...Okay, it's actually 6 times, but this is Michael 'Excess All Areas' Bay we're talking about, people! In honour of the imminent release of 'Transformers: The Last Knight', we're looking at director Michael Bay's most explosive sequences to date.
'Bayhem'. 'Bayos'. They may sound like movie-critic terms for the explosive visual overload that Michael Bay packs into every frame of his hyperkinetic blockbusters. Actually, these words were coined, with respect and affection, by members of his crew because of the boss’s relentlessly energetic directing style on set. We film fanatics can't get enough Bay's films – a fist-pumping opportunity to be swept up and astounded by exhilarating action that turns your eyeballs to ash in your skull.
So here are the 6 most Brilliantly Bayotic sequences from Mike's back catalogue. Strap in, and see if you agree...
1. 'Abort! Abort!' – The Rock 1995
Before Dwayne Johnson, the only Rock anyone had eyes for was Bay's action film, featuring scenery-chewing performances by Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery and Ed Harris. Our pick is the film's finale, which also stands as one of the most classic Bay moments ever.
With seconds remaining before five F-18 Hornet fighter jets obliterate Alcatraz to incinerate a lethal virus, Nic Cage's action 'scientist' recovers from stabbing himself in the heart with antidote to light two flares that signal the threat is over. Yeahhhhhhh!!!! U.S.A! U.S.A!
2. Meteors trash New York City – Armageddon 1998
With a title like that, there was only one director who could helm 1998's asteroid-heading-on-a-collision-course-with-Earth globe-buster. But how do you communicate to the audience about a world-ending direct impact by a giant, dirty ice cube would be when it's not due to happen until the end of the movie? You gleefully trash the Big Apple in an extended sequence that depicts 'small' meteorites raining down on Manhattan, that's how.
Flaming space rocks carve through buildings, upend vehicles, crater Grand Central Station and decapitate the Chrysler Building in a deeply un-American way. True fantasy blockbuster beauty.
3. The Japanese Attack – Pearl Harbor 2001
Unlike Armageddon's meteorite attack, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on 7 December 1941 actually happened. Bay's 2001 historical action movie does a spectacular job of depicting just how unprepared the US Navy was for the attack that saw a squadron of Japanese Zero fighter-bombers decimate the US Naval Base (and much of its fleet).
Bay alternates slow-motion shots with the sheer noise and kinetic chaos of the attack itself to recreate a shocking chapter in US history.
4. The Mansion – Bad Boys II 2003
After years of work making commercials and music videos, 1995’s brash, slick and very funny Bad Boys was a clear statement of Michael Bay’s creative intent, but for us, the mansion sequence in 2003's sequel takes the spontaneously exploding biscuit, and easily earns this second BB outing an entry in our top six. We won't spoil the whole story – suffice to say that the entire building kabooms in truly spectacular style.
The mansion was worth some million. 'Was' being the operative word after it had been 'made over' with some 50,000 gallons of gasoline (plus explosives and a well-tossed match).
5. The Freeway Chase – The Island 2005
Amazing example of Bay capability of heart-pounding stunt sequences. This finely choreographed vehicular chase sequence may well remain one of his all-time greats, even after he gets too old for this **** and starts making zero-budget costume dramas with Dame Judi.
As with all of Bay's best action sequences, the idea behind this one is brilliantly simple. Ha! Only kidding – it pretty much defies explanation, but it does feature Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson rolling heavy steel train bogies off a truck and into the path of pursuing bad guys. Visceral, punishing and soundtracked by some very satisfying clangs and crunches, this is peak Bay and well worth watching the movie for.
6. Blackout Base Attack – Transformers 2007
Transformers: The Last Knight looks to be Michael Bay's last rollout with those robots in disguise (at least for now), so it's with great pleasure that we include this memorably sinister sequence from the movie that provided the current cinematic All-Spark for Optimus Prime and his mates.
It starts with what looks like a friendly transport chopper landing at a US military base in Qatar. But with nobody expecting the arrival, things get tense very quickly. And that's when the helicopter transforms into the towering figure of the Decepticons' giant enforcer, Blackout. Absolutely fantastic, and a breathlessly effective way of announcing the Decepticon threat to the human race.
Want to see what Bayhem looks like 2017-style? Then book tickets now for Transformers: The Last Knight – in ODEON cinemas from 23 June.
The epic franchise continues with ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’, and Optimus Prime has disappeared to search for his creator. In his absence, humans and Transformers are at each other’s throats.
War has broken out, and a terrible battle for survival has begun. Cade Yeager is determined to learn why the Transformers keep coming back to Earth out of all the planets in the cosmos – only for Optimus Prime to return.
The battle rages on in ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’, picking up where ‘Age Of Extinction’ left off and introducing Anthony Hopkins to this world.