The Movie: 7/10
First, this movie is very loosely based on a terribly tragic true story from the mid 90’s in Florida. A story of kidnapping, murder, viciousness, greed, and stupidity. I can’t say I got lost in the strange dark comedy. I kept reminding myself of the horrific reality behind the fictional adaptation. The worse things might have been based on real things, violent, bloody, inhumane things, so that kind of kept tugging at the back of my mind.
It’s presented in a way that, if it was not based on true events, that would seem like a darkly funny tale of morality and deviant behavior. Humans are awful, we know this, and people represented in these events will do nothing but reinforce this notion. Our leading man is a desperate wretched bag of bones and flesh. Obsessed with his weight lifting, body building, exercising, and “self-improvement” he reeks of patheticness. His drive to have more in life, in his mind, justifies taking it away from someone he has convinced himself does not deserve it. He’s just a piece of work, that’s the best way to describe him. Oh, and a horrible human being.
His cohorts are a couple of muscle-bound idiots, and horrible human beings as well. It’s a theme. Everyone does a fine job, most of the time. Dewayne Johnson is growing on me. I can’t help it, I seem to find ways to excuse his overacting and middle school theatrical approach to some of his scenes. I don’t give him a pass wholly for Pain and Gain though, he was about 75% good, and the rest varied.
There are several people who come and go through the story. No one is really a good person, other than Ed Harris’s character, the private detective. So, the victims are hard to feel sympathy for as they are presented. The bad guys are portrayed as bumbling idiots so it’s supposed to endear them somewhat, but it just makes it more terrible. So, if your sensibilities are to feel better about yourself by watching people who make you look like a friggin’ saint, this movie will do it for you.
I was entertained by several moments, some scenes were really exciting and uncomfortable and stimulating in a kind of bad way. What does this mean? I liked the movie. I admit that it made me feel like a jerk sometimes, but it is a presentation of a fictional version of a true human story that reminds me that I’m not a violent ignorant greedy piece of shit….so that’s a very good thing:)
- DVD & UV Digital Copy – No special features at all here, it’s a shame as I would have liked a feature on the real life story behind the film. If you really want some back story this article has you covered.
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
Let me start on a positive, I don’t hate it. I mean, it’s boring and lame and soooo boring (yes, double boring). I just wouldn’t have it as a poster.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Pain and Gain is Paramount on steroids producing a fine 1080P AVC transfer that will literally have you sweating. Set in the Florida sunshine the lighting and extreme detail here is undeniable with amazing close up detail and a bright sweltering color palette. Love him or hate him Director Michael Bay has a certain knack of making even the ugliest locals beautiful. If you are looking for a movie that brings the cinema experience home Pain & Gain has you covered.
The Dolby True-HD 7.1 transfer Pain & Gain delivers is also nothing short of outstanding. Most of the movie is drenched in Dance music and that is where much of the bass/LFE emanates. Dialog is crisp clean and defined and often moves around the soundstage for a trippy kinda vibe. Like everything Michael Bay produces this is bombastic in every sense of the word.
Rent it. Enjoy it for what it is. Buy something else like, well, something else. You get an entertaining movie, no extras, and not much left over to mull over other than maybe a quick search online for the real true story. That’s not worth a purchase.
Overall Score 7/10