‘Pain and Gain’ Review

by on September 2, 2013

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Pain and Gain, a movie about actual events from the 90’s.  It may actually replicate events way to well for my taste, but see what I have to say for real.

Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie in 'Pain & Gain'

Pain and Gain starts out with Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) being chased by police.  (The movie takes place in 1994/1995).

We then pop back a bit in time, watching Danny starting his day, but it’s just an ordinary day for a personal trainer.  Who wants more.  And as he starts looking around his life, he’s not satisfied.  He wants more.

We meet his aspiring body builder, Adrian (Anthony Mackie), who can’t quite buff it up, but not for his trying.

And as they concoct a scheme to get rich, they meet and recruit Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) into their team of hopeful kidnapping extortionists.

And then there’s their kidnapping target, Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub).

Pain and Gain is one curious, bizarre movie about some of the dumbest criminals you will ever meet.  And they take themselves so serious, it’s funny.

You have three characters who think they know what they’re doing and they definitely do not.

Wahlberg (Who you can catch in the upcoming Transformers Four (TF4) movie ) plays a character not too far off from other characters that he’s played in the past.  But he does it so well, it’s easy to digest.

Anthony Mackie (Who is lined up to play The Falcon in the upcoming Avengers sequel, titled The Avengers: Age of Ultron.) plays a great dutiful co-conspirator.  Though he’s not a very bright bulb,

Dwayne Johnson and Bar Paly in 'Pain & Gain'

And then there’s Johnson, who shows yet again the versatility he’s capable of as an actor.  Versatile, because in this role, he plays a rather wide-eyed victim to cocaine.  All the while, thinking he’s been saved by Jesus, but continues his unholy practices of crime.

Johnson will be in the upcoming Hercules and Fast and Furious 7 movies.

It’s amazing the lengths of stupidity these characters end up going, not realizing just how stupid they are.

Yep, there’s a theme here.

Other supporting cast includes Ed Harris who plays a private detective; Ken Jeong, who plays a self-help guru; and the beautiful Bar Paly who plays the ditzy girlfriend.

Mark Wahlberg and Bar Paly in 'Pain & Gain'

Oh, and I’ll let you discover when and where Rebel Wilson shows up.

Being a Michael Bay film, I was expecting more over-the-top action than what we saw, but he didn’t fall short on delivering the T and A in the script.  That’s for sure.  And this being what was coined a passion project of his, well, I guess I don’t know the man as well as I thought.  But hey, he sure can crank out the CGI action flicks.

FAMILY WARNING:  There’s a bit of scantily clad women here and there, with a few scenes that you might not like having to explain to the smaller, younger members of our species.

What was odd about this movie was that I didn’t care about the story moving forward as a whole, but each stupid deed, bad move or stupid line was just a notch above entertaining and there were even some funny spots.

The camera work, at times, has curious and entertaining angles, while the movie was filmed as if you were in 1994/95.

Oh, and the movie is based on real events that were perpetrated by these very characters.

The film pans out with action and narration.  Sometimes, you think they are trying to be funny.  And sometimes not hitting the mark.  It’s mostly the flubs of their plans that got my funny bone.  And if you dwell on the fact that folks were murdered and Bay tried to pan this off as a comedic flick also has its confusing aspects.

Depending on how you watch this, if could be a fun flick, but it felt more like a Doctor Who experience.  In the beginning, you have no f*ing clue what’s going on, but after a bit, you’re committed and need to see it through.

Well, that, and I paid (VoD rental) to see it.

I think if I had not paid to rent it, say, if it came on any cable channel, I probably would have turned it to something else, like say, Syfy.

Movie Review Popcorn Score 06But I had committed financially and had to see it through.

On my popcorn scale, I’d say at most, I’d give it a popcorn 6.  It wasn’t horrible, but I minded dropping money on the movie.  I didn’t want to run away, but not compelled to want to stick around.

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