Film Review: Pain and Gain

Pain and Gain
Pain and Gain stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. This was an entertaining film in some parts! An interesting plot. A lot of action and twists and turns keep things moving.

Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) is not long out of jail when he begins hatching plans to enjoy the rich life. He works at a gym and one client draws his attention – Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub).

There’s a bungled attempt to kidnap him along with two ‘pals’. Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and Paul Doyle (Johnson). Adrian’s a body builder who needs money and Doyle is a drug addict, trying – and failing – to kick his habit.

The chemistry between the three (Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie) is one of the strong points of this film. The inept way they have of messing up their plans, forcing them to take more extreme action to fix things, keeps the pace fast.

I wouldn’t want to work with them that’s for sure. It’s a pity there wasn’t more comic moments, a bit like a Carry On film, as this would have been fantastic. It would’ve made movie gold. It’s just such a shame that things became so graphic and complex.

The drug story brought it down and Lugo’s schemes were getting grander and grander. Kershaw survives being kidnapped and a car crash and has to go into hiding as the police refuse to believe his kidnappers could be so incompetent. So he’s forced to hire a private eye. His fortune is gone with the trio spending his money on various treats.

Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris) is the private eye tracking the gang and when their money runs out, they decide on another kidnapping (Uh-oh!). Cue more mayhem and action, along with police chases galore!

The main problem with this film is the style, it didn’t work as a gangster film. The main trio had such brilliant chemistry, this should have been a gentler comedy as I‘ve said above. Leaving someone to burn to death in a car was unnecessary and some of the violence was likewise not needed. Burning hands on a BBQ was awful and weird!

Also why wouldn’t Lugo raid Kershaw’s offshore accounts before? Why leave them until later? Also convincing Kershaw’s family to leave town so he could have the house was unbelievable.

Due to the darker tones and some choice of storylines I’m marking this 6/10. I was really hoping to give Mark Wahlberg higher, you can’t deny he’s a versatile actor but some his choices are certainly questionable.

Dwayne Johnson seems to be taking anything that comes along but he’s always amiable on screen.

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Trailer reproduced from hollywoodstreams