Not since 2003’s Bad Boys II have I anticipated a Michael Bay film with anything resembling enthusiasm. But Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as bodybuilders moonlighting as kidnappers, is bucking that trend. Bay wouldn’t have been my initial choice to adapt Pete Collins’ fascinating three part series about the actual true-life story, but I’m anxious to see what he brings to the table.
Also making me anxious but in a less enthusiastic way? Transformers 4, which from here on out I’ve decided to call Transfour!mers. Last week the internet was aflutter that Mark Wahlberg might also be collaborating with the director on the fourth entry in the cash-grabbing sci-fi series. Bay took to his blog to categorically state those rumors were not true. Except wait, now they might be:
“I squashed a rumor that was on the internet last week. It was about Mark Walhberg. Mark was rumored to be staring in Transformers 4. We are working on another movie together, not T4. I had such a great time working with Mark on Pain and Gain, and he gave such a great performance – well let’s say that very internet chatter gave me some ideas. We are at the inception of our story process right now on T4. Let’s say some ideas are gaining traction with me and my writer – so I’m here to say thanks internet chatter.”
Wahlberg would be a considerable upgrade for a franchise that’s only real contribution has been to Bay’s bank account. The tricky thing about the actor however, has been his inability to connect as an action star, a genre* you’d think he’d clean up in. He’s had much better luck in films like Ted, The Departed, and Boogie Nights than say Contraband, Shooter or Max Payne. And he’s fared even worse in potential franchise-starters like Planet of the Apes. So perhaps him orbiting a franchise like Transformers, where the audience is already built-in, is a safe bet for him.
These movies are so inconsistent anyway, I say just cast him as Sam Witwicky’s younger brother or something, out to avenge Sam’s hopefully graphic death.
*It’s debatable but Three Kings errs on more dramatic territory.
Source: Michael Bay via Coming Soon