Saturday, May 4, 2013
Dwayne Johnson's unused skateboard
So as I mentioned yesterday, I did indeed see Pain & Gain on Thursday night.
As I also mentioned, I liked it.
There's some, though not as much as you would expect, of Bay's usual bombast, and there's some, though not as much as you would expect, of Bay's cheesy musical cues.
There's about as much slow-mo as you would expect.
Overall, it's probably best described as Bay's attempt to make his own version of Goodfellas. Or really, any other of the many crime movies that feature unintended escalating consequences and regular doses of humor, though a couple key decisions remind a person of Goodfellas specifically. (The heavy reliance on voiceover being one.)
So yes, I did just mention Goodfellas and Pain & Gain in the same sentence. Of course, Goodfellas is a five-star movie and Pain & Gain is a three. I did momentarily consider giving it a three-and-a-half.
The thing I want to talk about, though, is Dwayne Johnson's unused skateboard.
At several times early on in Pain & Gain, Paul Doyle (Johnson) is shown carrying a skateboard. Never riding the skateboard, mind you; only carrying it. There's no explanation given about this skateboard.
One of these skateboard-carrying scenes is the one you see above, which is an iconic shot of Johnson, Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie strutting along, looking on top of the world. The fact that Johnson is carrying his unused skateboard at the time makes the shot slightly absurd. Here, I've taken the liberty of cropping out the other two dudes and pointing it out to you with a handy little yellow arrow. You can see the black and blue end of the board and the green wheel.
Now, Doyle is a recovering cocaine addict who spent time in prison, so it could be surmised that the skateboard is his mode of transportation because he no longer has a driver's license. A key scene later in the movie involves him driving a car, but enough criminal behavior has transpired by then that not having a license is probably the least of his worries. Still, without some mention if it, it sticks out.
While I won't go so far as to call this unexplained skateboard a distraction or an actual flaw in the film, it is the kind of thing that draws attention to the parts of Pain & Gain that were left on the cutting room floor. You figure there must have once been a scene that showed Doyle skateboarding, or at least a scene explaining why he's got one.
To go back to Goodfellas, it would be like just saying he's called Jimmy Two Times, without the "I'm gonna go get the papers, get the papers."