Screw high art, smart dialog, and character development. I’m an American and when I drop my ever-weakening US dollar at the local cineplex, I want friggen explosions. Car crash? Better explode! Machine guns opening up on mutant space demon from Alpha Centari 4? Boom! Back-hand a terrorist in the face for getting up in our US grill? Ka-Bam! What? You doubt our explode hungry ways and love. You are a damn fool, and probably a Pinko as well. I mean, what is our favorite movie food? That’s right, popcorn. How do you make popcorn? Explode corn! Our favorite drinks? Soda. What is soda? Sugar water with little air explosions! We worship at the alter of Waaaa-Baaam! And like all religions worth their salt, our religion has gods. Not just gods, but Mighty Gawds!
Our high Lord of 360, The ‘Plodiest of Explodies – Michael Bay.
The Divine of Detonation, Kabal of Kablooey – Roland Emmerich.
These Lords of Combustion are jealous Gawds. They shall not stand for another to sway the worship of the flammable peons. These Gawds demand all to worship them and them alone. Let the battle begin!
Round 1 – Bad Boys (1995) vs Stargate (1994)
The training films for both auteurs Stargate mixed Snake Pliskin, the dude that smokes cigars with Shatner, and awesome time-traveling army guys fighting alien Egyptians. That is totally freaking awesome! I mean, Snake is all bummed because he killed some kids or something back in the day, and then, holy crap! Kids are all over this other Earth with flying pyramids and mutant Jackal dudes with laser-staffs. That is more bitchin’ than Mexican Cybernetic Hand that shoots fire! But wait! Bad Boys is the return of 70s style buddy-cop flicks with the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire and the Other Guy. Plus, it totally stars Fox Mulder’s sexy wife and she looks hot as hell when all sweaty and greasy. (The way Lord Bay keeps his women, when he isn’t blowing them up with total awesomeness). For the first time ever, we mere mortals saw the glory of slo-mo 360 car explosions. Can you think of any other “filmmaker” that can make explosions happen in slow motion? I don’t think so. Emmerich counters with Bay’s only true weakness… Science! Sure, his science is weak, but arm chair quantum physics dudes totally say Stargates are real and happen. Stargate steps in for the win… But wait, Bay replies with a cold shot to the nuts, reminding us all that the villain in Stargate is the creepy dude from The Crying Game. Explosions do not allow for self-doubting sexuality. Winner: Michael Bay!
Round 2 – The Rock (1996) vs Independence Day (1996)
This is where the shit got real! The summer of 1996 brought so many glorious explosions, I almost changed my religion. What does that mean? I don’t know, and that doesn’t matter because the summer of 1996 brought us “Welcome to the Rawk” and “welcome to Erff”! But, a choice must be made. The Rock was everything we love about being an American. The nerdy FBI dude gets to hump sexy Latina chicks while buying classic Beatles records, oh, and she was totally the Prom Queen also. Then, as if that wasn’t an awesome enough existence, James Bond shows up and pimp slaps some evil Marines that totally betrayed everyone else. Plus, the first appearance of green smoke. Green Smoke! How does one answer? Pullman and Quaid son! Independence Day (or ID4 as the righteous call it) takes all we love about being an epic American , but then fights friggen aliens with it. Sure, Michael Bay makes sweet love to F-15s, but he doesn’t do it while screaming “Ah hell nah”! Wanting a sweep, the Bay reminds us all that none of his films include Southern crooner as a throw-away fighter pilot. With victory in sight, Emmerich provides the win punch: In Less Than An Hour! Winner: Roland Emmerich
Round 3 – Armageddon (1998) vs Godzilla (1998)
Size does matter! Could you have a more American statement? Hell no! We’re nothing is not large and in charge (at least we were in 1998). What is bigger than a giant friggen lizard that wants to eat buildings and Jean Reno?! Not a damn thing peoples. Emmerich brought the cold-blooded pain and totally made fun of movie critics by having his lizard go all nom-nom on their foolish asses! (As if a simple human could even begin to comprehend the mind of Lord Emmerich). Sadly, he loses points by turning that wimp from War Games into our hero. I mean, had he bent Ally Sheedy over his Vic 20 and given her the WOPR, we might have accepted his heroics. Alas, no. Still, giant frakking lizard! Well, Bay comes with the thunder. Space rocks. Space Roughnecks. Bruce Willis. Aerosmith. Lasers. Ben “tha’ bomb” Affleck. Do we need to go on? I think not bitches. Winner: Michael Bay
Round 4 – The Patriot (2000) vs Pearl Harbor (2001)
I am starting to think these two Lords of Kaboom actually send each other messages before starting their epic films. Two films about Americans kicking ass against godless foreigners? Two films that open with death and explosions? How does one choose whom to worship as the divine? Jam packed with bombs and explosions, Pearl Harbor opens big and strong. But, not to be outdone, The Patriot blows up heads and arms with muskets. Sure, not as big a boom as bombs and torpedoes, but no torpedo hits looks as awesome as an exploding head. Bay again counters with might of Ben Affleck, alas his power is lessen by Cuba Gooding, Jr and the belly of Baldwin. But wait, the lead actor in The Patriot isn’t even an American! How the hell can we lovers of boom support a film with some Aussie nut-job leading the charge? Easy, he kills the British, and if we learned anything from Star Wars it is this… The British are evil and must be exploded. Winner: Roland Emmerich.
Final Round – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) vs 2012 (2009)
Sure, I’m jumping ahead in the Tome of Blammo, but one can only write about epic for so long before their fingers burn off from badass. And so, we come to the final round. Each Lord reaching their apex of power. In one corner, we have 360 sweaty asses, metal tongue rape, giant robots punching each other, exploding pyramids, and giant truck nuts! In the other corner, the end of the world with John Cusack driving off airplanes and punching the ocean. (Okay, I don’t think he punches the ocean, but he should). How do we call this one? Only one way… You, the readers must decide. Drop your friendly neighborhood Geek an email and explain what Lord of Boom is YOUR Lord of Boom!