CinemaCon: Paramount Shows Bay's Fun 'Pain & Gain' + 'Trek' Footage
by Alex Billington
April 16, 2013
"You can't just kidnap a guy and take his things! That is so illegal!" To kick off the first day of CinemaCon 2013, the movie industry convention held in Las Vegas every year, Paramount Pictures held the first panel previewing their upcoming 2013 movies. Not only did we see about 18 minutes of footage from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness (I just want to see the full movie already!!) and 10 minutes from Marc Forster's World War Z, but they screened all of Michael Bay's new low(er) profile movie Pain & Gain. And it was dark, hilarious, outrageous stranger-than-fiction glossy Bay fun. Full video blog with Peter Sciretta below.
Following the presentation on Monday night at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Peter from SlashFilm and I met up for a quick video blog, discussing our thoughts on Pain & Gain (more below) as well as the footage for Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z. It was very dark outside, so unfortunately the lighting sucks but we did our best and it's worth listening to our thoughts on all of these movies anyway. Check it out in full:
As we've already featured plenty of trailers for both Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z, I wanted to take this moment to talk about Pain & Gain, and how much absurd, ridiculous fun it is. This might just be Michael Bay's darkest movie. It's possibly one of the blackest comedies of 2013 (seriously it's crazy), an R-rated character piece telling an unbelievable true story about three idiotic muscle-men body builders who get lost in their own scheme to steal money and get rich and famous. It would make a perfect film to see back-to-back with Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, since it has the same "look-at-all-my-shit!" kind of "this is the American dream" wacky I-can't-believe-this-is-happening comedy. They will play well together.
Pain & Gain might just have one of my favorite Dwayne Johnson performances ever. He plays one of the last members of the crew that Mark Wahlberg, as Danny Lugo, puts together. All his quirks and character moments are best savored for the movie, because everything he does plays into the comedy and the story perfectly. Anthony Mackie, who is on the rise anyway, stands out as another key piece of the puzzle. These three actors combine forces for one wacky and horrible but hilarious trio of dumb bandits. However, I could not stand Rebel Wilson in the film, she felt shoe-horned in after her fame even though there was no need.
While I was hoping Pain & Gain was Bay's return to his Bad Boy roots, it's something else entirely different. There is action (and one explosion!), but it's the script and crazy story and rad 90's soundtrack that really makes this movie shine in its own ways. Bay puts on his usual polish with beautiful women throughout, elaborate technical shots even during dialogue scenes, and that entertaining tone that always make his films amusing to watch. Even if they're all about women, big muscles and steroids. I already want to see it again. Paramount has an exciting 2013 slate, and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of their summer movies.