Say what you will about Michael Bay. His style is shallow. He focuses too much on style over substance. He’s rather choreograph an explosion than direct and actor. Much of this is likely true when he’s making action films. Turns out though that when you take his shallow, vapid style and apply it to a story about shallow, vapid people things crystallize in a way that I don’t ever remember them doing so for Michael Bay in the past.
Pain & Gain is the story of three body builders in Miami who kidnap and torture a local businessman until he signs over all of his assets to them. Mark Wahlberg plays the ringleader Danny, a sociopath who thinks he’s both a winner and a nice guy but is actually a despicable asshole, Dwayne Johnson plays Paul, the dumb but nice one who gave up cocaine in prison for Jesus but then found cocaine again once out of prison, and Anthony Mackie plays Adrian, the one with ‘rood rage who ends up liking beating up on Tony Shaloub’s Victor Kershaw, the victim. Ed Harris rounds out the cast as the private investigator who eventually cracks the case.
I want to tell you more about this movie but I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t seen it. You can look up the actual events if you want to but I would do that after (the events in the movie are fictionalized). It’s really something to see Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson’s performances here clean, they’re both great as Wahlberg is fantastic and making terrible thing he does seem like he’s trying to do it from a good place and Johnson is hilarious as dumb and high for most of the movie.
Next week we’re all going to see Transformers: Age of Extinction and likely go back to not really liking Michael Bay so in the mean time you should check out Pain & Gain to remind yourself he’s capable of making… well maybe not great works of art but certainly films to which his voice and style is suited perfectly and if you use the links below you’ll help us keep the lights on here at our World Headquarters.
Thanks and have a great weekend!