Love it or hate it, Michael Bay’s Armageddon changed the way action films were shot and edited after its 1998 release. The film received harsh criticisms for its super-quick editing style and sweeping camera movements, but after its release, many action films tried to copy Bay’s technique. Yesterday, in an interview with the Miami Herald while doing promotion for Pain & Gain, Michael Bay seemingly apologized for the asteroid disaster film. He said that he wished he had more time to make Armageddon a better film.
People have always given me a hard time on my editing. But if you could do a graph on my movies, you would see how my editing has slowed down over the years. Bad Boys was my first movie, and we cut that quite fast. Back then it was very new for action. Now you see a lot of that imitated. Call it what you will. Yes, critics have given me shit about it. But when you watch the Bourne Identity movies, they are cut way faster.
I will apologize for Armageddon, because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine.
A day later, it seems Bay is taking back that apology, now insisting that his quote about Armageddon was taken out of context. Michael Bay says he’s very proud of the film and is happy that it’s still popular with general audiences today. Bay writes (spelling errors and all) on his personal website:
One press writer has gone too far in reporting false information. He has printed the bare minimum of my statement which in effect have twisted my words and meaning. I’m not in the slightest going to apologize for the third movie in my movie career, a film called Armageddon. On the red carpet for Pain & Gain some reporters asked me what are you apologizing for, and I said what on earth are you talking about?
What I clearly said to the reporter, is I wish I had more time to edit the film, specifcally the the third act. He asked me in effect what would you change if you could in your movies if you could go back. I said, I wish we had a few more weeks in the edit room on Armageddon. And still today Armageddon, is still one of the most shown movies on cable TV. And yes, I’m proud of the movie. Enough said.
Today, audiences are vocally divided when it comes to Michael Bay’s films. His movies get ridiculed, but still bring in tons of money at the box office, so obviously lots of people are paying to see them. Some have championed Michael Bay’s innovations within modern action films, while others lampoon him for inept storytelling and character development. The Criterion Collection, a home video distributor of noteworthy classic and contemporary films, included Michael Bay’s Armageddon and The Rock as part of their prestigious collection.
Looking back at Michael Bay’s early career, it really seems that he was at the top of his game in the ’90s, but after the release of Pearl Harbor in 2001, Bay’s career took a sharp nosedive, critically speaking. Let’s hope Pain & Gain will be a step in the right direction, but then again, Transformers 4 is just over the horizon.