PAIN AND GAIN: IS IT WORTH YOUR MONEY?
“Don’t eyeball me! I’ve seen your mother driving up and down these streets looking at me! I’ll be your stepfather in about a week!”
Directed by: Michael Bay
Screenplay by: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Ken Jeong, Rob Corddry, Vivi Pineda, Michael Rispoli, Bar Paly, Tony Plana, Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau, Jennifer Nicole Lee
Let’s start with Michael Bay…
Not my favorite person of all time. I may have said a few horrible things about him in my life. I’m not saying I didn’t like Bad Boys, The Rock, or Armageddon. Every other thing after that I hate him for. This guy has single-handedly given horror remakes the bad name they have today. Let’s just look at a short list of the remakes he is responsible for (via his production company, Platinum Dunes):
- A Nightmare On Elm Street
- Friday the 13th
- The Hitcher
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- The Amityville Horror
I guess that’s enough hating on the man who directed Pain and Gain. Let’s talk about the movie itself. Pain and Gain is a true story based on a group of meathead bodybuilders (Wahlberg, Johnson, & Mackie) who kidnap a rich Jew (Shalhoub aka Monk) and steal all his assets. Once they blow through his money, they decide to try and do the same thing to a porno kingpin.
Here’s the dirty honest truth. Pain and Gain was an entertaining film. I laughed out loud more than a dozen times. It wasn’t good enough to make me want to buy it on DVD or even ever watch it again, but I also never wanted to get up and walk out. I’d suggest waiting and picking this up as a rental or watching it on HBO.
Here are some major issues I have with the movie. Bay paints the trio of muscle-dorks as well-meaning, down-on-their-luck good guys who make a series of bad decisions. We end up empathizing with them. Bay almost seems to approve of their behavior. The truth is, the three men on whom this movie is based, were cold-blooded killers. Nothing about what they really did should be condoned in any manner. It’s actually pretty sick how Bay makes fun of the victims of their crimes. He also leaves out brutal facts of the incidents. Like how the three barbecued the heads of two of their victims. Also, what the hell is up with this Rebel Wilson chick? She’s in this movie making awful, awkward jokes, and it just made me wonder why anyone cares about this girl. True, she made me snicker a few times, but overall she was a dud!
My summary of this film stands as this: Don’t take it as a true story. Enjoy the humorous parts. Give it a watch and then laugh at the fact that this was a near decade-long passion project for Bay.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10 – My score would have been much lower if it didn’t make me laugh so much