Movies That Rule: Pain & Gain – By Gavin Muirhead

Gavin Muirhead believes in fitness, and so should you. HefferBrew proudly inducts, Pain and Gain, to the hall of Movies That Rule.

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I Believe in Fitness.

Let me just start out by saying this, “I have waited all year for this movie to come out, I was thoroughly entertained and all my dreams have come true.”

Okay, that about sums it up. If you need more information or a review that actually has some time in it, then scroll down.

Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie (you may remember him as Tupac in “Notorious”) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, debuted this weekend to much success. For a small budget movie ($25 Million) it bested the Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman driven “Oblivion” ($120 Million budget) for the top spot at the box office this weekend.

If you have seen Bad Boys, or the equally awesome Bad Boys 2 – Pain & Gain will slip right into your movie collection as “Bizarro Bad Boys 3”. Michael Bay takes the buddy cop duo and flips it around to make it the buddy bad guy trio who you root for the entire movie. Ultimately, you forget it’s based on real life events (until you’re literally reminded later in the film, via title on the screen, during one of the more ridiculous scenes in the film.) that were much less entertaining yet every bit as gruesome to those involved.

Wahlberg delivers in his role as the mastermind of the trios’ schemes to kidnap and extort a rich, half criminal deli owner named Viktor Kershaw (Tony Shaloub). He blends that often confused attitude with great comedic timing and a seriously yoked frame. Imagine if “Four Brothers” had a baby with “The Other Guys” and then pumped enough steroids into it to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger, you would pretty much arrive at the level they are on.

Editor’s note: There’s no fucking way that The Rock wasn’t yoked as hell on roids’ for Wrestlemania 29. NO. WAY. I saw veins on the rock that don’t exist on human beings, it’s ridiculous. Mackie is almost human looking, his muscles look natural, Wahlberg is a brick shit-house, for sure, but The Rock is resting somewhere between Jose Conseco in 1996 and The Hulk from Marvel.

Dwayne Johnson makes this entire movie though, without him cast as the character of Paul, Michael Bay would have had to increase the number of explosions in this movie 50 times. For the record, only 1 explosion happens, and The Rock handles the rest of the thrills the aforementioned 49 explosions would have had to do. Paul brings to mind a “Little John” type of character – Big of body, little of brain – who is a convict and born again Christian struggling to maintain a positive an pure lifestyle, and the constant Team Jesus attire he wears is comedy gold all in itself. It is nice to see Dwayne evolve as an actor recently, sure he still relies on his immaculate physical gifts, but he is turning into a pretty solid character actor in his more recent releases. I don’t think he will ever be an award winner, but solid entertainment for years to come? Undoubtedly.

Together with Anthony Mackie and Rebel Wilson, Pain & Gain brings huge entertainment, dark comedy that twisted folks like us line up for and an almost idiot savant version of Goodfellas feel.

I give it 4.25/5, Editor’s note: If we did that type of thing here, Stars. It was maybe a half an hour too long.

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