Guess this is what happens when you let a non-comedy director do a comical movie.

I'm actually one of the few persons in the world who still likes big, dumb, overblown Michael Bay movies but the comedy in all of his movies always felt kind of awkward to me but luckily it never was the center of attention in most of his previous movies. It's therefore also surprising to see this movie taking on a comedy approach, rather than a, more typical for Bay, action approach.

And yes, I'm aware of it that Michael Bay also directed the movie "Bad Boys" and the sequel to it in the past, which is actually still more of a comedy than this movie but the big different between that movie and this one is that "Bad Boys" had some great comedy actors in it, who handled most of the comedy well and managed to still turn it into something fun, no matter how badly written or poorly directed it was. Problem with this movie is that it clearly doesn't have the right actors in it to handle its comedy. The Rock, or Dwayne Johnson as you should call him now, is arguably the only somewhat remotely experienced comedy actor in this and it's therefore also no surprise that he's the highlight of the movie and plays the best character but that's not saying much though.

The movie is a still pretty shallow one, also with its characters. But the bigger problem with them is that they aren't all that likable. I mean, they are basically some criminals, who also all do some very despicable things throughout the movie, without showing much remorse. Why should I care for any of them? And why should I root for them? And why should I laugh when they do some stupid things, that often bring others in serious danger or even pain and worse than that?

This is a pretty odd and ineffective mixture of action and comedy elements to be frank. It's not serious enough to care about it and it's just too silly to enjoy it for what it is, even though apparently it's based on a true story. You feel that if the movie would have gone for either an all out comedy or action approach, the movie still could have worked out as a pretty good and enjoyable one. At times you just don't know whether you are supposed to laugh or feel sorry, during a certain scene or for a specific character.

Guess this movie ultimately wants to be about living the American dream. The idea behind this movie really isn't all that bad, to see a bunch of not too clever bodybuilders, trying to make something of their lives and live it to the fullest, by getting rich fast, by committing, what is in their eyes, a simple and safe to execute crime.

The story isn't ever handled all that great or interestingly though. While watching this movie you often actually start to wonder what the story is supposed to be heading at, especially when it keeps on introducing new characters, played by some big name actors. It never feels like it's following a good or clear enough main plot line and the storytelling is definitely lacking focus and a point to it all.

A smaller type of Bay movie, that's also one of his lesser ones!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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