“Pain & Gain” is the type of film that makes you feel like need a shower after you watch it. It’s based on a true story about some bad guy bodybuilders in Miami who kidnap one of their gym’s clients so they can get him to sign over his assets including his posh Dade County mansion.
Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is the mastermind, but I use that term loosely since these criminals are anything but intelligent. Dwayne Johnson plays Paul Doyle, a born-again ex-con, who goes along with the plot, but really doesn’t want to hurt anyone. And, Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) is the third principal gang member. He’s the sympathetic gym rat who also wants a taste of the good life.
The big problem with “Pain & Gain” is that it’s so over-the-top violent. Just one gross-out scene after another. In fact, you know in your gut that despite it being based on a true story, Hollywood has really embellished this series of crimes that really happened in Florida back in 1999.
Director Michael Bay wants you to like these characters, truly. The film wants you in on the joke. These guys are so stupid that we feel superior to them, and can sympathize with them.. But, these incredible hulks kidnap, maim, torture, kill, and dismember their victims. The comedy loses any satirical edge the director might have sought when it alienates its audience.
Hence, my first point. You may need a shower afterwards. I felt kind of dirty walking out of “Pain & Gain.” Grade: C-