Michael Bay hasn’t made a good movie since the 90’s. Pain and Gain, with it’s relaxed budget looked set to change that. The idea being that Bay would be forced to actually prove his mettle as a film creator and present something with a bit more torque and substance. Well, Bay, the hour cometh, and your movie is not funny. You’re a poor director, and it’s clear now you’re skilled in collecting percentages in business deals which just happen to be film productions. Nothing more. That ‘substance’ we were hoping for? It’s there alright, in the form of severed toes and dildo jokes. What we have here, gentlemen, is a movie that clever 14 year olds sneak into and clever 30 year olds sneak out of. Were the Wayans Brothers ghost-writers on this picture?
It follows the true story of three body builders in the 90’s who wanted to get rich or make someone die tryin’. The plan, to kidnap a rich criminal, torture him and force him to sign over his assets and then retire early and enjoy the good life. Now there was a few things I was looking forward to in this movie. Firstly it’s set in 1995, a year permanently etched in my memory for all manner of good reason. But I digress. We’ve had 70’s nostalgia, 80’s nostalgia and finally it seemed, it was the 90’s turn. There are however, no memories in this movie. You’ll forget it’s supposed to be in the 90’s almost immediately. So scratch that, it looks like a regular 21st Century set. The other element of potential it had – it could’ve been a modern day ‘Scarface’. No such luck, that movie made you feel the criminals newly attained power. Made every hustler want to be Tony Montana. What does ‘Pain and Gain’ give? Ride on lawnmowers, blow up dolls and rape jokes. All that was missing was a Steve-O cameo where he nailguns his own ass. Nobody not in the age range of 13-16 cares.
It’s not a bad movie, not as such. It looks good, ManlyMovie will give it that, but who couldn’t make Miami and naked women look good? There’s also Mr. Johnson, helluva funny guy when given the opportunity. Unfortunately we have film makers who once again don’t know how harness The Great One’s potential, so he’s wasted again. The guy is genuinely a good actor. But all said, in this supposedly smaller venture, Bay can’t help but drag the movie on to the 120 minute mark and beyond. This movie is half an hour too long. I laughed three times in this movie, that’s once every 40 minutes. So if they did reduce it to 90 minutes, would that mean only two laughs, or once every 45 minutes? That would mean denying me my extra laugh! But to be honest, if it meant getting out of this movie quicker, it’s a laugh I was gladly would have traded.