Monday, July 6, 2015

Movie Review: Pain & Gain (2013)

Movie: Pain & Gain (2013)

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (screenplay), Pete Collins (based on articles by)

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Tony Shaloub, Ed Harris, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, & Micheal Rispoli

One-Line Plot Synopsis: Three bodybuilders plan a kidnapping and extortion scheme that goes wrong.

I thought Pain & Gain was going to be a lot more of a straight-forward comedy going into it then it actually turned out to be.  Maybe it's because the premise and trailer make it look like it's going to be an over-the-top scheme run by a bunch of meat-headed bodybuilders and has sort of a "hijinks ensue" type of feel to it but I think, the fact that it's based on actual events, the things that these guys do come off as more sadistic and cruel than I think they're supposed to in the film.

Yes, certain things about a crime can be funny when shown in a particular way, but, these guys are portrayed in such a way that it doesn't come across as humorous in any way for some reason.  I'm not sure if its because the trailer was cut in a way to try and sell a different film then what the film actually was or if Michael Bay thought what he was putting on the screen was actually funny.  

Either way, I don't really remember laughing at any point during this movie.  I think that, in a way, the movie didn't really know what it was.  It was a comedy without being funny or it was an action film that didn't have a ton of action.  It seemed confused as to what it wanted to be.  And don't get me wrong, Mark Wahlberg can be funny in a serious film, just check out The Departed.  He can also be funny in a funny film, like The Other Guys and Ted.  But he wasn't funny in this film.

There was one scene with The Rock where he kind of lost it that played the line between comedy/action/drama/thriller that I think that they were going for.  Unfortunately, that seemed to be the only scene that worked in the way I think that they wanted it to.  It was good to see The Rock with a role that he could do a little more with than just be this generation's Arnold and be the charismatic guy in a gigantic action movie.  I'm actually looking forward to the movie that tries to give a character to The Rock that has some depth to it and some room to explore different dimensions.  Kind of like Van Damme in JCVD.

Until then, I guess I'll just have to wait.

Rating: 5.5/10

P.S. Is it weird that although Mark Wahlberg is supposed to be a bodybuilder in the film and in really good shape, I think this is the worst shape I've seen him be in  a movie?