Love him or loathe him, you can’t deny that Michael Bay is one hell of a visual stylist. The director has made some exceptional action films – The Rock, The Bad Boys movies, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor all work on a wonderful cinematic level. However, things took a downward turn after The Island (not great, but he was trying) and sadly the Transformers movies play to every excess that Bay (and Hollywood) holds dear. A real shame.
Bay had a tremendous 10 year run from Bad Boys to The Island, offering up action movies with style and ingenuity. 1996’s The Rock is an action masterpiece, Armageddon (1998) is one of the great summer blockbusters of the 1990s and Bad Boys II took explosive action to the next level. 2001’s Pearl Harbor was a gloriously old-school epic with stunning visuals (the POV bomb drop was something else).
Often erroneously remembered as a box office bomb, Pearl Harbor was a huge hit grossing $198 million at the US box office and almost $450 million globally in the summer of 2001. You could argue that the Ben Affleck starrer would have made a few million more if the 9/11 hadn’t happened.
Few know that Bay actually homaged himself for Pearl Harbor‘s opening sequence. It’s actually a near shot-for-shot remake of elements from his epic music video for Meat Loaf’s 1994 single Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are.
The song was taken from Meat Loaf’s monster 1993 album Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell. Bay also directed the videos for the album’s singles, I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through.
Check out the music video and the opening of Pearl Harbor below and see for yourself.