14 August 2013 6:50 AM, PDT | Shadowlocked | See recent Shadowlocked news »

It’s an unsettling, almost shameful thing to admit, but Michael Bay has made a good film. It’s a film that, of course, features explosions, scantily clad women and spinning cameras. He’s not become an entirely different person after all. But in Pain & Gain, the true story of a mid-90s plot by Miami bodybuilders to kidnap and extort their way to the top, Bay has made an action-comedy that’s exciting, hilarious and, crucially, self-aware.

That this film has it tongue lodged firmly within its cheek becomes clear in the opening five minutes. We see Mark Wahlberg’s fitness trainer Danny Lugo attempt to outrun a Swat team in the most lethargic slow motion ever before a ‘Six months earlier’ preamble tosses us into a sun-drenched world of muscles and bikinis, where you needn’t have a personality when you can spout self-improvement mantras; and where value »

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