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
Dwayne Johnson character was actually based on a combination of several different Sun Gym members. Each one had different levels of involvements during the 2 kidnappings. Ultimately the 15 year sentence Dwayne Johnson's character receives was based on real life Sun Gym member Jorge Delgado. Delgado was actually a business partner with Marc Schiller (in the movie named Victor Kershaw played by Tony Shalhoub) and was involved in a $14 million Medicare billing fraud scheme with him. Schiller/Kershaw then went on to cut Delgado out of some of that money. It was because Delgado was a cousin-in-law of Adrian Doorbal (played by Anthony Mackie) that Lugo (played by Mark Wahlberg) knew who he was. In real life Lugo had never worked with or met Schiller/Kershaw until he heard about him from Doorbal and began planning the kidnapping. See more »
Danny Lugo is wearing a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses but the lenses are the P model (with polarized lenses) which came out in 2012. You can clearly see the "P" on the lenses. See more »
I wasn't thrilled with the movie, but that doesn't mean it was not good. Actually, I think this film had incredible substance, due particularly in part to the casting. I would have given it 7 stars, but the length of the film took it down a notch (they could have knocked off 14-19 minutes worth of unnecessary, and sometimes boring footage).
The film started off with Wahlberg seeming to be just like Wahlberg. But, long story short, he and the film evolved to a character that fit him (and vice versa). Based upon the plot, I think it was a good match.
Dwayne Johnson is not brand new to drama, but this was a different kind of role nonetheless. I don't feel he was 100% there, but his likable character makes you just ignore it. I think with a few more roles like this, he'll be better.
I'm not that familiar with Mackie, but he did a great job in his role. Apart from Shalhoub, he was probably one of the most believable characters. He made me think of a subdued and more serious version of Mike Epps.
Shalhoub....well, what can you say about this guy? He was awesome in Monk, and his style is always great. He is a talented actor and the casting of him was a solid choice. He has that goof look to him, yet his face can show some noteworthy seriousness. This was no Giamatti being cast as a thug...Shalhoub can pull off a "tough guy" pretty well.
I've always been fond of Ed Harris, but his role was insignificant. Same for Corddry.
All in all, this was a well-made film deserving to be watched. I doubt I would ever watch it again due to it's slow development at times, but I'm glad I did see it. The casting was unexpected and unique.
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