Pain & Gain

Pain & Gain ★★★★

Not the best Bay film imo but I have to admit, I assumed going in that that general reaction was being applied much more cynically. This is a really startling film, both in the depths of its depravity and how consistently hysterical it is. Bay's weakness has always been his comedy, though later Transformers films phased it out significantly. The first three all have a solid 45 minute chunk that's nothing but dumb, cruel, cringeworthy gags that feel ten times longer than they really are. Here he makes it work by somehow digging that hole even deeper, getting far more disgusting and horrific than he ever has before, and somehow once he's down there the jokes just start to sing. Obviously the performances help. This is the only good performance from The Rock I've ever seen, mostly because he's playing a fuckup freak and not The Coolest Most Badass Man In History. And Wahlberg is phenomenal, just beautifully deranged work.

The cutting is just wild too, from start to finish it's like one long montage. Never ever settles into a typical rhythm. Hannah observed that it feels like how Lugo probably sees his world, just one long endless stream of events without ever stopping to consider what came before or what's coming next. The film is just in constant motion from the moment it begins. It's exhilarating, and exhausting, and not at all what I was expecting. Good shit!!!!!!

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