This week marks the release of 13 Hours, based on the book, itself based on accounts of the attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya. For the past three years, Benghazi has been turned into something of a political football, with the right considering it costly mistake and shameless coverup on the part of the Obama administration, and the left considering it a shameless witch hunt.
Certainly, something like this would have to be handled with sensitivity and deft touch. Instead, the studio went with Michael Bay.
Michael Bay is the shorthand for Hollywood excess and, everything that is wrong with the summer blockbuster. His films are a veritable bacchanal of explosions without a plot. Objectification of women is common, albeit with with a terminal fear of so much as an areola. One liners are so corny, ironic parodies of oneliners are actually funnier.
When not not taking place in a version of Miami that is somehow darker looking than New England, his movies draw upon a small town, aw shucks Rockwellian aesthetic that seems all the more stomach turning when juxtaposed with his ambient sleaze. Even Entourage took a shot at him, which is throwing stones, but still.
The funny thing is, I never really bore that much of a grudge against Michael Bay. I mean, his sensibilities are not for me, but he’s successful. Likewise, I’ve never been particularly fond of Clinton one way or the other. But I would much rather have Hillary Clinton as president than Michael Bay was a working director. I certainly don’t want to be another howler monkey on the internet.
He’s definitely more successful at what he does than what I will ever do. However, he brought this on himself. He knows he is. He knows what kind of reputation he has. That he saw himself fit to take on ones of the most polarizing tragedies of the last few years displays either a high magnitude of hubris, or a sociopathic greed. If this is a labor of love, so is a parent chopping off their child’s limbs so they can never leave and they can be together forever.
Airing of grievances
I’ve seen the movie’s Facebook page, comments have basically become a nest of cause celebre, hoping it would take down Hillary Clinton. Users list Clinton’s various transgressions, saying she should never forget. But conversely, we shouldn’t forget Bay’s own list of transgressions. His resume as follows.
Pretty good, but would this movie really matter if Will Smith didn’t go on to be the world’s biggest movie star for a while?
Genuinely enjoyable, it became a start of darkness for much of the cast. Sean Connery is now in retirement and Nicholas Cage went on to be synonymous with "No discerning taste whatsoever".
Armageddon: There are people who consider this movie a classic. These people probably also enjoyed high school, which means their sense of right wrong is is dilapidated.
At the end of the summer of 2001, we were hit with the worst attack on US soil since the historical Pearl Harbor invasion. It gave us a chance to reflect on this movie, patriotism, and those who gave their lives for this country. Upon reflecting, we decided we liked Black Hawk Down better.
I mean, really, this alone should point out why Bay is unqualified, but he was just getting warmed up.
Bad Boys 2
The most expensive movie ever to recycle jokes from South Park. It should be said that when Will Smith went back to the well to resume a franchise that the world had moved on from, he chose Men in Black over this.
Actually, I don't blame you for not remembering this movie. Science has a hard time proving the movie exists.
Not a completely awful movie in and of itself, but it's like this franchise is like a child you see burning ants with a magnifying glass and think "Oh, there's nothing wrong, boys will be boys" and then he grows up and is on the news for eating people's skin.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
There is not a single good thing about this movie. It is a nadir in acting, storytelling, clarity, aesthetic beauty, and race relations. It’s very hard be extremely racist.
Transformers: The One That Isn't As Bad as the Last One But Still
In long-running series like these, it’s common to see channels run movie marathons of a single franchise. I have not ever seen a Transformers movie marathon. It’s very likely because it’s physically unhealthy to watch three in a row, and the FDA pulled rank over the FCC.
Pain and Gain
Cineastes actually defend this one as pretty good for its dark and subversive humor. Real life subjects of the movie say this made sport of the worst moments of their lives. That is to say, it’s a decent enough flick if you hate people.
Transformers: The Dinosaur One
This movie has a five minute exposition on how someone can legally have sex with a minor.
In short, Michael Bay has an almost pathological inability to depict things with taste and respect. Even his staunchest defenders go to bat with an appreciation for the palpable misanthropy in his work. They operate under the belief he has a contempt for the audience he is trying to court.
Any leader will do
So, Michael Bay is either a high level troll, or completely incompetent. Yet, there are people who, in their seething hatred for Hillary Clinton, have bought their tickets anticipating a depiction of an historic moment by the guy who has made a mockery of history, physics, murder victims, and cartoon robots. Conservatives should have been furious about this. They should have thought Hollywood was making fun of them. When you’re less cognizant about this sort of thing than basement dwellers who write erotic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it casts your entire political outlook into a sea of dubiousness.
I’m not even the biggest Hillary Clinton supporter. But let’s face it; If everyone who was lost in Benghazi had their entire estates bequeathed, Emperor Justinian style to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, it would be less disrespectful than letting Michael Bay tell their story. If their remains were mixed in the powder for fireworks that spell out the words “Suck it, Benghazi Hearing!” during her inauguration, it would be less disrespectful than letting Michael Bay into a theater showing their story.
If this movie becomes a huge hit, I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Because if Michael Bay deserves to have their lives serve as grist for his mill, then so does Clinton. If Benghazi becomes a source of revenue that will be spent on hookers and tacky jade statuettes that those hookers then steal while he’s passed out from a coke binge, then anyone who says Hillary Clinton should pay for Benghazi is lying.
If not wanting Hillary Clinton to be president means throwing down money and enjoying a biographical film from the guy who makes Transformers movies that are dumber than a 1980’s cartoon, then one should want Hillary Clinton to be president. In any case, it would only be eight years, tops.
Bay’s reign of terror has spanned three administrations and counting.