When word came out that Michael Bay was moving away from the huge spectacle films for a bit to tackle something different everyone became a bit intrigued. The news of the cast coming together got everyone excited, but it was the trailer that sucked everyone in. Pain and Gain looked to be something original which is rare these days and add to that the great line up of Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Ken Jeong, and Rob Corddry and you have the makings of a great film. Could this be Bay’s return to form or will it be a pain to get through?
Pain and Gain follows three bodybuilders looking for the American dream. When they set out to extort a man for his wealth things go horribly wrong in every way possible leading to a story that has to be seen to believe. A lot of times when you watch a movie based on a true story it is often unbelievable and makes you wonder what is real and what isn’t. Here there are aspects that are so out of left field and ridiculous that there is no way it was real, but it in fact is. Even director Michael Bay takes time at a later point in the film to remind the viewer that yep this is still a true story. These guys did some crazy things that you have to witness to believe. The cast is awesome with all of them having great chemistry together. When Wahlberg is on he is great and here is all in. He was born to play this character and plays it up perfectly. Anthony Mackie also plays up his character great and is given some pretty funny and memorable moments. The rest of the cast do a great job as well, but once again it is Dwayne Johnson who stills the show. He is playing out of character on a lot of levels having to deliver so many different personas as the film goes on that he is able to showcase a side of his acting that shows why he is as successful as he is. Some of the best moments of the film involve Johnson and is sure to be performance you won’t soon forget. The film harkens back to the look and feel of Bay’s Bad Boys films and uses some vintage style that we haven’t seen from him in some time. There are even some moments where Bay seems to mock his own style with the slow motion shots, but still using them effectively.
This film really delivers on every level way more than it probably should. Everyone involved seemed to really be having a blast and it helped to step this movie up. There first half introducing all the characters may drag a bit for some, but really helped to bring it full circle to understand where these guys came from. There is a lot of complaints of glorifying these guys, but when you see the film it seems to be showing not only how insanely ridiculous and heinous their crimes were but also how stupid they were. Whether you’re a Bay fan or not, this is one true story that has to be seen and entertains on pretty much every level.
Grab your copy of Pain and Gain on Blu-ray and DVD available now.