Confession: I had both been looking forward to and dreading watching Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain. Knowing Bay’s brand of mindless, over-the-top action phantasmagoric style, I assumed that the film would be a mindbending and earbusting exercise in excess. Still, being that the film is based on a true story relevant to the pervasive abuse of steroids in the modern sports world, I thought maybe it would lend itself a modic** of taste and aspire to something slightly artful.
Well, no such luck. And you can’t blame me because I gave it the benefit of the doubt. But Michael Bay being Michael Bay . . . well, it doesn’t take much to hate his movies. The story is about three steroid-addicted body builders who kidnap people for a living. Or was it for kicks? I couldn’t tell because I found it hard to believe that any such three characters could possibly be so stupid. Imagine Bugs Bunny, Goofy, and Sonic the Hedgehog juiced up and carjacking innocents. That’s what we have here.
It’s a shame, because the cast does what it can with the imbecilic material its given. Mark Wahlberg has proven that he can act when given the chance. Bay doesn’t give him the chance so he has to meathead it as much as is humanly possible . . . which isn’t easy when you’re sharing the screen with “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson. Johnson has a unique screen presence, something that Bay fails to take advantage of. Instead, all we get are shot after shot of his massive upper arms, while he grunts something about Florida and money.
I’d repeat his dialogue, but it really isn’t worth my time. Or yours.