Film & TV

Review: Pain & Gain

Kathryn Lewis endured some pain to review this testosterone filled film, but did she gain anything from the experience?


Sitting down to watch Pain & Gain I must admit it wasn’t my first choice of film to watch on a Saturday evening but unfortunately I owed the boyfriend a favour.  I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few cheap “lad” jokes and some seriously ‘roided up and slightly past their time’ actors in Michael Bay’s first big film since the Transformers trilogy.  However I did honestly enjoy the action/ comedy hybrid which is based loosely upon the real kidnapping, torture and murder of numerous targets by a group of body builders.

Mark Wahlberg stars as a working class personal trainer in a rundown gym in Miami who grows envious of his wealthy clients. Recruiting the help of fellow gym goers (Dwayne Johnson & Anthony Mackie) Wahlberg devises a plot to kidnap a client, steal all their assets and get rich quick, but like everything in Hollywood, this doesn’t quite go to plan. Along the way the cast genuinely deliver some funny lines and scenarios but to my disbelief its Johnson’s character, a naïve Christian, which produces the most laughs and is a surprising example of the impressive acting in the film.

The film contrasts the traditional action/comedy film by using interesting and creative camera angles and digital techniques which heighten the visual experience of the film, giving it a slightly ‘indy’ feel.  Sadly the excessive use of violence which is demonstrated in the action scenes counteracts the variation from the norm in the filmography and affiliates the film with any other muscle centred blood fest.  Furthermore the humour in the film becomes more stereotypical and relies on “black guy jokes” towards the end of the film, in what seems like a desperate bid to frame the film as a mainstream comedy.

In conclusion Pain & Gain is a what I would call a good ‘one time film’, enjoyable to watch the first time but a second viewing would leave me reaching for bejewelled on my iPhone.

Pain & Gain Score


What did you think to Pain & Gain? Did you find it enjoyable or painful? Let us know in the comments below


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