Thursday, 15 August 2013

Pain & Gain Movie Review!!!

What happens when three muscle bound stupidos plan a kidnapping??? A surprisingly entertaining movie about a true event is what happens! Read our review to find out more!!!

Moneybags director Michael Bay returns to pre-Transformers form with Pain & Gain, the true story of three body builders who came up with a half-brained scheme in the ‘90s to kidnap a rich douchebag and take his money.

Mark Wahlberg plays the lead instigator as stuck-in-a-rut gym instructor Daniel Lugo.  Tired of serving people who have everything he wants, money, women, respect, he decides to kidnap one of his clients with the help of fellow meathead Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and the recently out of prison Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). 

Between the three of them they have about half a brain cell and that’s what makes this such a surprisingly enjoyable ride.  Imagine a person who perhaps knows a few buzzwords, which, if you didn’t converse further, would suggest the guy is smart.  Now imagine you do actually talk to this guy and delve further, then you slowly see his eyes glaze over as it dawns on you that the guy doesn’t actually know anything; well that’s Daniel Lugo for you.  Worse still is that uber-meathead Paul Doyle thinks Lugo is a criminal genius.  The results are pretty damn funny, often gruesome, but funny nonetheless.

It’s nice to see Bay returning to more adult themes but this is still a far cry from Bay classics such as Bad Boys 1 & 2 as well as the now seminal The Rock (not starring Dwayne Johnson).  Although perhaps fresh when compared to a lot of the other titles in theatres right now, compared to some of Bay’s own previous works, it does feel like we’re simply revisiting old ground.  There’s one scene featuring a rotating camera going through a crack in the wall into another room and back round into the original room.  This spinning camera keeps moving as the scene unfolds, but this is exactly the same as what Bay did in Bad Boys 2 during one of the gunfights leaving me with a significant ‘been there – done that’ kind of feeling.

What makes this movie worthwhile, surprisingly for a Bay movie, is the plot and the performances of the leads.  The true story setting means that things are never fully predictable, it’s not the usual Hollywood fare where things end all happy and goody goody for our anti-heroes.  No sir, this is a much more grizzly experience.

I loved Dwayne as the pea-brained muscle bound hulk who initially objects to everything but in the end it’s mostly thanks to him that things go from bad to worse.  

Wahlberg injects just enough angst and desperation into his stupid-but-thinks-he’s-smart character for us to be able to empathize with him but simultaneously laugh at him when things go south.

It’s obvious that no one’s really taking anything seriously making this movie and it’s nice to see the actors not being afraid to make fun of themselves as it really comes through in their performances.  Clearly they all had a lot of fun as following this movie Bay signed up Wahlberg to replace Shia LaBeouf to lead the next Transformers movie.

I have no idea how true to life the events portrayed in this are but who cares?  I did some googling and there was enough truth in this to keep me happy.

You could do much worse than Pain & Gain.  Admittedly it has limited replay value but it’s a nice little black comedy to pass a couple of hours and welcome respite from the CGI heavy movies we’re all used to (mostly from Bay) these days.

Check it out!

Rating 3.5 out of 5


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