Director Michael Bay is known for cheesy and stupid entertainment. His films include such memorable movies like “Armageddon”, “Pearl Harbor”, and more recently, the “Transformers” films. But now, Mr. Bay is doing something a bit different: a crime movie. This time in the form of the flick “Pain & Gain”. How does it stack up against his big blockbuster films? Not by much. The film is one big cliché after another, the camera doesn’t have a sense of direction, but it is entertaining to see the actors on screen. “Pain & Gain” is stupid and typical of Michael Bay movies, but at least it’s entertaining.
The story has three body builders (Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie) kidnap a snobby businessman and extort everything he has so that the body builders become rich. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan, and the body builders eventually become criminals. And all they wanted to do was live the American Dream.
“Pain & Gain” is a movie filled with numerous cliches along the way. The story, while based on a true event, is exaggerated tenfold. The dialogue in this film is so corny, that you will laugh at what is being said. The characters are unlikable, except for one, which I will get to later, and everyone just doesn’t stand out. The editing is quick, as in any film of Michael Bay, and pacing will probably do it for some audiences. At nearly two hours long, a regular moviegoer like myself, might get bored and will want to see the movie end sooner. A word to the wise: this movie is very graphic; you have been warned.
With that being said, there are some nice things to be said about the movie. For one thing, Michael Bay knows what movie he’s doing. While it may not be as loud as his action films like “Transformers”, “Pain & Gain” goes back Michael Bay’s days when he did “Bad Boys”. Another thing that this movie has going for it is the soundtrack. Filled with early 90s hip hop and rap, the soundtrack is a blast from the past. Finally, actor Dwayne Johnson is probably the best actor in the movie as his role is of a born-again Christian who is the main witness to all of the bad stuff that’s going on. The other actors are okay, but nothing too memorable.
In conclusion, “Pain & Gain” is a dumb movie that has some entertainment value to it. The flick may not be on par with Bay’s most recent line up, but it’s got his personal trademark of cheesy, stupid fun.