Random Movie Review: Pain and Gain

General and Epilepsy

I’ll just start off by saying that this movie is freaking odd. I enjoy it when film makers play around with the style a bit. I liked the flashacks, the slow-mo, the sudden stops, the discoloration, and the captions.

But I will say they went a little overboard with the narration. For the most part it worked, but it did hit a point where I found some of those break-ins redundant to the action. You don’t have to TELL us this, you just showed it to us. Narration should tell us what we can’t see, in my opinion.

No issue with epilepsy here at all.

Actors

Image
Is it just me, or is The Rock getting bigger with every movie?

This had a pretty big cast for a movie that didn’t get much hype (here), and is rated soooo poorly. Granted, they aren’t exactly part of the every-year-Oscar-nominated crowd, but they’re names, at least.

Marky Mark (I know he hates it, but I’m at that age where I locked in on it and refuse to give it up) did a good job, I thought. I mean, the core of his character is a body builder who wants to move up in the world. Sure, Danny does this through kidnapping and torture, but there are some similarities there.

Anthony Mackie (who I adore) was okay, but didn’t quite hit that note of desperation with his erectile dysfunction and inferiority complex. There were a few moments there with Dwayne there at the beginning, but outside of that I didn’t see him settling in until the very, very end. (Oh! And he’s going to be in Runner Runner, which I’m looking forward to!)

The Rock (Dwayne Johnson, same problem as Marky Mark…) does his best work here. You may laugh, but I am perfectly serious. His dialogue with Tony Shalhoub‘s character, their victim, is fantastic. The giant born-again Christian with the infectious smile, and the alcoholic coke-head, I loved them both. No shit, I went out straight from the theatre to the movie store to buy GI Joe (which you may or may not remember me mentioning how much I loved him in that awful movie).

Tony and Ed Harris both did good work, and Ken Jeong was hilarious as ever. Though he’s pretty much become typecast as an absurd, sexist, psychopath. Works for him. Wonder how his bedside manner is as a doctor? And Rebel Wilson was fucking fantastic. There was real chemistry between her and Anthony, and though their scenes caused the movie to lag a bit overall, I also found those scenes to be the most sincere. Love her.

Story

This is a true story. At least that’s what it keeps saying. It may be true, it may be bullshit, I’m too tired to actually look up that information.

The movie is about a personal trainer who wants to get ahead in life. He has a client who is both rich and fucking annoying (Tony’s character). Danny (Mark) with the help of two co-workers (Anthony and The Rock) decide to kidnap him and force him to sign over all of his assets.

Unfortunately Danny is no criminal mastermind. Things go south right from the get go and only go golden for a short time.

In individual pieces, I liked the story. I found each part rather interesting and funny, but put together it just stretched on for far too long. Like the relationship between Anthony and Rebel, for example. I loved that relationship, on its own, but it didn’t seem to help the overall plot of the film any.

All-In-All

I did enjoy watching the film, but that’s a theatre experience and heavily influenced by the fact that I was sitting next to a gaggle of school boys who found all of the sex-toy, stripper, masturbation, sex stuff to be outstandingly hilarious. Embarrassing as all hell for me (who the fuck lets 11/12 year olds into this sort of movie?!?!), but also fun.

I wouldn’t buy the DVD, though. I can’t imagine watching it again, ever. I don’t regret spending the money, but I wouldn’t do it a second time. I’m honestly still not sure what that means! I was happy to watch it, but I don’t want to watch it again.

Did I like it?

I have no idea.

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