It was the year of 1996 ¡oh what a glorious year for Hollywood and the film industry! Films like Independence Day, Scream and The English Patient hit the theatres. Trainspotting (which is not a Hollywood film) was released and acknowledged as one of the finest pieces of the year in Europe. Among all that, a young director came to scene with the second film of his career: The Rock.
Michael Bay is now a renowned high-budget director and producer. He’s responsible for several blockbusters such as Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the Transformers film franchise. However, renowned does not necessarily mean “acclaimed by the critics” or “loved by the masses”. He’s been nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award or Razzie a couple of times and he even won the award for Worst Director in 2009 (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). He’s been branded as many things, from unimaginative to racist.
Despite everything, I think The Rock is the movie which best represents Bay’s work as filmmaker. This action film has almost everything: great cast, terrific music and astonishing sound, high-quality cinematography, etcetera.
Sean Connery performs astoundingly as an old prisoner and former MI6 agent, while Ed Harris played the role of an angry Brigadier General of the USMC brilliantly. The action scenes in San Francisco are incredible, considering at that time filmmakers used to actually shoot on the streets and wreck as many cars or buildings as needed, unlike today when we find movies beset with computer-generated imagery.
I also enjoyed Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor, but I think it’s a different kind film altogether, maybe more demanding for him, we know he likes to portray the American armed forces fully deployed, but on Pearl Harbor he had the obvious limitations of telling a story of World War II. On the other hand, with the Transformers franchise he has no limits to show off the American fire power and warfare skills at full capacity, although the armed forces are not the stars, the alien robots are.
By the way, a good thing about Bay in Transformers (the first film and definitely not the movie franchise) is he was able to present Megan Fox looking better than has ever been seen. I reckon this is one of Bay’s abilities, he did the same with Liv Tyler and Kate Beckinsale, no wonder why he has also worked with the lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret, right?
April 2nd, 2011.
The Rock teaser trailer:
Interesting thing: The teaser trailer has a different music than the actual film. The music on the film is obviously better.