Pain and Gain – So Much Pain

Pain and Gain was released in 2013, and was directed by Michael Bay. Unlike many of Bay’s previous Transformer movies the story is more down to Earth. Likewise you won’t find many explosions, or the vast destruction of buildings. Instead we’re given a film that has lots of style, with comedic acting, and a somewhat decent story to follow. Pain and Gain tells the story of the Sun Gym Gang, who were convicted of various crimes. The steepest of which was murder. However not everyone was convicted of murder, only two members, Daniel Lugo, the leader/mastermind, and his right hand man Adrian Doorbal were convicted for homicide and given the death sentence. Their associates were convicted of fraud as well as racketeering.

The movie stars Mark Whalberg (Danny Lugo), Anthony Mackie (Adrian Doorbal), and Dwayne Johnson (Paul Dyle). Its interesting to note that Paul Doyle is actually a composite character. While  these actors have acted in various action movies, they aren’t portrayed as action heroes. The movie is a dark comedy, and is rightfully labeled as such. While all of the characters are very menacing, they also come off as being very satirical. While all of the characters have great ambitions, they are also very dimwitted with delusions of grandeur.

Danny Lugo’s life revolves around fitness, specifically bodybuilding. While hes very built, he is also fairly poor. He has a strong drive to become wealthy and successful in the fitness industry. While he helps the Sun Gym become successful and signs many applicant, its apparent that he doesn’t have the intelligence or business savvy to become wealthy. Earlier in his life he tried to fraud old folks out of their money. Falling back on his old habits he tries implement a new, vastly more illegal scam. His long time friend Adrian Doorbal helps him throughout his scheme. Doorbal has similar ambitions of wealth, but his priority is fixing his erectile dysfunction, cause by his use of steroids. Then later his desire to provide for himself and his wife. Finally theres Paul Doyle who is a recently born again Christian ex convict. Doyle follows Lugo in an attempt to provide financial stability in his life. This in tun ultimately revives Doyle’s self destructive tendencies.

You can describe the movie easily, when considering what the movie is actually about. Big bodybuilders decide they want to be rich, they go out and rob rich people. Eventually their stupidity gets the better of them, and they wind up in jail for murder.

Michael Bay instead takes the viewer on visual journey, with some laughs to keep away the boredom. Pain and Gain is a great film to look at, the bright colors with contrasting dark undertones give you a feeling of fantasy. Really thats what the movie is, a fantasy. Every twist and turn you may wonder if these guys have ever heard of the term law, considering how much they break it. Of course they don’t even think about the law, because they feel they’re so invincible. So much so that the law must be beneath them. Much of the dialogue is spoken in voice overs, by the main characters. You get a sense of how little reality plays into each character’s motivation for either success or survival. The Sun Gym Gang are also very ambivalent to how bad their plan is. Lugo’s motivation for executing the plan comes from a motivational speaker, Johnny Wu who is likely a scam artist. As Wu is obviously all talk, and makes his money through hyping people up. Even when law enforcement has apprehended Lugo, he continues to believe he will go free.

Pain and Gain is controversial as it portrays the crimes of the Sun Gym Gang in a soft light, and greatly down plays what they did. This is further exacerbated by the constant ramblings of the dimwitted muscleheads, who help to subtract from the seriousness of their crimes. However it does prove a point. Being that these men are so out of touch with reality, that they seem to live in a fantasized world. However following the plot proves to be difficult at times, as certain scenes just seem to drag out too long. Likewise you’re not watching a good and balanced drama. The focus of the movie is definitely not the dialogue. The first half of the movie is definitely more engrossing than the second half. If you want to watch a movies with cool camera angles and that look visually appealing, you’d probably like this movie. If you wanna see a film with an enticing plot, you might not be interested in watching Pain and Gain.


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