Film review | Pain & Gain – Putting the dumb into dumbells: Bay’s bodybuilders turn to crime

PAIN AND GAIN - ony Shalhoub as Victor Kershaw and Mark Wahlberg as Daniel Lugo

Based on the true story of a bunch of Florida bodybuilders who went on a kidnapping and extortion spree, Michael Bay’s lurid crime comedy Pain & Gain is as excessively pumped-up as you would imagine, a berserk, overblown action movie on steroids. Its crooks have over-developed bodies, under-developed minds. No wonder their plan is addled. Taking his inspiration from a motivational speaker’s get-rich advice, Mark Wahlberg’s Miami personal trainer is the, ahem, mastermind behind a scheme to snatch a wealthy client (Tony Shalhoub) and force him to sign over his assets. Anthony Mackie’s steroid addict and Dwayne Johnson’s born-again ex-con are his equally clueless henchmen. Unsurprisingly, their project unravels almost as soon as it begins. The Transformers director gives this tale a cartoonish energy and satirical fizz but some viewers may find the film’s darkly comic portrayal of the gang’s violence hard to stomach.


Released in cinemas from Friday 30th August.

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