Some spectators who have crossed the cinema of Michael Bay they have questioned if he really has a sense of humor, or if the laughter that his films produce is derived from that “it’s so bad that you laugh” that many use as a shield to deny the reality of what they are enjoying. But humor is a fundamental part of his cinema. He has been in movies like ‘Two Rebel Cops’, he is also in his ‘Transformers’, and he is also in his latest amazing deployment ‘Ambulance: Escape Plan’.
But, in case there were any doubts about it, Bay did a comedy. A very sharp and not at all subtle black comedy, where it is capable even of laughing a little at himself and at the American ideal to which he has leaned so much.
‘Pain and money’ (‘Pain & Gain’) does not shy away from satirizing while using codes of the criminal thriller to portray petty criminals who believe that they are going to strike the blow that will solve their lives. It is not an excessively novel combination, but the director takes it in his own particular style, leaving a kind of black satire of the Coen brothers inflated on steroids.
Extort for the American Dream
The film follows the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), told in various articles by Pete Collins, detailing acts of kidnapping, extortion, torture and murder of various victims. In 1995, in the sunny area of Miami, Lugo decides perform the “hit of the century” alongside a group of bodybuilders (Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie) tied to the gym where he works, trying to get all the money from one of his clients (Tony Shalhoub).
The thing of course he will go out of his way for his absolute lack of knowledge and common sensein addition to several previous problems, such as the problem with (recreational) drugs of the character of The Rock. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeelywriters of several of the great Marvel productions such as ‘Avengers: Endgame’, try to structure and escalate all the acts of vandalism of this muscular trio, looking for the balance between nonsense and making consistent emotional arcs.
Bay makes sure the tone is overtly satirical, highlighting the ridiculousness of some of his actsexaggerating the image to show the absurd self-perception the characters have and giving room for the comedy to hit hard.
“Bayhem” is anything but a subtle, or overly sophisticated filmmaker – at least, depending on what you understand “sophisticated” to be. However, the parodic exercise he performs here is interesting because It’s the closest you’ve ever come to self-awareness.
‘Pain and money’: one of Michael Bay’s greatest triumphs
The way all the American flags are present in the frames, or how Wahlberg’s character is Obsessed with the greatness that has sold him the American dreamis almost a self-critical exercise of an author who has been framed so much in extreme patriotism.
It also puts in the limelight characters whose characteristics are not so far from the police officers of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, or other heroes of his filmographybut this time they are situated on the other side of the heroic spectrum.
‘Pain and money’ ends up being a fabulous exercise, which boards slyly scathing commentary with hilarious comedy to face dogin addition to the director’s usual action nonsense, even if they are on a reduced scale -compared to Transformers, this is pure independent cinema-.
It also has Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson’s Best Acting Moments, so he’s pulling off stunts all over the place. One of the greatest triumphs of Michael Bay that is to be seen in the Netflix catalog.