Pain & Gain (2013)

Life has been a huge crazy ride in the last two weeks.  One of the many reasons a lot of plans have been sidetracked but I will get to the theatres one of these days.  I will, in the meantime, I had wanted to watch Mud but I couldn’t take something that seemed so serious and the boyfriend chose Pain and Gain.  We’re both huge The Rock (excuse me, Dwayne Johnson) fans . Let’s check it out!

pain and gain posterDirector: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Michael Rispoli

Daniel Lugo is a bodybuilder and personal trainer who believes that his life deserves more and he is willing to make things happen.  With the help of two other bodybuilders who work at the same gym together, Adrian Doorbal and Paul Doyle, they put together a scheme to kidnap and steal from a rich man, Victor Kershaw.  However, the plan gets out of hand and unexpected turnouts happen.  As they try to put things back to normal, everything gets even worse.  This all comes from one man’s desire to pursue the American Dream.

So, I’m sure after watching this one, being non-American and all, I’m not totally sure if I believe this actually happened, but hey, apparently it did.  I’m not going to go doubt it. Thinking this was a not believable actual story was about the only part where my boyfriend and I agreed with for this one.  Maybe he should have written this because he’d have more positive things to say.

pain and gain guys

I’m not exactly sure if a lot of you love this movie but I’ve read some positive reviews.  I’m not saying I hate this movie.  Its really not all that bad.  I mean, I guessing the all around praise that Michael Bay actually made a movie with like one mini explosion in the past x amount of years.  Point is, maybe more explosions would’ve made me more interested (just maybe).  As much as a lot of people say Transformers was trash, I had fun with the first one.  I almost wanted to buy a ticket to see it a second time at the theatres but I don’t do that because I don’t have that much money to do repeat viewings on movies.  Which is actually rare as I look at his directorial effort and realize thats the only one I’ve liked and seen from him.  So I guess his winning chances with me was limited for this one.  Either way, back to Pain & Gain, as ridiculous as this story was, that was the part that had me interested.  The biggest problem is that this movie could’ve chopped off say at least 30 minutes and I’d probably have appreciated it more.

pain and gain rich guy

The characters portrayal are actually the second thing that my boyfriend and I agreed with and thats where the absurdity comes in because the three bodybuilders/personal trainers are done in a pretty stupid way.  Most of the stuff they do and every part of their plan makes them look dumb to the max, you know, all muscle and no brains.  Yeah, sounds mean but seriously, thats the image I was getting.  The plan only partially worked because they were lucky for a part and then it was kind of obvious that it would fall apart. So, with that said, hats off to Mark Wahlberg for making a convincingly stupid Daniel Lugo with a ongoing pursuit and hopes for his American Dream to come true.  The Rock is always funny to watch in a facepalming, eye-rolling way and “seriously?” They were alright.

pain and gain ed harris

As for the dude they kidnapped, Victor Kershaw played by this dude that I remember seeing here and there playing annoying characters, this time around, he hasn’t changed.  Or maybe I have him confused with someone else but hmm, somehow I haven’t checked out his stuff on IMDB.  Its ok.  Same goes for Rebel Wilson.  Not such a huge fan.  Now, lets jump straight ahead and talk about an actor I totally adore (for his talent) Ed Harris.  He’s awesome in this as well.

Okay, I have nothing to say more about this one.  Its not horrible but oh so very long.  After an hour, it just started getting painful to sit through.  If you enjoy Mark Wahlberg and/or The Rock, maybe you might want to sit through this one.  I’m not going to recommend or not.  You decide for yourself 😉 I can’t decide if I’d willingly sit through this a second time just yet.

What did you think of Pain & Gain? Was it a disappointment? Do you like the “no explosion” side of Michael Bay?

17 thoughts on “Pain & Gain (2013)

  1. I agree. This is not good.

    The victim is played Tony Shaloub, but the way. He is best known as Antonio in Wings and Monk, the USA Network detective. He’s also done his fair share of movies.


    • Oh and real bodybuilders really did commit the crimes portrayed here. Supposedly they really were this dumb.

      Now I don’t know how historically accurate the movie is. I also don’t care. Because it’s not good.


      • I believe its a true story. I mean they went to the extent of putting the faces of the real Lugo and Doyle and blanked out the faces of the other people. Its just hard to believe that all this went down the way that it did…


      • It certainly seems far-fetched. But then. That’s the point, isn’t it?

        One of the professional critic reviews I read after watching this claimed to remember the news stories around the time of the crimes. I can’t remember which critic it was, and I don’t care nearly enough to look it up again, but the individual in question also claimed Bay’s telling was fairly accurate.

        I’m with you, though, that still seems hard to believe.


  2. Good review Kim. Since this is Michael Bay we’re talking about here, I decided to take it a bit easy on this when I saw it. That’s why I had such a good time, despite it still being very odd with its tone and the way it handled the actual facts of its true story.


  3. I happened to enjoy it for its laugh out loud moments, and because I am a fan of the Rock and Walhberg. It is not for everyone, and does go on for longer than it actually should. Not the biggest Bay fan, but in terms of a good time, this is perhaps his best work. A second viewing is something I am not sure on either though.


    • I still would enjoy Transformers more (just the first one, mind you). In terms of Bay’s work, I’d say this comes in second so thats already pretty good. You can’t really compare the two though, its not the same genre. But in the sense of something more than just fights and explosions, this one does offer another side of him. And The Rock and Wahlberg was quite enjoyable in this 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!


      • See, I’ve never been able to get into Transformers, so it was easy for me to pick Pain & Gain as my favorite of his films. Agreed that it is unfair to compare them! No problem!


  4. I am a fan of all of these actors, but I was not thrilled with the pacing of this film. “Pain and Gain” was just an overlong downer (and should it have been livelier considering the cast). Guy Ritchie would have been better at the helm of this one.


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