The first poster for Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain has arrived online today, and while it may not feature any giant fighting robots, its overt masculinity certainly keeps the poster in line with other Michael Bay marketing.
Starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, Pain and Gain tells the true story of “Miami bodybuilders who kidnapped a guy in order to make some easy money, and ended up enmeshed in a cycle of torture and murder.” That simple description does not sound too different than several dozen other films with crime and retribution elements, but even a totally generic version of this story might be fun with Johnson and Wahlberg at the center; both actors work well in this genre, and should make an interesting on-screen pair.
Pain and Gain is a passion project for Bay, who traded in the commercial capital gained by Transformers to get it produced. It is a smaller-budget affair than much of his recent work, and though the poster and synopsis indicates the film isn’t a total departure for Bay, one imagines this film will include fewer explosions and CGI, and hopefully an interesting story to boot. For all the critical flack he (deservingly) gets, Bay has shown visual talent in certain films, and from a purely technical standpoint, his work did noticeably improve across the three Transformers films. If he has found a genuinely good script, and can reign in his obsession with overwrought juvenile humor, Pain and Gain could be a interesting experience.
Then again, the tagline in the poster is a dumb sex joke, and the entire design just reinforces Bay’s obsession with physically strong male characters and loud American iconography. We get it, Michael Bay; you love your country. If you ever find something substantial to say beyond that, we’re all ears.
Pain and Gain is set for an April 2013 release, and co-stars Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson and Bar Paly.