Pain and Gain is an interesting animal. Its a very violent , immature swing at being mostly about complete and utter idiots. This in turn makes it a comedy, right? I think this is Michael Bay’s attempt at making Burn After Reading or any of the other stories the Coens have made about complete idiots. Yes, I think Michael Bay fancies himself in the same league as the Coen Bros. but that’s a different article for a different time. More to the point, I think that Michael Bay has truly tried his best to make a comedy and for the most, part has succeeded admirably.
The characters in this movie are actually really well acted by Mark Wahlberg (Daniel Lugo), Dwayne Johnson (Paul Doyle), Anthony Mackie (Adrian Doorbal), Tony Shalhoub (Victor Kershaw) and Ed Harris (Ed Dubois). The five gentlemen above all turn in truly stellar performances considering the film they were making. All, aside from Ed Harris, were gut bustingly hilarious at one point or another during the film and that isn’t because they are riffing like Will Ferrell or because they are making some parody but because they are so convincing as the complete imbeciles they play. All perform well, which lets be honest here, doesn’t happen often in a Michael Bay movie.
Does this feel like a Michael Bay movie? Yes, for the most part it does but it has an heir of something else going on. Like maybe if Michael Bay really decided to take his swirling visual style and combine that with some decent acting (done) and a story that moves along fairly well (done) and is for the most part entertaining (done) he could in fact make something that would remembered for its excellent execution. He really did do those things mentioned above but alas the movie is painfully immature. The movie is so immature it makes my pseudo intelligence hurt but lets be honest here, Michael Bay and immature bigotry go hand in hand. Let us remember that he is the one who decided a Transformer with enormous swinging balls would be hilarious and also thought two fat gangsta Transformers were in good taste. Michael Bay and his frat boy mentality may be the only thing really holding him back from becoming more than the splosion king. Sure the wallpaper in his house is made of 100 dollar bills but I think he sees himself as a bit more unfortunately no one else does. I would say the potential is there but he is far from realizing that lifelong dream of making adult movies for adults not adult movies for 15 year old boys who just found their dads nudie mag collection.
Pain and Gain plays like an adult rated R action movie (of course its Michael Bay and had he directed Pride and Prejudice it too would have featured explosions and multiple chase scenes. He also would have found a way to fit in a Pepsi logo. He just does that.) whose sole purpose is to be played at every frat party from now to the end of time or until he makes another “comedy” about MMA fighters this time? That would be hilarious!! Right? Michael Bay thinks so (trust me.)
All that aside, Pain and Gain accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. It entertains admirably and has all the elements to attract all the frat douches in the world. This should in turn help this movie make some serious cash. You’ve got fast cars, muscle bound dudes, muscle bound fems, hard body fems, strippers, a strip club, lots of blow, power boats, Miami bitch, dildos, pocket vaginas, hand cuffs, “pickle licking,” chopped off limbs, bar b qued limbs, a bloody chainsaw, a hairy electric chainsaw, fake jugs, removed implants, bodies in barrels, protein shakes, breast milk, Rebel Wilson and a small crooked penis. All the things a growing boy needs. Right?
I give it a 3 out of 5
By Brandon Bray