“What is Bayhem?”: Dissecting the Awful, Inimitable Style of Michael Bay

This whole Michael Bay thing has gotten out of hand. Every time he puts out another equally bad movie, the conversation about it goes through the same motions: He’s terrible, but his movies look great, but his action is incoherent, but people love it anyway. It’s weird that someone who makes such objectively dumb movies can be so polarizing.

I’m probably as guilty as anybody, by the way. There’s just something compelling about the absolute badness that defines a Bay film.

Enter Tony Zhou, whose latest installment on his Vimeo channel “Every Frame a Painting” gets right to the heart of the issue. Zhou’s been consistently great for several weeks now. This particular piece takes eight minutes (ish) to break down Michael Bay’s style, and why it inspires such simultaneous delight and revulsion in his audiences.

Check it out, and then take to the comments to either bitch about Bay some more or explain why him being good at action makes it okay for him to keep churning out awful movies.


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  1. Hmmmm, I lost yet another comment to Disqus …

    Anyways – what it said was: Thank you David. Tony’s account for what makes Bayhem and his dissection of what Michael does with his movies was quite interesting. That doesn’t excuse him by any means, but it does enlighten the rest of us to his madness.

    FYI – Transformers 4 was AWFUL. I think I died a little on the inside by going to that movie. Luckily I didn’t pay for it.

  2. I love stuff like this. Being able to intelligently articulate a concept like this, and provide compelling visual evidence, is a huge skill.

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