Cinematic Releases: Pain & Gain

I like Michael Bay.

As a budding film maker myself, I should be crucified for that. Yeah, the dude's kind of a douche. Yeah, he makes loud, obnoxious, often needlessly lewd films, but damn are they a lot of fun. A lot of people, though attacking Bay for the aforementioned "faults" forget that he can make some really great looking films. Pain & Gain is yet another one of them. The shots, the color, the cuts, the sound, and the characters all dance together in a Miami beach party of giggly amusement that just so happens to be a very true story.

The only fault I can find in Pain & Gain is that it's a bit slow to take off. Believe me, though truly funny on its own, the magic of the film really comes from watching Mackie, Wahlberg, and Johnson desperately attempt to steady the precarious mess they've put on their own shoulders. Each character is very unique from the other, creating a dynamic cocktail of hilarious chaos. Dwayne Johnson stands out here in role not like much else that he's done in the recent years of his career.

Those expecting a slam-bang Bay-splosion of a film should leave those expectations at the door. This is inarguably Bay's most subdued and careful film that I would classify as simply comedy. If you're looking for just a plain ol' good time with super charming characters, Pain & Gain should be your weekend movie for a night out with the guys and gals alike. Go have some fun!

- J.G. Barnes