Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Movie Review: "Pain and Gain" (2013)

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Movie"Pain & Gain"
Director: Michael Bay
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 9 minutes

Personal trainer Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is tired of his station in life and has a solution to fix it. His plan is to kidnap a wealthy restaurant owner (Tony Shalhoub) and torture him until he signs over all his wealth. He gets the help of two other bodybuilders Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) to help execute his plan. Initially successful in their plan, things start to spiral quickly out of control as they make mistake after mistake, getting deeper and deeper in trouble.

Usually, when we see the phrase "directed by Michael Bay" attached to a film, it makes us a little worried and makes us want to run for the hills. We expect an over-bloated, product placement riddled, explosion soaked film with a brain-dead plot, and more often than not, we're right about such things. Sure, this film is some of those things, but it's not all those things. Yes, it has a lot of product placements and it is a little slow as far as pacing goes, but the explosions are kept to a minimum, though there is one, big, violent badass one that actually feels like it belongs, and the plot is actually pretty fun. Considering the serious nature of the crimes committed by Lugo and his men and knowing how despicable their actions were, giving it a dark-comedy Three Stooges treatment could be seen as in bad taste, and many other critics and viewers agree with this statement.

All that being said, this is a Michael Bay film we didn't hate, and we feel slightly vomitous admitting this to you, our loyal readers. We believe this can be primarily be attributed to how charming the three lead actors are in their roles. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie all do a great job as three clueless meatheads who turn to crime to get rich quick. Johnson is as yolked up as ever, though he has a rival in Wahlberg for the "biggest guns ever attained for a film" title. Good lord, he must have been eating HGH for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to beef up for this role! What these men do is awful, but as mentioned earlier, they fumble and bumble their way through their crimes, making the audience laugh at their oblivious, idiotic nature. They are likable and horrible at the same time. They also get some help from a solid supporting cast in Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, and Rebel Wilson, who delivers some great comedic lines as well. All in all, if you don't take "Pain and Gain" too super seriously, it won't be the worst movie you ever see, you can bet on that. Though none of the people involved look one iota like their real life counterparts, this is hardly a knock against the film. For once, Michael Bay, you didn't completely suck.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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