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Pain & Gain: Muscle maniacs

film movie review pain & gain
Are these muscled maniacs Robin Hoods or criminals?
film movie review pain & gain
Are these muscled maniacs Robin Hoods or criminals?

Prepare for some muscular madness and Mark Wahlberg’s bulging biceps

Set in the 1990s, where the more muscle you have is a reflection of how manly you are, three Miami bodybuilders try to milk a million-dollar client of his property and fortune. Matters quickly deteriorate into chaos, distress and even murder.

All brawn, No…

Based on the saga of the Sun Gym Gang, reported in a series of articles in 1999, Daniel Lugo (played by Mark Wahlberg) attends a motivational seminar. The Hangover’s Ken Jeong plays the motivational speaker, who has Daniel’s ego pumped up even more than his biceps.

Daniel then gathers his two beefy pals, Adrian (played by Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict Paul (Dwayne Johnson). The trio then plot to kidnap Victor Kershaw (played Tony Shalhoub, who starred as ‘Monk’, in the TV series).

Victor is a man so mean that you’ll feel no sympathy for him.

film movie review pain & gain
Tony Shalhoub may not be much to look at but the scenery is

Beefed Up Laughs

Hijinks ensue as they try all ways and means to make him hand over his wealth. This leads to comedy, but eventually tragedy
as well.

With Rebel Wilson as Adrian’s wife, Ed Harris as a private eye and Bar Paly as the men’s stripper friend, the movie is set up for hilarity and gratuitous sexy shots. The babe factor is certainly there.

Sobering End?

The dramatic bits of the movie occur toward the end when it reminds the audience that the events occurred were real and, ultimately, that the initially-lovable protagonists are actually messed up characters.

Director Michael Bay [known for big-budget, action-explosion movies] takes a step away from his usual razzle dazzle productions such as Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Transformers.

Pain & Gain is a much lighter movie with loads of punch lines and fewer big explosions [though there still are] albeit with a sobering end.

Close-up shots of bikini-clad bums make this film more attractive.