x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Film review: Pain & Gain

Pain & Gain will certainly please those looking for cheap thrills.

A scene from Pain & Gain starring, from left, Dwayne Johnson, Tony Shalhoub and Mark Wahlberg. Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures / AP Photo
A scene from Pain & Gain starring, from left, Dwayne Johnson, Tony Shalhoub and Mark Wahlberg. Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures / AP Photo

Pain & Gain

***

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Tony Shalhoub

 

Michael Bay’s 10th feature follows two bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson) as they lead a gang of fellow muscle men in kidnapping a millionaire (Tony Shalhoub). Pain & Gain’s biggest asset and biggest flaw is its director. Bay offers his signature tongue-in-cheek machismo that gives the film a Bad Boys-style charisma, but it makes the movie’s more serious moments incredible. Wahlberg and Johnson are perfectly cast – the former a quick-thinking fast talker, the latter a surprisingly non-violent giant. Support is a little thin, with Shalhoub and Ed Harris coming across as cartoony in their roles as the kidnap victim and investigating detective respectively. While not a faithful re-enactment of a horrific true story, Pain & Gain will certainly please those looking for cheap thrills.

* James Luxford

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