DVDpendence . videophile

Pain & Gain


With Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shaloub. Ed Harris, Bar Paly, Ken Jeoung

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (based on an article by Pete Collins)

Directed by Michael Bay

Staggeringly based on true events in Miami, a trio of bodybuilders pulled of a crime hard to believe. Wanting the American dream but aiming to get it the quicker way, (after fired up by a motivational speaker) the group's leader devises a scam to kidnap a wealthy man and have him sign over all he has. This does not go as easily, while leading to the high life, this comes as a result of maiming, attempted murder, accidental killing, and a hard fall to reality.

Effectively played as a dark comedy, the lead cast does a great job at portraying ignorant steroid enhanced criminals who believe their own stupidity (leads Wahlberg and Johnson stealing the show as nice guys who go too far).

Director Michael Bay is known for his huge budget Hollywood block busters like the Transformers series, and wanted to break away from that and make something smaller and less CGI-laden.

Regardless of many reports on Bay's reputation as a hard-ass on set and inflated ego, he managed to create a highly entertaining, frantic and manic movie that looks great (shot on a variety of formats), and delivering funny (but sometimes shocking) moments throughout, as we follow these palookas on their downward spiral. Highly entertaining.

Extra features look at the origin of this crazy mid-'90s case, and how Bay went back to basics for this movie.

5 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multiple Viewing Potential
B: Deserves Another Look
C: Once Should Suffice

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