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
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.