Monday, May 6, 2013

A Review: Pain & Gain

"I've watched a lot of movies Paul. I know what I'm doing."
                                                                                                          --Daniel Lugo

There are exactly two ways one could view this film:

         1. Staring with Steve Jablonsky, his score hits new notes for his career and resume, you can (dare I say?) label it beautiful at times even. A very well suited orchestration, and not my first sound choice given the script (which makes it all the sweeter).

Bay juggles the awkward nature of drama, biopic and comedy well enough to present a very succinct story about the idiots who pulled off a brutal crime spree in the mid-nineties to a most pleasurable degree. Not since his bow into Hollywood with his '95 debut hit, Bad Boys have I seen him so in tune with his dramedy-action-storytelling powers. Bay supplies us a terrible building nature of nervous energy and dreadful anxiety until the thrills kick in high gear. One terrible move after another, we feel as they do, the mounting tension in the air and the heat coming for them. I was truly in the moment and sick to my stomach almost.

And the performing is Dramedy top-notch and everything you'd need to tell this script the way it deserves. Johnson in particular hitting new high notes, reaching deeper into a bag of tricks we didn't know he had and making me proud to label him: a living, breathing actor. I sincerely enjoyed him letting his (ehm) hair down and getting into a quirky, slightly complex character. Wahlberg is of course his best when aloud to stretch his comedy legs.


           2. You can argue that because this film  exists on the shoulders of (purportedly) a true story (it tells us once and reminds us later "This is still a true story"), which it then in turn skews to the favor of grandstanding an attempt at a sleeper blockbuster hit. One may say it succeeds (or not) manipulating the details and events surrounding the untimely deaths of various individuals and heinous crimes in favor of tipping the sympathy scale towards the muscular-leads and destroying the memory of the people who died and the family members who lost them is completely horseshit and deem this film a travesty and boycott it. People are begin to sing this song, so I might as well cal a little attention to it as legitimate way to view the film.

I'm not here to choose one or the other. I'm here as a film-lover and film analyst. I'll say though, that unfortunately we live in a world where terrible things happen. And sometimes those terrible thing are turned into stories. Stories that we all can watch, and listen and ultimately learn from. But, stories are what they are for a reason are they not? They are here to entertain us and take us away from everydayland. And however they choose to do so is the story's right.

Look, Fargo this isn't. And the material could warrant any kind of tone, atmosphere and take. Bay chose the juiced-up, thrill ride with laughs-a-plenty and a rising tension that doesn't quit.

So, in this particular story, you either found yourself whisked away from your troubles for an instant, and finding thrills and laughs and enjoyment, or, you didn't and the filmmakers failed.

You decide.

And we'll leave the answers private shall we?

???? Munki out

No comments:

Post a Comment