Pain & Gain

Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) believes in fitness. He works as a trainer at Sun Gym in Miami. He loves his job. But he’s tired of working so hard to get nowhere in life. Along with his friend, Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie), they decide to take what they feel they deserve. When Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson), an ex-convict, starts working at the gym, the trio start to formulate their plan.

Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) is a wealthy man. While Daniel is training Victor at the gym, he decides that this is the perfect target. The body-building wannabe criminals plan to kidnap Victor and force him to sign everything he owns, including his business, over to them.

The plan goes south once the blindfolded Victor recognizes Daniel. Daniel then decides that they must kill Victor so they are not found out. Paul, now reformed, reluctantly goes along with the new plan. This new plan goes as smoothly as the original plan. As it turns out, it isn’t as easy to kill someone as one might think. Victor contacts a retired private detective, Ed DuBois (Ed Harris) to help him find the Sun Gym gang and get his life back.

Pain & Gain is based on a true story that happened in Miami in 1995. This is about the only thing that makes this movie interesting. While I’m sure some creative liberties were taken with the story, it is almost unbelievable that something like this could actually happen. You keep watching just to see what happens.

I like Mark Wahlberg. Sure, he can be a meathead at times, but he definitely has talent. Dwayne Johnson falls into the same category. I’ve seen many films with either of them in it that I enjoyed. This was not one of them. The chemistry between the two was lacking. I don’t know whether to blame this on the writing team or the facts of the actual story. I felt it could have been so much better.

Anthony Mackie and Ed Harris were pretty much disposable in this film. Mackie provided a bit of comedic relief, but not enough to help the film. The one performance that really meant anything in this movie was Tony Shalhoub. His character was the only one that was believable at all. Ironic, considering it’s a true story.

Honestly, I expected a little more action. Again, perhaps this is due to the fact that they were basing the movie on real events. Either way, I wanted more. The entire movie was lacking in anything to hold my interest. The only reason I watched it to the end was out of sheer morbid curiosity. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one.

Pain & Gain


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