Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). Their kidnapping and extortion scheme goes terribly wrong since they have muscles for brains and they're left to haphazardly try to hold onto the elusive American dream. Written by
On the form, not doubt, Pain & Gain has Michael Bay label: very stylized and glossy cinematography (saturated colors, warm lighting), a few big explosions, catchy soundtrack. It's neat and efficient, even though one could deplore the editing a bit heavy, with a lot of voice over and flashbacks sometimes not wisely used.
On the content, we're left a bit disappointed. Of course, the facts are real which makes the movie even more incredible, but you can't seem to implicate yourself in the plot, particularly because of a certain indifference towards the characters, whom you don't hate but towards you don't feel any real compassion which is often the case in those kind of situations. The script also relies sometimes, very disconcertingly, on a very light tone compared to the cruelty of the trio's acts, through comic situations the viewer doesn't really expect. Finally, the duration a bit long coupled with a rather uneven rhythm doesn't help either to create a very digestible film.
Nevertheless, Pain & Gain is worth it just for its extraordinary story. A totally singular story for a movie that won't be much remembered.
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