It must be admitted that almost everything the critics have said about Revenge of the Fallen is true to a certain extent. It is not a particularly good film, even by Hollywood blockbuster standards, and Bay is most certainly unsubtle, lowbrow, and unapologetically mercenary. Ironically, however, the critics’ belief that Bay is also a threat to all things decent and civilized in the world, the unabashed critical contempt and hatred that has been directed his way from the beginning of his career, says very little about Bay himself. Instead, it says almost everything about the pathetic state of American film criticism.
It was probably dissident film critic Armond White who sounded the first alarm in 2000, when he went to the barricades for controversial director Brian De Palma and his much-maligned Mission to Mars.
Brian De Palma’s critical drubbing over Mission to Mars—reminiscent of the scene in Airplane! where passengers line up to smack an old lady—is the clearest evidence of the catastrophe that has befallen contemporary film criticism. Mission to Mars is a litmus test. It can be said with certainty that any reviewer who pans it does not understand movies, let alone like them. They’d be better off reviewing static, juvenile media like television or comic books.
White, while unquestionably correct, was somewhat premature. As has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, the real litmus test is Michael Bay.Read the rest at The New Ledger.