This was a surprising film, as I hadn’t expected much. Turns out that if you can get past the neon orange skin colors, a Michael Bay trademark, the story is very dynamic and well spun.
These wacky characters are well developed over the course of their crime spree. The story is based on true events, by the way, and not just a muscle exploitation opportunity, as the trailer appeared to be. This is a serious crime film with darkly comedic overtones.
In some ways it’s a classic gangster scenario, getting roped into more serious consequences as ambition takes over. It pits the American dream ideal, sold on TV by arrogant millionaire huckster Johnny Wu, against the reality of working class insignificance. It pits notions of American meritocracy against get rich quick thievery. It flips the characters somewhat, so that the likable protagonists are the bad guys, and a very unlikable mark is the antagonist, but also the hero in a way. It’s an uncomfortable mess of a situation and hard to believe that it could actually have transpired.