Last night, I took in Pain& Gain at a pre-release screening at Screenland Armour. I always love visiting Screenland Armour!
Pain& Gain is the story of body builder/personal trainer, Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), who is unhappy with his life. Jealous of the riches of his wealthy Miami clients, he recruits friends (Dwayne Johnson & Anthony Mackie) and decides to kidnap a no-so-legit client, Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), and force him to sign over everything he owns. Once being released, police do not believe Victor’s outlandish story of a month-long kidnapping and torture. Victor is forced to hire a private investigator (Ed Harris) to solve the case.
I am a huge Bad Boys fan. I am not so much a fan of Bad Boys II and I can’t stand the Transformers series. In my Michael Bay rankings, Pain & Gain comes after Bad Boys II, but before the Transformers series.
At times, Pain & Gain is really funny and outrageous, but it is quickly backed up in typical Michael Bay fashion by running 30-45 minutes too long and running out of content at times. Based on an absolutely astounding true story, there is usually TOO much content for a 2:10 movie, which feels like 2:40, but Bay and screenplay writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely definitely ran out of ideas with 45 minutes to go.
Dwayne Johnson really cracks me up as a idiotic coked-out Jesus-freak beef-cake and Ken Jeong is funny as the billionaire get-rich-quick guru, but the “comedic relief” shouldn’t be the only bright spot in a film.
Recommendation: Save Pain & Gain for a Redbox or Amazon Instant Video watch, don’t spend the money to see it in the theater.