fighting transformers. All these critics saying it’s stupid blah blah… it’s transformers! If they want realism then go watch some other movie. As was mentioned transformers is for the fans not the critics and 46 million on the opening day pretty much says all the fans need to say… Screw you critics we don’t care about your opinion we care about Optimus!

    • Criticism Is A Cultural Necessity says:

      If critics are so irrelevant, why is it every time a critic publishes a negative opinion all of you go crazy and take it as a personal slight? Grow up already!!

    • Abigail Hope says:

      John, buddy, I adore you! At last someone who agrees with me! Personally I think Transformers movies are a lot more realistic than some movies, but who really cares? Movies give us an escape to worlds that we could never go to in real life. I hate critics and they need to go screw themselves! I love Michael bay’s Transformers movies and Age of Extinction was one of the best ever! Rock, on Optimus Prime and thanks John (and the rest of you who agree with us) for sticking up for Transformers and all us diehards!

      • Matt says:

        I’ll join in with you guys in agreement! I had so much fun watching this movie and I think it might be my favorite of the series. Wahlberg was a great addition and I love that they had him really get involved in the fighting. Something that Shia just could not pull off even if they wanted. I’ll support Bay till the end of time. I really don’t think there is a better director for this type of action movie. Love the bad boys movies (esp the second) and hope he finishes that trilogy as well. Keep the Transformers movies coming!

  34. Kathy Harris says:

    There is no such thing as a bad Transformers movie!! The action is amazing!! And Optimus voice and leadership…. well I need say no more? I saw 4 and it literally had me clenching the seat during the action seats! Michael Bay is amazing!!

    • Alex says:

      So totally agree with you,buddy! Optimus Prime has such a deep, powerful, and raspy voice that just is so beautiful and perfect for his character. His leadership is amazing and makes him a great role model for all ages. Optimus is such an awesome fighter and a really cool bad ass. Transformers 4 had me clenching the seat too! Michael Bay rocks; keep the Transformers movies coming and rock on Optimus Prime!

      • Bruce says:

        The voice of Optimus Prime is Peter Cullen. He did the original voice for Optimus back in 1984 (roughly 1984 because the Transformer’s movie came out in 1986). This is the reason Transformers was popular back then, it’s also the reason people hate Bay’s work because he’s twisted the look and storylines of the series so much. Also Peter Cullen does the voice of Ironhide (G1) and Eroy the mule in Winnie the Pooh.

  35. harry georgatos says:

    I hope does something dramatically different with his next enterprise like he did with Pain and Gain before stepping,into another Transformers opus of sound and fury. Maybe he can do a high-tech globetrotting spy movie. That I would like to see. Bay knows who his target audience is and delivers everytime with these Transformer movies.

  36. Tracy says:

    Will the movie shut people up now that they think critics (where a lot of them are actually biased and suck at their job) don’t make or break movies. Probably not, but whatever who cares.

  37. stereoscope3d says:

    There is an old adage to the effect that in the motion picture promotion business, any news is good news. Nevertheless, Mr. Bay is quite correct in his using negatives to create a positive and improve his future work. Even a good product can be made better.

    Certainly, even if the cinematography is flawless, the stereography in almost everything that I have seen within the last ten years could have been better. This is true whether the content was shot in native 3D or converted. It involves not just the technology, but an understanding of human perception and the human visual mechanism in the typical theatrical display environment. Only with that knowledge can the images be correctly proportioned along the Z axis.

    Having studied this for many years, it still surprises me when I see very basic stereoscopic errors being repeatedly made by people who otherwise produce superb images. I am not directing that statement specifically towards Michael Bay or his products, but rather toward all producers of stereoscopic content today (hey, why not make everyone mad at me?). But, if more took Michael Bay’s approach, the general quality level could be improved dramatically. Many of the things that I have discovered (or in some cases, rediscovered) through years of stereoscopic production experience, could be very useful for this purpose. I would sincerely like to help to elevate the stereoscopic 3D quality level (and improve the cost effectiveness) for anyone who would like to listen. I may be reached at stereoscope3d@gmail.com .

  38. Lee says:

    Movies like the Transformers IV isn’t made for critics, it’s made for fans who like to see s**t get blown up. If you want to see a critic’s movie go see “Belle”. Personally, I’m burnt out on the franchise, so I won’t be seeing it until it’s on cable. But to everyone else, I say, “Enjoy.”

  39. Who Can Judge? says:

    Michael Bay’s ability to produce BLOCKBUSTERS is most admirable. The man has done his job, and done it well.

  40. therealeverton says:

    That’s a good attitude. Of course going home to a Scrooge McDucky room full of $100 bills from the greater number of people who DO like his films can’t hurt can it?

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