'Pain & Gain' never comes to life
Director Michael Bay seems to have forgotten he's directing humans rather than robots in his new film.
“Pain & Gain” is about a trio of knuckleheaded Miami bodybuilders who kidnap a loudmouthed millionaire and take him for everything he’s got, but its resemblance to the “Transformers” movies is patently obvious. Nobody in it seems to possess a nervous system.
The three beefcakes are played by Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson (he doesn’t go by The Rock anymore – pity) and Anthony Mackie. Tony Shalhoub is the nattery Colombian-Jewish kidnapee who, Rasputin-like, refuses to die despite the knuckleheads’ every effort to put him asunder.
All this is apparently based on a true story. Just in case we thought things were getting too outlandish, Bay at one point helpfully flashes on the screen, “This is still a true story.”
Maybe so, but nothing in this movie seems remotely real. Given how much ultra-gory Tarantino-esque mayhem is on view, maybe that’s a good thing. Whereas Tarantino mucks about in real-world stuff, like slavery and the Holocaust, Bay at least keeps his gruesomeness firmly planted in never-never land.That’s not a recommendation, just an observation.
Next up for Bay: “Transformers 4.” But didn’t he just make it? Grade: C (Rated R for bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use.)