Pain & Gain (2013)


Michael Bay is infamous for his big blockbusters with an emphasis on entertainment value, mainly in the form of big explosions. After his efforts in bringing several live-action Transformers films to the big screen, his latest feature can be basically described as Goodfellas with steroids.

Pain and Gain is based on the true story of a trio of Miami bodybuilders, consisting of Sun Gym employee Lugo (Mark Whalberg) and members Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). They manage to steal the assets of local tycoon Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) through kidnap and torture, only for their haphazard attempts to get rich to bite them in the ass.

Bay reinforces the darker side of the film by reminding us that it is based on a true story.  However, this little fact doesn’t stop the events being dumbed down for the viewer’s entertainment.  In addition to this, it is hard to take kidnap and torture seriously when you are dealing with a group of bodybuilders with more brawn than braincells.

The only redeeming feature of Pain and Gain is the cast, who are enjoying themselves by doing a lot with very little effort. Ranging from Johnson’s crazy, conflicted Doyle and Rebel Wilson’s flirtatious nurse Robin, it looks like the cast are appealing to the fun factor in this otherwise popcorn film. Thanks to their collective efforts, the cast carry the film (literally) on their shoulders.

Incredibly silly and over-exaggerated, Pain and Gain offers very little in substance. But if shameless entertainment is more your thing, indulge away.

Pain and Gain is out in UK cinemas on 30th August.
Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie
Runtime: 129 mins
Country: USA

Film Rating: ★★★☆☆

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