Pain & Gain
The gym is home to those that want to feel like they have more power then everyone else. I can’t say that staying in shape will make you feel better about your life, but it will certainly be a morale boaster. I’m I a frequent visitor to the gym? I try and go as often as I can (usually a couple of times a week). It doesn’t make me feel empowered, but I know I will live a few days more thanks to a little pressure from the treadmill. All I had to do was pop on some Metallica and run for about twenty minutes. After an hour or two, I can say that the hardest part of the day is over.
I will confess though that working out is something more of an annoyance then joy. I don’t like the feeling of pain coming from my stomach after a hard cardio session. Call it weakness leaving the body, it’s just by own body trying to slow me down. I do push myself to get through it, and then I can express the better part of bragging rights. I’m not sure how bodybuilders go through their daily trips and their dealing with the aches and bad tasting supplements. After their bodies have been taken to the max, a couple of bodybuilders attempt to take their own empower even higher in Pain & Gain.
Daniel Lugo (played by Mark Wahlberg) is a regular at the Sun Club gym in Miami. He is simply looking for the American dream of success. With every goal, he pushes it to the next level. When he was hired, he made the promise to the manager that he would triple the membership in a short time. Not only does he meet that accomplishment, he turns the Sun Club into the hottest health club for the young and wealthy. Despite success in the facility, he starts to want more.
With more wealthy clients including Victor Kersahw (played by Tony Shalhoub) making an appearance, Lugo decides that he want’s their wealth. He enlists the help of fellow workout partner Adrian Doorbal (played by Anthony Mackie) and recent released convict Paul Doyle (played by Dwayne Johnson) to make the big bucks through black mail and kidnapping. The apprehend Kershaw and with dumb luck and torture, legally acquire all of his assets and finances. So Lugo may have found his American dream, he’s not aware that all of his hard work will come crumbling down as he does not process his plans far enough.
Pain & Gain marks an interesting change for director Michael Bay, who seemed to enjoy throwing toys around with the Transformers franchise before. What this movie is more or less his idea of a character development, action dramedy about how far people are willing to get what they want. What I mean by “his idea” is his usual use of emphasis on beautiful women and unlikely characters. What Pain & Gain proves is that Michael Bay is self aware of how senseless his stories are and actually has fun with it.
Though based on a supposedly true story, I can tell a lot of creative liberties were taken to turn this story in this. At least I found it very funny as all of the main bodybuilders have good intentions with what they want, yet lack the mental capacity to put their power attitudes through better actions. The characters are intentionally dumb and are written well for such an amazing goal of the screenplay. I like how they do not only show how dumb their ideas are, but show the consequences of their action. I even admire the fact that Lugo continues with the scheme until the capacity of his head has run full and can only run like the coward he is behind the muscles.
I’ll give this four protein supplements out of five. Though I’ll admit that it goes on a little long, this may be Michael Bay’s best movie. I can only hope that he can take what works here (good character development) and apply it to whatever Transformer film he’ll work on next.