One thing Michael Bay has never been accused of is taking things slow. In every one of his movies, he throws action and explosions at you at such a rapid rate that you easily forget there in little to no plot. So, after bringing in billions in box office grosses, he has decided to make his small scale movie. Don’t be worried though – this isn’t some quirky independent movie about lovers in France. This is a no holds barred, in your face, fast talking “character study” based on a true story.

Mark Wahlberg stars as Daniel Lugo, a Florida bodybuilder sick of living a boring life. He comes up with a plan to kidnap Victor Kershaw, a millionaire who treats everyone as if they are beneath him, and have him sign his life away in return for his freedom. With his two muscle head buddies, Adrian and Paul, they do the kidnapping, but it’s the aftermath where things go crazy.


If you didn’t know that this was a true story beforehand, there’s no way you could ever actually believe it. Everything is so over the top and insane that it feels like a regular Michael Bay movie. I honestly don’t think he’s made many good movies in his career, but you can’t deny that they are highly enjoyable. Pain & Gain knows exactly what it is, and is actually better for it. I’d like to think that this is a new leaf and he may start making mo small movies, but considering Transformers 4 is next I’d say it was maybe just a one-off.

As for the performances, they are decent across the board with The Rock being the definite standout. He easily steals every scene he’s in. Ed Harris is also great in his relatively small role, but he’s always great.

If you get a chance, try and give this movie a watch. Its dumb, but it’s dumb fun!

3.5/5 stars