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7.25 out of 10
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8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pain and Gain


Bigger Than Yours

8.0 out of 10 | Movie or DVD

Rated: R Language throughout, bloody violence, drug  use, crude sexual content and nudity
Release Date: April 26, 2013
Runtime: 2 hours 9 minutes

Director: Michael Bay
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Pete Collins
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackey, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Ken Jeong, Rebel Wilson, Mindy Robinson

SYNOPSIS:  A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.

REVIEW: Director Michael Bay made his mark on Hollywood with his adrenalized actioners Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor, and The Transformers franchise. He takes a break from robots in disguise to return to something more terrestrial. The true story is adapted to the big screen by Captain America and The Chronicles of Narnia series writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and new writer Pete Collins.

Daniel Lugo (Mark Walhberg, Broken City) has a dream. He is a body builder trainer with ideas of being the best he can be. He's a do-or not a don't-er. After going to a self-help seminar led by Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong, The Muppets), Daniel gets it in his head to target one of the gym's wealthy clients, Victor Crenshaw (Tony Shalhoub, Monk), and take his house and money. A three-man job, in his opinion, Daniel enlists the help of fellow trainer Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie, Gangster Squad) to help. Needing one more man, they approach ex-convict muscle head named Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson, G.I. Joe: Retaliation). Looking to have Crenshaw sign over his property and bank accounts, the trio end up being bumbling idiots and unable to get the kidnapping for the transfers done right the first time around. When Crenshaw somehow survives the experience the cops do not believe his story and Daniel, Paul and Adrian hunt Crenshaw down again. Crenshaw goes to the Yellow Pages to find former Miami cop and former private detective Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris, Man on a Ledge) to take his case. When Daniel, Paul and Adrian start living the big life off the money they stole from Crenshaw, their living in excess has its costs and forces them to plan another job, thus allowing the Miami-Dade police department to close in.

Michael Bay returns to the directors chair to leave behind giant robots and alien invasions. This time, he focuses on an unfortunate true story that seems almost as unbelievable. Michael Bay was the originator of the slo-mo hero walk and overly stylistic cinematography. In this effort he adds in some Tarantino-esque edit stop shots and on-screen labels to add to the story. With the added elements, it  shows that the director is expanding his palette a little bit.

Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, and Anthony Mackie devoted their bodies to fitness for the making of this film - and it shows. Each of them normally have great physiques but they completely bulked up for these roles. Wahlberg is thick, Johnson has no neck, and Mackie looks almost unrecognizable (except for his mug). The trio is so big there costars Tony Shalhoub and Ed Harris look utterly puny in comparison.

Wahlberg knows his way around both drama action and comedy. 
Pain and Gain is right up Mark alley. Anthony Mackie adds in his own style, and The Rock plays against type as a coke-snorting, Jesus-finding ex-con. These guys makes for a modern day Three Stooges criminal disorganized ring. One would like to believe that Americans aren't this stupid, but since it is based on true story I guess anything is possible.

Coming in at two hours and eight minutes this film is long, but he keeps moving. Michael Bay changes narrative perspectives, by letting each of the main characters have their own voice over. Switching perspectives keeps everybody involved in the plot line and keeps the story moving. It also helps that all the characters are just fun to watch.

The success of Pain and Gain comes in the fact of its ridiculousness. Wahlberg is a master of the straight man with absurd dialogue and monster stunts without cracking a smile. The film is a series of misdeeds and misadventures on a scale larger then Dwayne Johnson's biceps.

Filled with laughs, a degree of cat and mouse antics, and some Oceans 11 style planning, Pain and Gain will make you laugh and will make you cringe. This film is never better then when Mark Wahlberg and his cronies are at their worst.

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