Those who have eagle eyes and actually sat through Transformers 3, noticed something odd about one of the sequences – it looks exactly like a scene from Michael Bay’s other film, The Island.

Wow… what does that say about the Transformers series? That it’s nothing but recycled garbage? That Michael Bay doesn’t care about crafting a good movie? That all explosions and car accidents are alike, and therefore there’s no need to spend money on new effects? Or could it be that some special effects guys were running behind and tried to slip one by us?

You can use the section below to discuss.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. thedexter102 on

    Unbelivable, I love that there is someone who was so bored by the whole thing they took the time to notice this. It’s exactlly the kind of thing that Bay and other Hollywood hacks would do to cut corners and save money.

  2. litanyofthieves on

    Eh, hardly suprising. Is this really something to complain about? If so, then shouldn’t we be complaining about animators re-using already animated footage as a shortcut? Or how about when a tv show starts off a new episode with a scene that ended the previous week’s episode? It’s more just a cool little factoid to me.

    • It’s common practice though these days to start new episodes with a quick scene or recap of the previous events to get new viewers up to speed or to refresh your memory much like the way Marvel has their “Previously in” page. That I feel is different and for a good reason, this just feels cheap and lazy. He directed The Island right, but did the same exact producers and production companies make both movies? If not, wouldn’t there be some kind of legal issue of pulling scenes from a work that you don’t own and using it in another movie. Granted they may have gotten the okay or paid for it. Either way, it feels lazy, and like something that would have been done many years ago when movies were made on an incredibly shoe string budget. The very first Universal Dracula movie was filmed at the exact same time as the Spanish version, using the exact same sets and blocking but using different actors, wardrobes and variations on the script. It was cheaper that way.

  3. I have to say…I saw this the other day and actually noticed that “familiar” part. I just chalked it up to deja vu, and then thought about Scarlett Johansson in the white jumpsuit for a little while. The fact that someone decided to make a video chronicling it made it hurt a little bit. But, that aside…I was over it and had moved on. Like I said, deja vu. And honestly…Bay movies are glorified pyro/explosion porn movies…that genre recuts scenes all the time. ;) not surprising and I think most will get over it. If anyone got up and walked out after seeing that…or asked for a refund, please stand up. Light me up if you must…but I enjoyed this film. It was ridiculously over the top candy for my eyes…and to be honest, everything else was just filler anyway.

  4. brenton8090 on

    Bits of Bambi are recycled for Sword and the Stone. Bits of Jungle Book are recycled in Winnie the Pooh.

    Also discuss.

  5. Overall: This is not the reason why Michael Bay’s work is soulless hackery*. In fact, odds are it was the visual effects team putting together something that looks interesting using bits of existing footage. That’s a creative solution, to me.

    *Of course, Michael Bay’s work IS soulless hackery.

  6. litanyofthieves on

    If only editors could use this technology to add in female characters who aren’t just eye candy or nagging shrews….

  7. Alisha Mynx on

    There’s a logical reason for this: They are two realities where events played out differently, but it was the destiny of a few cars to die.

    See? Perfectly logical and reasonable…. Or not.

  8. Oldcomicfan on

    Transformers 1 was okay, but nothing that bears watching repeatedly. Transformers 2 was a smoldering pile of pooh only with robots. Anybody who expected anything better from Transformers 3 must have checked Reality at the door. We’re talking about a movie franchised based on a crummy, low budget TV cartoon show that was created for the sole purpose of selling junky toys to kids. Why would you want to spend extra millions guilding this particular dog turd when you could slap on some cheap gold paint (i.e., recycle footage) and call it good enough? Now, if you want to see some wholesale recycling, go watch the movie Tora, Tora, Tora. There was no actual battle footage used in the movie. It was 100% recreated, and bankrupt the studio. So they sold the special effect footage repeatedly. Now go watch the movie “Midway”. Except for the carrier scenes, they reused the Tora Tora Tora footage, shot for shot. Now, if you can find it, go watch the TV series “Pearl”. Do the combat scenes look familiar? They should, they used the Tora Tora Tora special effect wholesale, without changing a thing, often using the same shot multiple times in a single episode. Then to put the icing on the cake, I’ve seen the same special effects shot used in History Channel documentaries and National Geographic specials. At least Michael Bay hasn’t gotten that bad yet.

  9. fwong tweeted: Ah @mattlarnold informs me they reused footage from The Island in T3 because that’s the sequence where the stuntwoman got killed :(

    Then corrected: I mean seriously injured

    Seems like a common practice in movies but that particular scene may have had other motivations.

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