Michael Bay is sorry for the way he ended one of his biggest blockbusters.
“I will apologize for 'Armageddon,' because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking," Bay told Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald when asked about his hyper-kinetic editing style. "That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked 'What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?' But the movie did fine."
Indeed it did. "Armageddon" earned $553 million worldwide in an era before 3D and scored a higher percentage of good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes than the last two "Transformers" sequels. (To be fair, "Armageddon" still received a rating of just 39 percent, "rotten" by the review aggregation's site's standards.) It's even available on DVD and Blu-ray via the prestigious Criterion Collection. Which might by why Bay's knock on the film angered so many "Armageddon" fans on Twitter, this writer included: it's a modern summer movie classic.
That tweeted: Let's give Bay the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he just needs a refresher course on the perfection that is the "Armageddon" ending. Ahead, 25 reasons why the last 10 minutes of "Armageddon" need no apologies from anyone*.
*UPDATE: Bay wrote on his website that his quotes were taken out of context and that he wouldn't "apologize" for "Armageddon." Let's pretend he read the list below and changed his mind.
(This starts after Bruce Willis' Harry Stamper rips his astronaut badge off and hands it to Ben Affleck's A.J. with the instructions to "give this to Truman," the character played by Billy Bob Thornton. Clearly, Bay wasn't referring to that part when he apologized, because its quality is unimpeachable.)
1. Did J.J. Abrams or Tony Gilroy decide to call this "zero barrier"?
2. "I had a great spot picked out there!" Can you believe this is the same Steve Buscemi who spends all that time frowning on "Boardwalk Empire"?
3. Lev seems so reasonable right here...
4. ... until he's not.
5. What do we think Bruce Willis is looking at?
6. Michael Bay's "Carrie."
7. Two-time Oscar winner and acclaimed director Ben Affleck.
8. This shot.
9. The one part of "Armageddon" that Oliver Stone could have directed.
10. "Can we shine a brighter spotlight in Mr. Buscemi's face?" "No, it's literally not possible."
12. This entire sequence is in slow motion and starts with this shot of an American flag.
13. Then transitions to these people.
14. Then these kids. (This movie takes place in the late 1990s, p.s., and not 1956.)
15. It's not 1962, either.
16. Trevor Rabin's score kicks in hard right here. Chills.
17. "Hey guys, remember: We're heroes now." Buscemi looks a little like Steve Carell in this photo (in a good way).
18. The Right Stuff.
19. The guy on the left golf-clapping in his hazmat suit.
20. The happiest kid ever.
21. "Miss Stamper? Col. Willie Sharp, United States Air Force, ma'am. Requesting permission to shake the hand of the daughter of the bravest man I've ever met."
23. "Harry wanted you to have this."
25. Cue up Aerosmith.