We’ve come to know Michael Bay as the maestro behind a very specific type of huge movie, as he has defined the image of glossy pictures full of gorgeous women and explosions. His work, as that suggests, isn’t really known for subtlety.
But since before Bay latched on to the Transformers franchise, he has wanted to shoot a film based on the story of a few Miami bodybuilders who concocted a plan to kidnap a businessman and steal his wealth. Years later, that story has become Bay’s “little movie,” Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie, and Dwayne Johnson. The movie isn’t likely to change Bay’s image, but it does represent something (slightly) different from the director. Reviews have been coming in for a few days, but now we want to know what you think about Bay’s true-crime tale.
I haven’t had the chance to see Pain & Gain yet — there was no Austin press screening — but the dialogue about the movie has been entertaining to follow. Many who think the movie is too long, or tonally jagged, still come down on the positive side thanks to the energy Bay builds in the second half. Dwayne Johnson’s performance has been given the spotlight as a career-best (Germain was very much in this camp, in his review) and Bay’s relative restraint in the action department is a constant point of comment.
But Pain & Gain has its detractors, as well. The same complaints often levied at Bay’s films have come up once again, with comments about Pain & Gain being superficial, excessive, and simply unappealing.
So tell us what you thought of the film. Has Bay done something that seems new, to him at least? Is Pain & Gain just the same Bay approach with a slightly smaller price tag? Does the appeal of The Rock’s performance outweigh any other qualms? Speak up in the comments below, where spoilers are encouraged.