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'Pain And Gain' Review: Michael Bay Gives Us Lots Of Pain, Not So Much Gain

Two Jews On Film Two Jews On Film
April 26th, 2013 1:26pm EDT

'Pain And Gain

I am so not a Michael Bay fan.  I find everything he does to be way over the top.  Bay doesn't seem to trust his story or his characters and his latest film, 'Pain and Gain' is no exception.

'Pain And Gain' is the true story of Miami's Sun Gym gang, which was made up of three super violent, super inept, body builders, who decide the best way to get rich quick, is to kidnap millionaires and milk them out of their fortune. Now why haven't I thought of that?

It's the 90's and the three muscle bound jerks are Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), born again Jesus coke freak, Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and not so bright, Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie).   

In flashbacks we meet gang leader Lugo, who is being released from prison for committing a white collar crime.  He gets a job as a trainer at Sun Gym in Miami.  After he attends a seminar, led by inspirational speaker, Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong) Lugo is convinced that the road to riches lies in becoming a 'doer'...A term coined by Wu.  

Now what is Lugo's idea of becoming a 'doer’? For one thing, it doesn't involve training rich people at Sun gym.  It does however involve kidnapping them.

Lugo starts with enlisting Doyle and Doorbal in his scheme.  Their first target is Lugo's client, self made millionaire Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub).  The plan is to kidnap Kershaw and get him to sign over all his property, bank accounts, etc.

After several failed attempts at snatching Kershaw the bubbling idiots finally succeed. This leads to lots of torture scenes, over the top violence, and excessive close-ups.  The characters, which start out funny (except for Kershaw) quickly, become caricatures. 

The film, billed as an action comedy, has action but not so much... and it doesn't take long before Michael Bay's B movie style of directing wears thin.

Rounding out the cast is Ed Harris as a retired cop, who comes onboard to investigate Kershaw's claim of being kidnapped and the extremely funny, Rebel Wilson as Mackie's wife.  

'Pain And Gain' written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeling is based on a series of magazine articles penned by Pete Collins, which appeared in the Miami New Times in late 1999. 

I gave the film, which opens in theatres, Friday April 26th, 2013 2 1/2 bagels out of 5.  Check out our video for John's rating and more of our bantering.

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Let us know what you think of 'Pain And Gain' if you decide to see it.  Thanks everyone.

Photo Credits: Paramount