All that is wrong with the world…

May 21, 2011

Roland Emmerich is far worse than Michael Bay

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 8:51 pm

For a long time I have heard people lampoon and criticize Michael Bay to what seems an unfair extent. The guy makes fun popcorn movies that are unashamedly an excuse for action, but this does not mean they are poorly made. They tend to have charismatic characters and acceptable dialogue with the action fitting into whatever story is being told. At the same time, I have heard very few people criticize Roland Emmerich’s films. This is what I don’t understand, as Emmerich’s films have to be at least twice as bad as any Bay movie. Emmerich’s films tend to be as inaccurate as possible whether it be scientifically or historically, have very flat characters and poorly written dialog with the sole purpose of his movies being the action scenes. Which are not filmed with any noticeable skill but rely on the visual spectacle of cities being destroyed with the aid of CGI.

So in this short post I will attempt a comparison between Emmerich’s and Bay’s 8 last movies, including the current Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Bay Movies

RT %

Emmerich Movies

RT %

Bad Boys – A decent buddy cop comedy with likable characters and decent action scenes. Formulaic but entertaining none the less.


Universal Soldier – An interesting premise which turned out to be a lackluster movie, still it was entertaining enough.


The Rock – Probably my favorite out of Bay’s movies. A good story for an action movie, good characters and great action scenes. Also, Sean Connery while he was still awesome.


Stargate – As above an interesting premise, although it wasn’t terribly entertaining and didn’t have much action. It’s greatest accomplishment was inspiring the TV series, although at least in the movies the aliens spoke English.


Armageddon – I never liked this movie that much, much preferring Deep Impact, but it wasn’t bad per se. Plus, it had Bruce Willis chasing Ben Afleck with a shotgun.


ID4 – This was a huge summer blockbuster movie, but it was full of plot holes and a poorly thought out story. Still, the effects were impressive and people enjoyed it. Fun for what it is, even with the amount of suspension of disbelief if requires.


Pearl Harbor – I never saw this, and have no desire to. Every indication is that it is horribly historically inaccurate with a thin plot and poor dialogue. So, one completely terrible movie for Bay.


Godzilla – I didn’t really have a problem with this and for most people who did the problem seemed to be calling a random monster Godzilla, when Godzilla is an iconic character with a personality. Meh. As far as US monster movies go, it’s one of the better ones.


Bad Boys 2 – Similar to the first, but with far more action and comedy. An enjoyable ride and fine for what it is.


The Patriot


The Island – Probably the second best Bay movie. I didn’t see the "twist" coming, and quite liked the characters trying to escape their predicament. It even managed some interesting commentary.


The Day After Tomorrow – This is where Emmerich really started to go downhill.



Transformers – Didn’t really care for it as I was never into Transformers although many people liked it, thinking it Bay’s best movie by far.


10,000 BC – Have not seen it, but it looked atrocious. Horribly historically inaccurate with no plot to speak of.


Transformers 2 – Did not see all of it, but saw enough to think considering twin robots racist was imbecilic.


2012 – Saw parts of it, just a ridiculously weak excuse of a plot for CGI city devastation. Bay’s films always have at least some plot and interesting characters.


So if we do the average scores based on Rotten Tomato ratings, Bay comes in with an average of 39.5 slightly ahead of Emmerich who has 38.625. Less than 1% difference, which I actually find hard to believe. What about box office gross? According to Box Office Mojo,
has a lifetime total gross of $1,111,318,231 and an average of $138,914,779 while Bay has a lifetime total gross of $1,495,782,691 and an average of $186,972,836.

So Bay has better ratings from critics albeit slightly, although I think with Transformers 3 coming out vs. Anonymous -a ridiculous Shakespeare as a fraud story – the ratio will significantly change. Bay also has much better box office performance than Emmerich. Objectively he is ahead of Emmerich and personally I don’t think his movies are anywhere near as bad as Emmerichs.

The point I am making is that Bay is good at what he does and should not be criticized for the types of movies he wants to make. People can criticize action movies with less of an emphasis on plot and characters, but that doesn’t mean he is bad at making those types of movies or that those movies are intrinsically bad. In contrast Emmerich is appallingly bad no matter what he tries to do. I really hope that people stop hating on Bay who is decent at what he does, and start giving Emmerich the criticism he deserves, hopefully in time to stop him from destroying the Foundation franchise.

1 Comment »

  1. I was about to say “and he is gonna screw Foundation” until I read the last sentence. I’m still not optimistic.

    BTW “The Patriot” is the only film above where Emmerich does not have writing credits and it is the highest RT. Given that “Anonymous” does not have him on the writing credits, it might be a good news.

    Comment by Hub — June 25, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

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