Pain & Gain Review

Pain and Gain Header

Release Date: April 26, 2013

Review Date: May 1, 2013

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Anthony Mackie

The Filmster Rating:

Grand Rating

Michael Bay receives a lot of bad criticism from just about everyone and I just don’t know why? I mean he doesn’t have the greatest filmography but he does have some good films under his belt. He is not one of my favorite directors, I just think he deserves some slack and there are other directors that are a lot worse then him. He has stumbled with his last couple of Transformers films but he returns with a bang, with his new film Pain & Gain, and it is possibly his best film since The Rock.

Daniel Lugo(Mark Wahlberg) is a personal trainer with a criminal past, that has the “American Dream” of becoming somebody in life. Lugo is finally fed up with his status in life and, so he attends a seminar about changing  his life and becoming the best person he can be. Instead of Lugo pursuing his goals in a legal way, he turns to the life of crime to collect on his big payday. He recruits his best friend Adrian(Anthony Mackie) to help with his plans. Lugo plans to kidnap a wealthy businessman Victor Kerhaw(Tony Shalhoub) that he personally trains and make him sign over all his assets. Lugo recruits one more man into his group, Paul Doyle(Dwayne Johnson) an ex-convict right out of jail. The three men set out to accomplish their mission and after a few failed attempts of kidnapping Victor, they finally nab him and take him to a warehouse. There after an extensive period of time, they torture Victor until he finally signs over all his assets.

When Victor figures out that Lugo is behind the kidnapping, Lugo decides to kill him. The three men think they killed Victor but he survives and hires a Private Detective(Ed Harris). After the success of their job, the crew starts living their high life, until they begin to run out of money and again they start to scheme another plan to steal money from another rich businessman. This time, the job doesn’t go according to plan and things become violently messy. With a private detective on their tail and he eventually leads to the whole crew’s capture by the law.

Pain & Gain is a ridiculous and entertaining movie from beginning to end. Watching this film will give you a bunch of laughter throughout, mostly because of how the story plays out and the performances by the lead actors. Michael Bay tends to go over the top with comedy in his films and he did a few times in this film, but overall the comedy in the film was really funny and to the point. There isn’t a bunch of action and explosion in this film as you would expect in a Bay film but I thought that was a good change for him. The three lead actors Mark, Dwayne and Anthony were all great in their roles. They basically were The Three Stooges on steroids and they were on point through out the film. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was the standout in the film as he probably gave his best performance of the year.

When watching this film you just won’t believe that it was based of a true story. The film throughout reminds you that it is a true story but even after you finish watching, you just still won’t believe. The film does get pretty violent and it is a rare territory for Bay but he delivers it quite well. A big flaw of the film is that it was too ridiculous and it never took the true events seriously and therefore, it felt like Michael Bay just didn’t care about the real victims, and sympathy wasn’t felt throughout the film. Even when the three were on trial the silly comedy continued, and that was when the comedy went to far and that part should of been left with a more serious tone.

Pain & Gain is the exact definition of entertainment and Michael Bay is one of the best of delivering a fun and entertaining movie, and he showcases it well in this one.

Blogger’s Thoughts

“At 2:10, “Pain & Gain” runs a bit too long, and the severity of the crimes involved get much more shocking than the promotional campaign would let on. But there’s no doubt that it’s a funny, entertaining, dark crime drama with plenty to say about the ludicrous nature of America’s “greed is good” mores.” – Fogs’ Movie Reviews

“Michael Bay shocks, sickens, surprises and somewhat satisfies in this “true life” tale. Viewing it can be seen as either a pain or a gain as this one falls right in the middle with two and a half stars out of five.” – The Focused Filmographer

“Most of Pain & Gain is meant to be seen, just for the sake of bragging-rights and pure experience. But with that said, it is still fun for what you see with it’s random bits of comedy, drama, crime, and action, all rolled into one piece of wild popcorn fare. Also, it’s a Michael Bay film with no robots.” - Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews

Comments are much appreciated. Thanks for reading!

15 responses to “Pain & Gain Review

  1. I can’t believe I’m saying this… but as more reviewers give this film good reviews, the more I actually want to see it. I mean, I’m obviously not going to actually pay for a ticket ;) – but I’ll now definitely watch it when it’s available on the small screen.

  2. I do agree that people are too harsh when it comes to Michael Bay, but then again there is Transformers 3, which really got close to being the first movie I actually walk out of before the ending (this (dis)honour was recently earned by Scary Movie 5). Great review though, I think I am really looking forward to this one! :)

    • People are too harsh on him but I did enjoy Transformer 3 it was the second one that I really had a hard time watching. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. “A big flaw of the film is that it was too ridiculous and it never took the true events seriously and therefore, it felt like Michael Bay just didn’t care about the real victims, and sympathy wasn’t felt throughout the film” WELL said, Issy. That definitely IS a major flaw.

    I still couldnt help but laughing, though, and I agree that the movie is a funny, dark comedy that should be seen. ;) Nice review!

  4. Good review Issy. The tone is quite strange, but at least it’s a movie that kept me entertained and happy, for the most part.

  5. I didn’t plan on seeing this movie b/c it doesn’t very good to me, but seeing you gave it a “G” is making me consider giving it a chance. I quit reading your review halfway thru b/c it seemed like you were divulging possible spoilers. Is the part w/ Ed Harris – and the part looking for a second job a potential spoiler, or is it pretty irrelevant to the story? It seems to me that may be giving away crucial details of the story that would make it more interesting to learn on my own as I watch the movie – or is the plot so substantial that those details hardly matter?

    • Yea my review is a bit spoilerish but it wont ruin the movie for you and plus its based on a true story. Its a crazy and fun movie to watch that I think most people can enjoy.

  6. Pingback: Maniacs, Zombies & Billionaire Playboys | filmhipster·

  7. Okay, after reading your review I went ahead and saw this today, but judging based on your rating system I would have to give this an “S” rating. Everything happened exactly as I imagined it would after seeing the trailer; I was hoping there would be some kind of unexpected twist at the end. But a very predictable ending. I know it’s based off a true story, etc. but in spite of it being non-fiction it played out much like a fictional movie – but the problem with that is that it’s a fictional movie I’ve seen too many times before – so even though it is a pretty crazy true story, it didn’t make for an entertaining film to watch on-screen considering how many other fictional movies with the exact same kind of plot has already been done dozens of times before.

    See, that’s why I like stuff like “Luther” and “The Hidden Face” b/c when I watched those I didn’t feel like I had already seen them before; that “Luther” series went in directions that I had never seen coming; the series blew me away! And that twist in The Hidden Face was just surprising, creepy, and depressing all at the same time, and I loved it b/c I had never seen anything like it before.

    • Yea true this type of movie has been done plenty of times but the crazyness in this one I really enjoyed. Luthor is in a class all by itself. Cant wait for the new season.

      • I read it will be back September :) I know they finished shooting recently and that there will be 4 episodes; I think season 3 will be the last.

      • Okay, I just realized your “Grand” rating for “Pain & Gain” is your 2nd-tier rating; when I originally saw your “G” rating I was under the impression that was your best of the best rating. So I went out and watched “Pain & Gain” under the impression this was a top-tier quality movie, and so I came out underwhelmed, and didn’t understand why you liked it THAT much; but now that I realize “TN” is your top rating and “G” is your second, it makes much more sense.

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