In 1998, a national magazine asked in an article “Is Michael Bay the Devil?” Thirteen years later, you can still buy T-shirts that answer yes. The 46-year-old director has long been treated by cineastes as the macho spawn of Ed Wood—a testosterone-sweating embodiment of everything that is wrong with modern Hollywood. (Those quotes up there are from actual reviews of his movies.) It also doesn’t help his image that on his film sets he can be a notoriously domineering prick. Bay has flourished, though, not just because his eye-strafing event movies rake in so much money but also because—and let’s whisper here, lest the film snobs are listening—so many of them kick ass. Sure, the dialogue is often subliterate and his fast-cutting style can cause epilepsy. But! Movie stars look dripping hot, never better, in front of his camera.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.