Wednesday, May 1 2013, 05:41 PM MDT
Movie Review: Pain and Gain
2 out of 5 Stars
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwaybe Johnson, Anthony Mackie
Recommended To: Michael Bay apologists, those anxiously waiting for Bad Boys 3.
Synopsis: A trio of not-so-bright bodybuilders kidnap a wealthy restaurant owner in hopes of stealing a piece of the American dream. Things don’t go as planned.
Review: Pain and Gain is an action comedy based on real crimes including gruesome murders. For the purpose of the film the criminals, a trio of bodybuilders played by Mark Wahlberg, Dwaybe Johnson and Anthony Mackie, are clueless dimwits pumped up on bad motivational speeches and illegal substances. The tone makes it hard to tell if director Michael Bay is making a satire or a straight comedy. In a sense it doesn’t matter because regardless of the film’s intentions it’s far too long to be effective. Bay is known for making long films and Pain and Gain fits right in line with that tradition as it takes 90 minutes of material and extends it into a 130-minute movie. Even the trio of audience members who had laughed their way through the first half of the film fell silent for the second half. The tone doesn’t change. Not even when the violence reaches its zenith. There isn’t a moment when Bay holds up a mirror to the audience and asks, “Should you really be laughing at this?” No, with Pain and Gain when the audience gets restless it isn’t because they’re uncomfortable with what they’ve been laughing at, it’s because they’re bored.
-Ryan Michael Painter