Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Film Review: Pain and Gain (2013)

Pain and Gain (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...Bay's best direction in a very long time."

A group of bodybuilders decide to stop being don't-ers and start being do-ers... by kidnapping and stealing from the successful and spoiled Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub)...

Pain and Gain is a satirical crime film that follows a trio of bodybuilders: the scheming and ambitious Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), the steroid-induced impotent Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie), and the religious but cocaine-addicted Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). They team up to kidnap Kershaw, and take all of his assets. Of course, the plan has plenty of amateur holes, which causes plenty of hilarity, like failing to kidnap the target several times. And, of course, these guys have plenty of flaws that will bring them down a notch, like a particular character's cocaine addiction. It all leads to a satisfying ending.

Pain and Gain is a sexy, violent, and irreverent comedy. It's a very black satire about true events. Due to this, I think it'll offend many -- some audiences will see it as glorying these actions and whatnot. Fortunately, I'm not easily offended, and this is my type of comedy (think: The Wolf of Wall Street). The characters are despicable, but the actors make them the type of people you love to hate. If the actions between these mismatched characters aren't hilarious enough, the dialogue and the plot points should have a smirk on your face. The humor is dark, raunchy, offensive, a little slapstick, and overall very versatile and consistent. The only flaws I can find is its slightly bloated runtime. Also, I've never been a big fan of Rebel Wilson, whose brand of random comedy doesn't really fit this film; fortunately, her role is small.

Despite its large cast, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson really steal the show; both actors are full of charisma and genuine energy in their performances. I think this adds a bit to the satire of the film considering the real people look like they severely lack charisma. Acting is great, overall. The cinematography is great, it looks like a Michael Bay film, minus the explosions. The music choice is also perfect. The film is very well written for the most part. Director Michael Bay delivers a great black comedy is great balance and consistency; in fact, this is Bay's best direction in a very long time.

Overall, Pain and Gain is a very funny and entertaining film. At least, it will be for a particular audience. This film isn't for everyone due to its offensive comedy and irreverent take on the true story, but I think it'll find a home with people who watch movies as, well, movies.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and some gore, sex and nudity, and drug use.

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