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PAIN & GAIN Movie Review

On paper, Pain & Gain looked right up my alley. It features three of my favorite actors, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Anthony Mackie. It looked the next classic action comedy, with the aformentioned actors providing the humor, while director Michael Bay would do the one thing he is good at, bringing the action. The result: a movie that was by no means bad, but did tend to drag on a bit at times, and didn’t quite meet my expectations coming in.

Pain & Gain, amazingly based on a true story, revolves around three amateur body builders who are looking for a way to get out of the rut that is their lives. When one of them gets a rich new client, Victor Kershaw, played by Tony Shaloub, they come up with the brilliant idea to kidnap him, and basically beat him into signing away all his money. Perfect plan right?

Pain & Gain is really quite good for the first hour, and then it’s starts to get a bit repetitive. It’s not just because of course a majority of the jokes the three main guys make are about body building and getting bigger. It’s because the story itself actually repeats in the middle. Our lead three actually get Kershaw’s money in the middle of the movie, and while they take pretty extreme measures to make sure he’s dead, he somehow survives, because, well, it’s Tony Shaloub obviously. From there, the story is less about the three on the run, but more so about them trying to track Kershaw down, again, to finish the job.

pain & gain

It should be noted that this isn’t one of those movies where “all the good stuff is in the trailers.” While you could say that the best stuff was in the trailers, there was certainly a good amount of fun stuff that has yet to be unseen.  The light hearted nature of the film carries on throughout, even in the serious moments, as they take the time to remind us this is a true story, as Johnson grills up a few human hands.

Admittedly, my expectations for Pain & Gain were way too high coming into this movie, which is meant to be fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. While it didn’t meet those high expectations, it was still a movie that I enjoyed and would recommend to someone who is looking for a comedy action movie that is easy going for the most part, yet at some times does surprisingly graphic.  While it is a typical guy movie, the women will also be happy to watch, as there is plenty of eye candy throughout.


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The Author

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor

I grew up in the south, raised watching TV, Movies, and Sports. Entertainment is my life, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. I'm a USC grad, and proud to be a Trojan for life! Some of my favorite shows include South Park, Always Sunny, Dexter, and How I Met Your Mother, which I write a weekly recap of here. I also play and report on poker for a living. Its a hard way to make an easy living!