Michael Pena is an underrated actor that can play a goofy mexican or a no-nonsense soldier. This is a brief look at his career:
Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) – A great heist movie in which Pena has a short but memorable scene as a local thug who gets put in his place.
Crash (2004) and Million Dollar Baby (2004) – He appears in both- unfortunately I haven’t seen either of these at the time of writing and so cannot comment on his performance. Vote here if you think I should watch these movies and review them!
Shooter (2007) – Pena provided the comedic relief to Mark Wahlberg’s serious and dangerous character Bob Lee Swagger. Nick Memphis (Michael Pena) is a rookie FBI agent who is clumsy but has a good heart. The film is exciting and Michael Pena is perfect in his role, to this day it is to me his most memorable film.
End of Watch (2012) – A brutal, realistic buddy cop film from David Ayer, starring Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal. Their chemistry is fantastic and is witnessed through body and dashboard cameras like a documentary. Pena transcends his usual goofiness to provide a heartfelt turn as an officer of the law.
Gangster Squad (2013) – A modern interpretation of a gangster movie, complete with quips and a team with specific roles and characters archetypes. Michael Pena is back in full goofiness mode, but it fits the film well.
American Hustle (2013) – Pena has little screen time in this movie but in my opinion he is part of the funniest scenes. I won’t go into details here due to spoilers but be assured his charm works well in this film.
Fury (2014) – Re-teaming with Ayer, Pena plays a member of a tank crew- as his most unlikeable character yet. That’s not to say he played it poorly; the character was written with little redeeming qualities, just a cold-hearted Nazi killer. His acting in this piece was serviceable, it was the writing of his character that let him down.
Ant-Man (2015) – Micheal Pena joins the MCU as Luis, Scott Lang’s partner in crime. This film will hopefully elevate Michale Pena’s career by giving him a major role that many people will witness. He plays the goofy Mexican once more and perfects that type of character herein. Many of the funniest jokes in this movie involved Pena.