I hate Micheal Bay, I think he’s one of the worst directors working right now. His movies are progressively getting worse and he hasn’t made a good movie to date. Pain And Gain is about the “Sun Tan Game” starring Mark Whalberg, Anthony Mackie, and Dwayne Johnson. Now I like Anthony Mackie. He’s a really good actor and my first though was “eww why is he in this”? Now this is not a movie for me. The Trailers sold this as a really broad generic comedy.
Wow did the trailers not sell this movie. This is the best movie of the year. No seriously , this is the equivalent of mixing Fargo with Horrible Bosses. If you know me you know I have a sick morbid sense of humor, I love love love love black comedies, and it’s so rare they actually work for me. Now When I say Fargo mixed with Horrible Bosses those are two black comedies, and while they both work really well, horrible bosses isn’t quite as dark as I wanted it, and Fargo wasn’t as funny as I wanted. This movie is as dark as Fargo and as Funny as horrible bosses. This feels like one of those movies that everybody including the cast and the crew was having a fantastic time.
Let me start with the acting. If you had told me Anthony Mackie would be out shown by The Rock i’d be just as surprised if you told me Micheal Bay would make a movie I’d like or even love. If you needed any proof Dwayne Johnson can act watch this movie. There’s a certain type of performance that embodies the movies tone inside the character. His performance is really bizarre, hilarious, and really likable. I want to say this is the first real contender for best supporting actor. Now everybody in here is great. Marky Mark who usually plays himself, is actually playing a character here and it works. Anthony Mackie is also really good. Rebel Wilson is in the movie and brings the funny. Ed Harris shows up and delivers a real grounding performance. All in all everybody showed up for work.
Now the real stars of the this movie are Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely , who really have knocked this movie out of the park. This is also a contender for Best Original Screenplay. They have the story structure down, the pacing of the story is also excellent. This feels a lot like GoodFellas in the way it bounces around a narrative, only focusing on things that are essential to the overall story. There’s no fat to trim. Where these guys really excel at is Dialogue. This movie has the best dialogue I’ve heard in years. This movie gets crazy and I’m not going to give it away, but it really feels like a Coien Brothers movie on cocaine. And there’s actual cocaine in the movie.
Now on to the direction. Now I hate Micheal Bay’s camera work. He films everything like a commercial. One of the things that seriously pissed me off about Transformers 3 is that the camera is never stationary, it’s always moving and it gets really annoying. Here Bay pulls back heavily on his tropes and gimmicks and really milks them to make it work. It’s almost like he makes fun of himself, there’s that shot from Bad Boys 2 with the spinning around two different rooms, and several instances of slow motion that work really well. He directs the action and the actors really well, and his frantic camera work and pacing really push this movie along. I had to constantly remind myself it was a Micheal Bay movie, and this really gives me hope for him. There’s a sense of real intent behind the movie. A lot of the time a really weak director will get a good script and they will squander it or mess it up, but Bay really seems to have an understanding of story structure. It just blows my mind he directed this.
Now this is not for Micheal Bay fans. This is almost a parody of Micheal Bay movies. You got cocaine, guns, strippers, cops, and it all fits into the story. All his excesses really serve the story. There are a few moments that are a little ridiculous outside of the actual accounts, but nothing that ruined the scene. Even the whole body builder aspect you’d think would make this a meat head movie, but it’s not. There’s just so many good things to say about the movie. Rush out and see this. You’ll love it. It’s so rare that a movie just has me completely guessing, and saying “That’s Fucked Up” literally every 5 minutes. This is another one of those times where critics are really being biased and not giving the movie enough credit. If this was directed by the Coen Brothers or David Fincher, which it feels like it was at point, then it’d probably be up for best picture at the oscars. It’s sad that once a film maker finally makes a project of passion and does his job people can’t see past his previous work. Do yourself a favor go see it and be entertained like you never have before.