Pain & Gain is a pretty good example of the American Dream gone wrong…
Which I guess is exactly what it’s supposed to be. So I’ll give it credit for that.
That’s really all it has though. There’s a decent smattering of violence and nudity, if you’re into that sort of thing, but personally I just found it painful to watch. Halfway through, I was actually considering walking out which, for me, is really saying something.
Basically, it’s a kidnapping gone wrong and it proceeds pretty much exactly as you’d expect. Everything starts out innocent enough (or as innocent as a kidnapping can be) and just spirals out of control. And yet the protagonists never really just quite how incompetent they are. Mark Wahlberg1 is actually pretty believable as Lugo–absolutely convinced that he’s deserving of a better life and is just reaching out to take hold of it. Dwayne Johnson does rather well as an ex-con who found Jesus in the loosest sense of the word.
Really, I think the worst part is that this is all based (loosely!) on a true story. I read up on the details and they’ve changed a fair bit (which reminds me of Argo). It’s always amazing just how terrible human beings can be to one another.
Overall, I have no qualms putting this movie dead last for the year. In 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had gone to see Iron Man 3 again…
Ranked: 2013 Movie Reviews
- Pacific Rim
- Iron Man 3
- The Croods
- Thor: The Dark World
- Star Trek Into Darkness
- Monsters University
- Ender's Game
- Man of Steel
- Django Unchained
- World War Z
- Despicable Me 2
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
- Parental Guidance
- The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
- Beautiful Creatures
- Jurassic Park (3D!)
- The Wolverine
- Oz the Great and Powerful
- Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
- Jack the Giant Slayer
- Warm Bodies
- Don Jon
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation
- Pain & Gain
He looks remarkably familiar considering I don’t think I’ve seen anything else he’s been in… ↩︎