Pain and Gain

Rated NR 2013

Doesn't America promise riches and luxury to people who deserve it? Daniel Lugo-- the lead in Michael Bay's neon-noir ode to Miami, muscle tone, and the modern American dream-- believes so, but is stuck as an underpaid personal trainer at Miami Lakes' Sun Gym, where he boosts the confidence of customers far less chiseled than he and dreams of a better (read: richer) life. So, together with some muscle-bound accomplices, Lugo plots to kidnap his rich and ever-sneering Colombian client Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) and torture him until he gives up everything he owns: his swanky mansion, successful deli, bright orange speedboat, the works. Bay's film is based on, and mostly faithful to, a true story penned by Pete Collins for the Miami New Times in late 1999. The Sun Gym Gang isn't made up of professional mobsters. They’re musclebound egotists with a sense of importance more inflated than their steroid-pumped pecs, and Bay wastes no opportunity for laughs at their bungling. Dressed in military fatigues, they show up at Kershaw's home expecting to catch him alone; he's hosting a Seder. Though this story needs no embellishment, Bay can't help himself. He adds wild shoot-outs, slow-mo effects, Instagram-esque freeze-frames, and B-movie-style gore. (Those who remember the Sun Gym Gang's murdered victims probably won't appreciate seeing one of their heads explode like a pumpkin beneath a falling barbell weight.) When the story crashes into a too-perfect ending, it's because Bay was led astray by the same things that got the Sun Gym Gang into this mess in the first place: superficiality, ambition, and the belief that reality just isn't good enough.

Film Credits

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Rebel Wilson, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, Ken Jeong, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Kurt Angle and Vivi Pineda

Trailer

Pain and Gain

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