Michael Bay’s new feature film Pain and Gain is a bit of a departure from his normal work. Now most known for his Transformers franchise (which will now include Wahlberg) he doesn’t seem to create movies that require a lot of thought. Although Pain and Gain doesn’t necessarily require thought it definitely has the habit of inspiring some interesting ones.
Pain and Gain is the true story of three bodybuilders that get involved in kidnapping and extortion that goes drastically wrong in Florida. Let me remind you that this is a true story, even the film needs to reminds us at one point because it’s just that insane. The events in the movie seem like exactly that, drastic exaggerations to say the least and complete fiction at the most. But it’s fun.
I enjoyed the narration from each character to aid in backstory and provide insight. Yes, that may have been done without narration in some better films but for this it fit. Generally the acting was good. My love of Mark Wahlberg normally sways me to forgive his character’s faults but this time I didn’t have any need to forgive his ‘doing’ attitude. I was surprised by Dwayne Johnson’s character. As a Christian (ex)cokehead it was a lot different from other roles I’ve seen with him where he doesn’t seem to be acting so much as making a few jokes and fighting people. In Pain and Gain I felt sorry for him at times and it really sent home the message about the ‘American Dream’ being destructive.
One big disappointment was that although Anthony Mackie is one of the main three he is pushed to side and never has much of a developed backstory. He used to be small, now he’s trying to get big, he has penis problems… Is that really comparable backstory to Johnson and Wahlberg?
I gave Pain and Gain a 7/10 rating on IMDB because I generally had a good time watching it. There was comedy along with the shocking acts, good acting, and a bit of thought without being overwhelming. I’d recommend seeing it at home once it is released on DVD.