PAIN & GAIN: Bay is back in form: 4/5

pain-and-gain-poster1After three science fiction blockbusters that got old after the second one, Michael Bay returns to what he’s good at. Outlandish crime films exploiting America in pure satire, stupidity and madness. It’s called Pain & Gain and unfortunately, it’s based on a true story.


Pain & Gain

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Overall Rating:
Opens: April 26, 2013
Running time: 130 minutes
Genre: Action

The plot takes place in Miami and surrounds three muscle heads, Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), Paul Doyle (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) who are hungry for the American dream, executing the ultimate plan of extortion by kidnapping and torturing a wealthy self-made businessman. After what seems to be a successful mission, the blackmailers collapse into a world of violence and escape when realizing their victim has survived, being tailed by dedicated senior detective Ed Dubois (Ed Harris).

The film has everything you could expect from director Michael Bay, from fast to slow camera work, exaggerated vibrant visuals and stylistic special effects. Many audiences and critics reject his work describing it as all style and no substance. I for one agree with this statement, but it only reflects negatively in his filmmaking when he’s working outside of his element (i.e. Transformers trilogy, Pearl Harbor). Bay is known for producing crime films exploiting the most “powerful country in the world,” (i.e. The Rock, Bad Boys 1 & 2) with an outer seal of vibrancy and glare.

Here we are in 2013 and Bay has decided to revisit his R rated roots and forte, providing us with one damn good movie.

imagePain & Gain throws us through twists and turns as we follow the three dimwitted criminals getting involved in numerous surreal and implausible situations, which we are afraid to believe are true. The film even points out how ridiculous the story is at the halfway point. The acting in the film is great as well, the talented Mark Wahlberg comes as no surprise for providing good work, but who surprised me the most was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who proved he could actually act and not just stand in to look “bad-ass.”

Throughout my observation, I couldn’t help but reminisce of the ultimately alpha male yet thrilling Bad Boys movies, this time with criminals on the frontlines instead of the Miami police. I knew what I had walked into and I loved it. From the complete satire and exploitation of America to insanity, comedy and reality, it’s hard to look away.

If you’re looking for a night of pulp, action, comedy and mayhem, Pain & Gain is waiting for your attendance.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. phong vo says:

    that was an awesome review. your choice of words help describe the film was unparalleled. i enjoyed how you saw the surreal plot of the film but tied it together with society today and how they both intertwined. great job man! best review yet. keep up the great consistancy and always achieve greatness mr. jabbar.

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