Flash Movie Review: Pain & Gain

The pairing of the words pain and gain is something I associate with working out. I have heard gym teachers tell their students, “work through the pain” or “you won’t get stronger if you don’t feel the pain.” To me these are not words of encouragement. The closest I come to saying something like that in my classes is to say, “it is ok to feel a muscle working.” I am afraid members could injure themselves if they think that feeling pain is the only way to know they are doing the exercises correctly. Thanks to this action film I now have a different association for the words pain and gain. I will always remember how painful it was for me to watch this film and how I wanted to gain back the time I lost. Based on a true story, director Michael Bay (Transformers franchise, Armageddon) filled this movie with an abundance of blood and violence. The actual story was so outrageous that I kept thinking that what I was seeing on the screen could not have really happened. And herein was one of the issues I had with Michael’s directing; there was so much time devoted to showing the violence I never got a real sense of the three main characters. Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, Ted), Dwayne Johnson (Snitch, Get Smart) and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Real Steel) played bodybuilders Daniel Lugo, Paul Doyle and Adrian Doorbal. Not wanting to spend the rest of his life as a personal trainer; Daniel Lugo hatched a plan to kidnap his wealthy client Victor Kershaw, played by Tony Shalhoub (Hemmingway & Gellhorn, Monk-TV), for his money. With Paul and Adrian on board; what was to have been a fast, easy job turned into a cluster blunder. The only good acting came from Tony Shalhoub and Ed Harris (The Rock, A History of Violence) as Ed DuBois. If Dwayne Johnson’s goal was to look like a moving mountain, he succeeded. Maybe with the story being so unbelievable, Dwayne wanted to look as non-human as possible. After some time I was bored with this film. Though I did not get pumped up by the story, I did get a sudden urge to go to the health club and work out.


1 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on May 5, 2013, in Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. yep – in the old rugby days we used to say “pain if your friend” — now it’s pain sends me to the doctor πŸ™‚

    looks like this is see it on cable show.

  2. I’ve stayed far away from this film. Sometimes you just know a movie is not your thing and this one is definitely not my thing. πŸ™‚

  3. haha, yes, those men are huge in that movie – boulders, haha. hello, there, sir. πŸ™‚ kind regards…

  4. Something about this film made me feel pity for Wahlberg and The Rock. It just seemed like it would be horrible. Probably because Michael Bay was involved and I stopped trusting him at Transformers 2.

    • Yes you are correct about Michael Bay. I still cannot get over how much physical training the stars had to do and what a shame the results were for this movie.

  5. I need to get in shape, myself. Maybe I should watch that. Another good one is “Pumping Iron.”

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