One Minute Review: Pain & Gain (2013)

Release Date
April 26, 2013
Director
Michael Bay
Screenplay
Christopher Markus
Stephen McFeely
Based On The Book By
Pete Collins
Distributed By
Paramount Pictures
Budget
$26 million
Action
Rated R for bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use
129 minutes

Pain & Gain

Entertaining yet never quite exceptional, Michael Bay’s foray into the comical and violent true story of three Miami bodybuilders turned criminals starts off strong but fizzles off into a stylized and indulgent farce of an action film. Mark Wahlberg does his best to keep the momentum going, but with the macho, dimwitted dialogue burdening the entire film, there’s little he can do to save it from itself. Dwayne Johnson continues to break his typecast, delivering a sincere and childlike performance that is often the source of the film’s humor, basically allowing him to steal the show. Ed Harris is looking good and proves too well trained for a whimsical film such as this. I look forward to his future detective work in a film that actually deserves him.

The biggest problem coming out of “Pain & Gain” is that by the end of the film, none of the characters are likeable, with Tony Shalhoub becoming the victim, even though you hate him most of the film. That, and the story gets so unbelievable that Bay has to remind you that this is “still a true story”. Though I am glad Michael Bay was allowed to make his passion project, I look forward to his return to big budget blockbusters like “Transformers 4”.

 

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