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Saturday, April 27, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: PAIN & GAIN




Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is a regular bodybuilder who works at the Sun Gym along with his friend Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie). Sick of living the poor life, Lugo concocts a plan to kidnap Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), a regular at the gym and a rich, spoiled businessman, and extort money from him by means of torture. With the help of recently released criminal Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson), the "Sun Gym Gang" successfully gets Kershaw to sign over all his finances. But when Kershaw survives an attempted murder by the gang, he hires private investigator Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris) to catch the criminals after the Miami Police Department fails to do so.

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris

Release Date: Apr 26, 2013

Rated R for crude Sexual Content, Bloody Violence, Drug Use, Language Throughout and Nudity

Runtime: 2 hr. 9 min.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy

Review:

I’ve been a bit of a Michael Bay apologist over the years. Not because I believe he’s a mad genius but because I think he’s actually a solid action director whose becoming a whipping boy admittedly due to some of his really bad films. He creates the type of bombastic popcorn movies that are easily digestible and would rot your teeth if you consumed them regularly. Like all indulgences it should be done in moderation which is ironic since Bay doesn’t know anything about moderation. Pain & Gain is a bulging muscle flexing with veins popping out everywhere. Its first act is the type of caffeinated movie going experience that feels like somebody’s poured cocaine into your eyeballs. A bulging Mark Wahlberg is focused and dedicated to his role. He’s clearly enjoying himself throughout and keeps a bug eyed energy alive through the better part of the film. Equally game Dwayne Johnson, looking bigger than I’ve ever seen him, and Anthony Mackie match him throughout. Their interplay is great comedy especially as things get more ridiculous and out of control. Having the story change from point of during the story allows us to get into these morons minds and see what’s leading them down the incredibly slippery slope towards disaster. Tony Shalhoub delivers an extra salty performance in a limited role. Sadly Ed Harris and Rebel Wilson are mostly marginalized in thankless roles. Pain and Gain’s major faults are really a reflection of Bay’s. The characters, all of them, are caricatures of people; none of them feel real in anyway. They’re Bay mutated version of what real people are. Additionally, Bay never knows too much of a good thing. The first 2 acts are crisp and energetic but the last act drags on. It’s not terrible but it could have been streamlined. Bay would have been better served if he remembered its ok not to flex all the time.

B

13 comments:

  1. For reasons unknown we don't get this until August but I am so glad it is good.

    The cast have sold me on the film but there is always that voice of doubt over anything Michael Bay is involved with. I agree with you on Michael Bay - I love Bad Boys and the 1st Transformers. It's his sequels that I have no love for

    I am curious to see what I will think of Rebel Wilson. I loved her in Pitch Perfect but I am not sure if she is a one trick pony or not

    It's a pity the length got in the way of a highly rated comedy

    K :-)

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    1. August, wow that's a big delay in release times. Bad Boys 2 and The Rock are 2 films we really like, Transformers has been more hit or miss. Rebel isn't given much to do here so I doubt your opinion of her will change much. Bay just doesn't know how to stop himself for some reason.

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    2. Finally got to see this one. Rebel Wilson turned out to be a hit (I am sure you were dying for an update on my opinion of her!)

      The film was funny but I 100% agree that it needed edited to make it more streamlined.

      The realisation that it was a true story threw me completely. I couldn't get past it so there were times when I felt really uncomfortable

      Overall a very bizarre cinema experience!

      K :-)

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    3. I know K, it's hard to detach yourself from the true story because it's just so awful and it's all played as a comedy.

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  2. Looks funny, Wahlberg is usually great in comedic roles. For the most part, I am not on the "Hate Michael Bay" bandwagon. The first Transformers is a very fun summer flick and the Rock is great fun as well.

    -James

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    1. Bay has had some big misses but when it works it a lot of fun, like in The Rock, Transformers and Bad Boys 2. This one is very funny, actors are all onboard and committed.

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  3. LOL'ing at "Bay mutated." that's so perfect. I hear that the characters in real life are basically caricatures, so maybe that was intentional?

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    1. Yes they are and apparently the most far fetched stuff is true, I'm actually looking foward to reading the original article about the real case to see how close they are to the movie versions.

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  4. Looks a bit like something from the good ol' 90s when Bay was actually a decent filmmaker. I might check it out when it comes to us - in August...

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    1. That's what it reminded me of, it's a solid entry for Bay.

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    2. Holy Barbell! Now this was awesome. P&G exceeded my expectations in an extremely impressive way. I laughed my ass off and had a total blast. Welcome back, 90's Bay! :)

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    3. As a film, it's a highly entertaining experience.

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  5. So many movies are over 2 hours these days. Great review!

    ~~DJ

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