Summer movies are a strange phenomenon. I’ve having fun with the few I’ve seen already, but can’t really qualify any of them as, you know, good. Competent. Well shot. Well acted, even. But remember that time when Billy Wilder got to rewrite his own scripts? No? Well, it was the thirties. As much as I enjoy the Marvel House Style, it seems like movies aren’t better than they need to be anymore. So when something as kind of not cookie-cutter yet of the action/true crime mold as Pain & Gain doesn’t just get dumped in January but climbs the calendar all the way to the end of April? That’s exciting.
Mostly it’s because I believe that studio popcorn flicks can still bear an autuer’s mark. They can do interesting, distinct things within the basic parameters of a four-quadrant-pleasing blockbuster. Michael Bay might be everything critics think is wrong with Hollywood, but when you see a Michael Bay movie, you know it. No one else could be responsible for the things he does, for worse and for better. Pain & Gain comes really close to being a good film, but but it’s less Bay’s bombast and more his meanspirited glorification of all things domination that ultimately got in the way of the story.
Anyway, for all my thoughts, check out the review.