'Pain & Gain' Trailer: Michael Bay Pumps Iron, Hero Shots Into Bizarre True Crime Tale
If you loathe Transformers-Michael Bay but have a soft spot for the Bay who made not one, but two Bad Boyses, then the first trailer for his true crime pic Pain & Gain is going to push all the right buttons: Beefy macho men, fast cars, a slick Miami setting, Mark Wahlberg hitting that Dirk Diggler sweet spot of dumb overconfidence, and everyone's favorite muscleman, The Rock... it's enough to make the truly disturbing real life saga of a gang of bodybuilding thugs-turned-killers who bungled their way through unspeakable acts of torture and murder into a feelgood American Dream antihero tale!
Wahlberg stars as real life ringleader Daniel Lugo, a small time Florida dreamer/short shorts enthusiast who tapped his workout buddies to pull the most inept — and, don't get it twisted, unforgivably violent — extortion attempt in recent history. Things didn't turn out so well for the Sun Gym gang, and things certainly didn't shake out in slo-motion hero shots and hilarious sound bite quips for their victims.
The trailer is CSI Miami-slick and stuffed with all the usual Bay signatures that made him the commercially successful bombast-specialist auteur that he is, but I can't help but wonder if, after making relatable Lugo & Co.'s yearning for more, and glorifying the bromantic shenanigans that unfold as they cook up a scheme to steal money from Monk, Bay will flip the table on his audience and shine a harsher light on the crimes that put these "heroes" on death row in real life. Since this is Michael Freaking Bay we're talking about here, I have no idea what to expect on the moral ambiguity tip, but best case scenario, this could be his most mature and complex look at modern machismo yet. (Maybe that's not saying much.)
Pain & Gain is based on Miami New Times writer Pete Collins' fascinating report on the Sun Gym gang and the Fargo-esque trajectory of their eventual downfall and arrest. The full saga is a must-read: Find it archived here.
Pain & Gain hits theaters April 26.