Pain and Gain
2.2Overall Score

One of those nights again when it is stupid-Michael-Bay-movie time…I have been meaning to indulge myself in one of these again for a long time. And after being warned by both average word of mouth and a rotten review of 50%, I lowered my expectation for this be just another average yet super stylish Michael Bay flick with underutilized actors (well aside from the semi-talented Dwayne Johnson), lots of explosions, product placements, half-naked woman who don’t really need to be naked and of course lots of slow-motion shots when there is really no need for an actual slow motion shot…Well, all of my expectations were pretty much met.

The story is told rather quickly; a bunch of intellectually limited meatheads decide that they deserve to be and get rich, so they come with a masterful plan to kidnap a rich schmuck who really does not “deserve” to be rich and force him to sign his entire wealth over to him…and of course things don’t go as smoothly as planned.

I only started to watch this movie in bed and based on my low expectations not planning to go back to it…but somehow I did, thus one can assume that I was reasonably entertained. But why? So looking back at it for approximately 30 minutes (movie is not really worth too much more reflexion), I guess I liked watching the characters being just absolute “dumb f****s”. Everything in this movie (which is according to itself based on a true story but as usual has loose ties to what actually happened) is just so ridiculous and over the top, thus fitting the Michael Bay scheme. The stupidity of the characters ended up being actually somewhat comical with my favorite angle being Anthony Mackie and his love for “heavyweights” (and who can play those better than Rebel Wilson). Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson did entertain me with their performances as well – especially in their over-the-top 90s costumes. So on the good side, the movie was dark, funny, stylish and stupid.

There are of course some negative elements (which is why the movie only ends up gaining 2.5 stars). For what the movie aims to show us, it really just takes way too long, this movie is not 2+ hour material, it is just too simple for that. But it seems as if Michael Bay was aiming higher (as he most of the times is) and make this an actual fact based movie. But for that he doesn’t take the crimes of the trio serious enough – and well they do some horrible stuff. And with their deeds my assumption is that Bay wanted to go for some kind of his own Tarantino style but for that to happen, he just is not good enough in filming, writing and staging good dialogue.

But well, my advice would be, if you plan to turn off your brain for a few and just Michael-Bay it up … I guess this movie will serve your purpose, nothing more and nothing less.


The Good

  • Typical Michael Bay shots with lots of sun, beauty and slow-motion
  • Funny cast of characters
  • Entertaining enough to watch

The Bad

  • Michael Bay just can’t make really good movies (anymore)
  • Trying to hard to capture Tarantino turf
  • Way too long for the story it aims to tell


  • Running time: 129 min
  • Genre: Action, Biopic
  • Year: 2013

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