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:
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.
“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