Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pain and Gain Review

Pain and Gain Review
Director: Michael Bay

Cast Headliners: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris

Original Release Date: April 26, 2013

Seen: May 2013
            Michael Bay has become a name which is joked about. Once lauded for his explosions and punchy comedy in films such as The Rock and Bad Boys, he made a decent first Transformers film but the sequels that followed are of… debatable quality. As he prepares for another Transformers entry and a whole new 80’s franchise in Ninja Turtles, Bay has taken the time to make a personal movie, something smaller budget and edgy like his old films.  Pain and Gain “turns the notches back” a bit, and for the most part it has some success.
Bright and sunny 1995 Miami is the setting for Pain and Gain, which actually is based on a true event (even as crazy as it seems!) A unique contrast happens between the luscious beaches and people, and the seedy underbelly that gets explored. It is reminiscent in that way of classic actioners like the Miami Vice TV show and of course Bad Boys.  Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), Paul Doyle (The Rock Johnson), and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) are three bodybuilders who commit a kidnapping to improve their lives and get money. These manly dudemen are great caricatures, and it kinda offsets the horrible acts they do by making them very likeable anti-heroes.  It’s both hilarious and wrong that some of the best parts of the movie are the antics Paul Doyle gets into while high on crack cocaine.
Michael Bay has crafted a fun and fast moving story with many great laughs.  It’s very grim and bloody too, but it hides it in a vein of dark comedy.  One of the best things of this movie is the way flashbacks happen. Little thoughts of the characters constantly happen, and scenes from the past will be shown of how they got to this point. It’s really cool , and the pace of the move is very fast and frenetic.  Complex character and plot explanation is kinda skimmed over due to the snappy-ness, but then again this is a Michael Bay movie we’re talking about. And yes there is at least one huge explosion.
            Pain and Gain isn’t an amazing movie. It has flaws, kinda like the effects of using steroids. But, it’s FUN. This a fun and manly crime film that doesn’t set out to do much and hence, accomplishes it.  Seems like Michael Bay really put effort into this personal project, and so it is worth seeing for some swears and some blood. Watch it to beat the heat of the summer and there’s nothing else to watch.  7.4 out of 10

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