Director Michael Bay personifies everything that serious film fans hate about Hollywood: from the triumphalist disaster porn of his ‘Armageddon’ to his interminable ‘Transformers’ series, Bay’s work is brash, shallow and cheesy. But that’s not always a bad thing, as Bay proves with his wildly entertaining ‘Pain & Gain’. Based very loosely on a true story, the film follows a trio of lunkheaded Miami muscle men – ambitious grasper Mark Wahlberg, impotent dimwit Anthony Mackie and loveable ex-con turned repentant believer Dwayne Johnson – as they attempt to get rich quick by kidnapping a deli owner (Stanley Tucci) and rinsing him for his every dime. The first hour may be Bay’s career high point: it’s fast, freaky, gloriously tasteless and startlingly pointed in its attacks on western insecurity, shallowness and greed (‘I just wanted my part of the American dream’, enthuses Wahlberg’s pea-brained psychopath). There are tonal wobbles later on – a descent into extreme violence, coupled with Bay’s customary sexism, does get tiresome. But the ever-present air of madcap, goofball insanity carries it through. A seriously guilty pleasure.
Pain & Gain
|Release date:||Friday August 30 2013|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely|
Average User Rating
1.8 / 5
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I agree that "I just wanted my part of the American dream" is a good line and something you can build a story around. But what kind of stuff do you use as the construction material for that story? Please, why does it ALL have to be so dumb? I suppose you can mock every typical Hollywood trick used in films, as they are often ridiculous and we are well aware of it, but why have so much of that and make everything look so stupid? I would have liked it if it was at least a bit more serious. Still, it's OK to watch once to relax after a hard day.
I have to agree with 'Critique' below, in the way that I couldn't manage to look past the physical stature of Wahlberg and Johnson in order to view them as proper actors - as opposed to two guys pumped up on juice! Admittedly there were a few funny moments, however when you realise this is actually 'loosely' based on a true story, it begins to become slightly controversial in the way that we are uncertain whether we should actually be laughing at this portrayal of events or not? Average film - personally not one for the DVD collection!
CE - that`s not the first bizarre misinformation Tom Huddleston has incorporated in to his Time Out film reviews. As it goes, Shalhoub is the best thing in this pumped-up, unpleasant crime romp. The tone is very uneven and the characterisation is weak. Johnson was okay in Snitch and Wahlberg as good as I`ve seen him in 2 Guns but here I was all too aware I was viewing "The Rock" and Marky Mark rather than two proper actors. Bay directs with dynamism and a lively visual eye but it isn`t enough to save an over-long, mis-firing script. Two and a half stars.
BY FAR...the worst movie I have ever seen. The ROCK definitely hurt his acting reputation in being a part of this totally horrible movie.
If you can get past the sarciness in the Time Out review you actually have what is a surprisingly good buddy crime movie. It isn't high art or in many places politically correct and there is a lot of violence and drug taking but there was in Scarface too. Treat it for what it is which is an amiable and on regular ocassions funny movie. Not the greatest but far from the worst film out this summer.