Dear Pain and Gain,
With very little expectation, I sat down to your tale and started my journey of bafflement. First thing out the gate is a cardboard doofus called Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) that is a unbelievable personal trainer douche that gives all personal trainers a bad name. Of course the whole film does nothing but bash the supposed ‘roided out’ meat heads in as an insulting way as possible. Right away at this point brain dead Michael Bay has demonstrated his consistent ability to miss the mark on even portraying a true life story.
Of course as Wahlberg/Lugo whines his way through his personal trainer lifestyle, he seizes on a self-help guru as the answer to his dilemma on how to get what he can’t get via talent or ability. This leads to a half cocked idea to kidnap and extort money from another douchebag that is Lugo’s client by the name of Victor Kershaw, (played with movie stealing aplomb by Tony Shalhoub.) As Wahlberg/Lugo and his cohorts played by miscast Anthony Mackie as Adrian and miscast Dwayne Johnson as Paul, pull off the kidnapping I keep waiting for all that dark comedy everyone mentions in relation to this film and it never arrives for me.
What does show up however, starts with disdain and quickly moves to disgust as there is no redeeming quality to this film to latch onto to make me want to care for any of these characters or victims and by the time we get to Ed Harris as the retired ex-detective Ed DuBois, his wincing almost apologetic portrayal tells me in the end all I need to know: This piece of shit was nothing more than a payday for everyone involved.
At this I shift into the couldn’t care less point of view and I ride it out like a bad Miami Vice episode. Obviously, everything goes wrong for our trio and even with the few chuckles along the way, you can stick a fork in me like I was the very same grilled hands, Im done.
In reflection I find there is one thing that amazes me about this film – it shows me how there is value in something I don’t like, like Spring Breakers, and how it can still hit it’s mark and I can respect that, where by comparison something like Pain and Gain, that has NO POINT, can still get made and done so in such a clueless manner. This film is in the running for worst of the year and is so far my pick for ‘budget wasting worst’ at twenty five million. You should be ashamed Bay and everyone else who took part.
I spit on you with derision and disgust,