Pain & Gain

Posted September 13, 2013 in Arts

Director: Michael Bay
Talent: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
Release Date: 13th September 2013


Pain & Gain is based on the 1999 series of the Miami News Times written by Pete Collins about a group of organized criminals. This story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), an obsessed personal trainer who kidnaps a wealthy client (Tony Shahloub) and forces him to sign over all his possessions, is talked about as having been a pet project and labour of love for its director, the larger-than-life Michael Bay. Set in Florida in the mid-90s, the film revels in itself as a tribute to excess, as a flashy, invigorating look at the dark side of the American Dream. In doing so, it bears more than a superficial likeness to this year’s Spring Breakers, which similarly suffered from having less in the way of good ideas than it did running minutes. It’s not Vintage Bay: not thrilling enough to be a multiplex action film, nor clever enough to be the Tarantino-esque kidnap escapade it sporadically aspires to be. Some witty handheld cinematography and heavily saturated filter work makes it look the part, but there’s not much besides to recommend this long, low foghorn salute to the U.S.A.

Say Whut?

‘When America started out, it was just a bunch of scrawny colonies. Now, it’s the most buff, pumped-up country in the world. And that’s pretty rad.’ – Danny Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) in Pain & Gain

Words by Oisín Murphy-Hall



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