Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, June 20, 2014

Movie Review: Pain and Gain

Here's my dirty little secret. I love Micheal Bay. See I never saw the Transformer movies so my experience with him is, The Rock, Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2, and the fun but kind of stupid Armageddon. Apart from speculative fiction I make it no secret that action is my favorite genre and Bay knows how to blow up shit real good. It's what he does people.

More over Bay is the type of guy who won't even pretend to try to take his his premise seriously. And divorced from pretentious melodrama and moralizing he's one of the most fun directors alive. While it can sometimes be embarrassing and insulting his movie's tendencies to not dwell on message make them fun.

Pain and Gain feels like it has something to say but would rather just sit back while everybody else makes an ass of themselves. That might be disappointing to a lot of people but it also is what makes the movie good. The movie doesn't have to work very hard to convince the audience that these guys are absolutely insane because their narration does that for it. The movie can instead focus on being  ...  fun. Not dramatic, not profound, but fun.

Unlike his other outings rather than action this one moves by its sardonic wit.

Our protagonist Daniel Lugo, fully buys into the American dream and makes the mistake of fully believing he's smarter than really is. That he "deserves it". I've said previously that people don't deserve anything, but this guy, this guy he deserves an epic ass beating.  We get to watch as he and his buddies get "you are an idiot" pounded into them.

He concocts a crazy scheme to get rich guy to sign over his fortune to him.

What makes the movie funny is that Lugo and his buddies, in this specific aspect mostly Paul Doyle, played by The Rock have the mentality of children. I mean it. If it weren't for the torture and violence their lines sound like they could be coming out of 12 year-olds. And that's what's so hilarious.

These guys think they're criminal masterminds when they are children, no, worse than children because children have the excuse of being children.

The story progresses about how you would expect but again what makes it is how self-delusional every character is. I said that the movie feels like it has something to say and that's more or less it. "Deserve ain't got nothin' to do with it"

The American Dream is A LIE! The pursuit of it is what makes these guys the idiotas they are while we the audience get to sit back and laugh knowing that there is no way these guys, these guys, THESE GUYS are smart enough to get away with this.

At the big show down we all know ends these types of movies it's clear, the movie isn't making some big statement about morality and how crime doesn't pay, but rather pointing a finger and pulling a Nelson Muntz that they were stupid enough to think they were smart enough to make the plan work in the first place.

And well. I'm not half the nice guy I pretend to be.

I'm an evil evil man. And as long as no real harm comes from it, i.e. fiction, I love laughing at the stupid.  And these guys are brilliantly stupid. It takes real brains to write characters who are this dumb and feel authentically dumb. While the movie is based on a true story Bay did what he wanted. Still it feels like somewhere down the line he was infuriated by somebody who thinks this way or by people constantly telling him, he thinks this way.

This isn't your normal heist gone wrong movie, where some unforeseeable detail causes the plan to collapse on itself, and you feel bad for the guys who are in too deep and know it.

Lugo has drunken so much of the Kool-aid he think's it's champagne and the characters around him are so stupid they wants some of the Cris too. And these aren't poor unfortunate souls duped by him sooo.

Schadenfreude biiach!

What potentially makes the movie profound his how these guys are stupid. Again there is some subtlety there because nobody goes to Bay movie for critiques on society. Get that shit outta here.

But the characters all ignore the obvious because they're overly concerned about masculinity, patriotism, and Christianity. All of which are meaningless social constructs especially, as interpreted by these dumb-asses.

What's really interesting on rewatches is the acting on Mark Wahlberg's part. Most movies like this hint that deep down the guy doesn't believe any of it and is only desperately clinging to the faith in order to keep his entire belief system afloat.

Nope not Lugo. He believes. Everything. Unshakably. You almost have to admire the little bugger... if it weren't for the upside down torture. And the car. Oh my god the car. If I read the movie wrong and there is some sort of sign that god hates these guys and wants to see them fail miserably. The car.

Wahlberg never breaks. Never falters. Lugo is Lugo and damn is he entertaining.

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