On the last day of the year it’s our last show of the year, in our newer, longer format. Which means more time for movie discussion! This week I review David O. Russell’s Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, which may finally bag Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar, and Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy’s Home.
The fourth instalment of Michael Bay’s big screen robot romp offers few surprises but an abundance of the series’ familiar tropes in another marathon-length, narratively vapid action spectacular. Bay’s trademark visual fireworks are as impressive as ever, while an all-new cast promises a new direction for what may become a second trilogy. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Autobots and Decepticons, which based on past performance means huge box office everywhere.
You can read my full review here.
Mark Wahlberg plays Daniel Lugo, an ambitious bodybuilder and personal trainer turned criminal in this based-on-a-true-story action caper from Michael Bay. Lugo recruits a born again criminal, Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and a fellow gym rat Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) to perform a sting operation on dubious local businessman Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub). When the police refuse to take Kershaw’s story seriously he turns to retired police officer and private detective Ed DuBois (Ed Harris).
Despite a promising start and a natural chemistry between Walhberg and Johnson as lead characters, Pain And Gain is an anaemic piece of storytelling. The extended middle section of the film meanders along without any real sense of tension, drama or comedy. There are laughs to had, but they are like flowers in the otherwise arid desert of what could have been a fantastically bizarre crime caper and instead ends being a crude and forgettable buddy film.
James also saw this film and you can read his thoughts here.