August 30, 2013 by Craig Sutherland
Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Anthony Mackie starring in a film directed by Michael Bay… This film is going to suck right?
If you believe the critics, this film is an abomination. Many critics sighting that this is the closest that Michael Bay will ever get to being an ‘Auteur’ (At just over 20 million dollars, the film stands as Michael Bay’s lowest-budgeted film since his feature film debut Bad Boys. He, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson took pay cuts to keep the budget down.), Here’s what Tim Robey had to say for The Telegraph…
”Bay’s style-guide dictates shooting everyone from below to pin their heads against acres of bright blue Miami sky, meaning the camera’s at knee-height constantly: it might have been operated by a dog on a skateboard. For all the blather about his alleged change of tack, this director’s obsessions remain fundamentally the same. These iron-pumping meatheads are merely bad boys with bigger biceps, and their movie could just as well have been called Transformers.”
Pain & Gain is currently 48% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes but that figure isn’t the whole story, The film is 48% rotten from critics review but 93% of Rotten Tomatoes users want to see it. The thing is, with films like this, critics are supposed to hate it. It’s a Michael Bay film, no matter how much a critic likes the film it’s not allowed to get more than 3 stars, there are rules.
Me, I really liked it. It probably should of said ‘Inspired by true events’ at the start rather than claiming ‘This is a true story’ but that’s just being fickle.
Wahlberg is best when playing the unhinged anti-hero (See: I Heart Huckabees & The Other Guys), The rock and Anthony Mackie were both solid as Wahlberg’s sidekicks. I enjoyed the neon hue and the stylised camera-work. The violence can be quite shocking and the freeze-frame *Spoiler* claiming ‘Still a true story’ when The Rock is BBQ’ing severed hands in broad daylight is just fucking hilarious.
All in all I thought it was great trip to the cinema, it was funny, stupid, dumb, good-looking-fun. Critics need to fucking lighten up.
- Mark Wahlberg Flaunts Big Muscles on ‘Transformers 4’ Set (justjared.com)
- Are You Ready For The American Dream? – Pain & Gain (thecursedson.wordpress.com)
- Gangsta’s paradise (thecinemaspacecake.wordpress.com)
- Pain & Gain – film review: Mark Wahlberg muscles in on clumsy plot (mirror.co.uk)