Pain & Gain  (2013)    74/100

Rating :   74/100                                                                     129 Min        15

Michael Bay brings his adrenaline fuelled style of filmmaking to somewhat new and uncharted territory for the director, with this ‘based on a true story’ (published in 1999 as a series of articles in the ‘Miami New Times’) crime drama. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie are all weight lifters working in the Sun Gym in California who decide, largely at the instigation of Wahlberg’s ringleader Daniel Lugo, to kidnap a local entrepreneur and try to extort all of his money and belongings from him. The three are each the very epitome of the term ‘meathead’ and what ensues is a classic crime caper, with the three leads delivering entirely believable and often amusing performances. Bay still hasn’t quite mastered the craft of truncating his movies so that they run at a reasonable length, but this was still a lot of fun from start to finish, and marks another great turn by Johnson, ranking alongside his appearance in ‘Southland Tales’ (06) and as the lead in ‘Faster’ (10). The characters have been made a lot more palatable than their real life counterparts, and in reality the gang was a lot bigger than just three people, but the story in general follows real life events.

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