Summary: Daniel Lugo wants to live the American dream, which can be summed in lots of money for Lugo. When he meets Victor Kershaw at the gym he works at he sees what his idea of the American dream looks like and he wants it. So he enlist two guys, Paul and Adrian to kidnap Victor and begin to torture him into giving them his things.Adrian is blinded by his love for a woman he meets at a doctor's visit, and Paul is a recovering addict who has turned Christian. Ed DuBois is hired to find these guys out though, and he will stop at nothing till he does. This story is based on a true story.
Acting: The actors are all good in this, and the highlight is really Dwayne Johnson. He is hilarious yet likable as Paul. Mark Walberg doesn't go too far out of the characters we've associate him with in the past as Daniel Lugo, though he is intriguing and funny at times with just how dumb the guy is, he also has the same quick tempered and arrogant attitude that carries much of the characters he portrays. Anothony Mackie is Adrian and he rounds out the trio well, and has chemistry with his intended love interest, Robin, portrayed by Rebel Wilson.Tony Shaloub is the guy they target, Victor, and I just don't understand why he doesn't get cast more in movie. He has that bad guy aura well in this movie, and it's nice to see that transformation he makes from a show like Monk. There is also Ed Harris as Ed DuBois, and he is scary for some reason, but adds a good element to the movie.
Filming: If you like Michael Bay's style then this will be to your liking. There are lots of angles that look slanted and the color is warm with a lot of pop. The color was my favorite part, as the story itself is sadistic. The color keeps it from being too dark and brings out the 90's vibe well. The costumes do really take us back in time. They aren't so distracting that they get in the way of the plot though.
Plot: The plot is based on a true story, which is what makes it better. It's entertaining without the truth, but the events are so bizarre that you can't help but keep reminding yourself throughout the movie that someone really thought this was a good idea. Daniel Lugo also doesn't seem the brightest of characters, and what started out to be a harmless ploy ends up putting them in some very deep trouble with the law. That is what is so strange about it. These guys really thought they could get away with a very poorly plotted kidnapping scheme, what is sadder is that for sometime they did get away with it. If it hadn't been for Ed these guys would have been who knows where with it.
Pain and Gain is sort of insane. I don't get the hate for it. Maybe it's because it is Michael Bay? I liked the vibe of the movie. I think with better writing it might have really gone a step further to impress though. This is a movie that should thrive on catchy dialogue yet it lacks on it. The actors are also good though, with Johnson for the first time being a real stand out in the cast. It's like he just learned this guy and then ran with it making it so funny yet crazy. Overall though, I thought the humor hit just right. These guys take themselves very seriously without realizing just how humorous they sound.
Rating 8 of 10.