Pain & Gain (15)

Michael Bay is mostly notorious for action movies such as the Transformers series. Here, he tries to be funny, and turns out to be crude, gritty and most importantly damn funny. Even better Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson team up in this laugh out loud black comedy.

Joined by Anthony Mackie they play a trio of body builders who concoct a get rich scheme so stupid it couldn’t possibly work…could it?

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.

If you are looking for a testosterone-fueled movie with a mix of action and comedy then this is the one for you.

Given the fact that Pain & Gain is based upon a true story, it makes the trio’s moronic slip ups even more hilarious. The three stupid amigos are always wired on an explosive cocktail of steroids, cocaine and inspirational “personal growth” rhetoric. It’s all just chaotic enough to be true. Wahlberg certainly flexes his funny bone again.

Wahlberg has always been been a pretty big guy, emphasis on the big, I mean properly stacked. In The Fighter he bulked up to a ridiculous weight for the role. This movie takes it up a notch. Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie have stepped up to the mark. As they say, go big or go home.

The three guys have fantastic on-screen chemistry that is only enhanced by Rebel Wilson’s mix of stupidity and promiscuity in her role as Robin. Too many movies take themselves far too seriously but with Pain & Gain it’s made clear from the start that you’re in for a treat. Penis jokes, car chases and strippers galore. Count me in.

By Ruth Walker
★★★☆☆

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