Opening in theatres this Friday from director Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures comes a buddy film with extortion on their minds with PAIN & GAIN.

This film tells the story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) who works with a guy who owns a gym. Daniel tells the owner there will be triple profits if he lets him work at the gym even though he’s a scam artist. The gym becomes a muscle beach hang out spot!

Then he teams up with Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and decides they are going to make money fast by robbing. In walks Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) who wants a job at the gym. They decide he’d make a good robbing partner. Johnson is a Christian who doesn’t drink but seems to snort coke just fine.

They aren’t very good at their chosen profession as they argue and fuss. Instead they kidnap Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), torture him and sign off all his assets. Now they are living large, leaving Kershaw with nothing. No one wants to him get the stolen money back.

He calls Ed DeBois (Ed Harris) and he takes the case. Harris goes into the guy undercover and befriends Daniel. Harris sees the partying, strippers and other jobs they do, but with all true stories there is a true ending but with these guys nothing is ever easy!

FINAL WORD: Wahlberg definitely beefed up for the role as the gals like. He is good at playing the “I’m think I’m smarter than you” role but he’s really not. He has this aura that is just hysterical. I think it’s a role that if you mixed a couple of his other roles it is the same. That being said he’s kooky and based on a true story so he did very well.

Johnson as Paul has this beefed up godliness to him and when he slips, he slips hard. He still has that teddy bear affect about him but he has that aspect of ‘oh help me’. He finds God, as if God was ever lost, when it’s convenient. This was a different role and although I had a hard time watching him sniff coke off a stripper’s ass it is part of the character that is funny. He is definitely the weak link of the group meaning getting the others caught up. He’s trying to save himself with God but keeps screwing up!

Mackie as Adrian doesn’t give his character the typical “black” guy. He is a white washed version of a black guy who loves his chubby women. Marrying Robin (Rebel Wilson), as a concerned wife and a very concerned one at that which is interesting for this funny lady, gives him a normal life. She doesn’t know what’s going on either. He tries to hide everything and even though he’s totally in love with her, she’s a no nonsense woman.

Shalhoub as Kershaw has everything taken from him and goes through a depression. Man did he get beat up and sitting in that hotel was just pure depressing and Shaloub does it well.

Harris as DuBois gets to be a douche bag retired cop living at home on a beach. Taking the case out of interest seems to be something to pass the time. Even though he is a total douche bag I like this character. It’s a strong role for him and Harris does it really well.

Other cast include: Rob Corddry as John Mese, Bar Paly as Sorina Luminita, Ken Jeong as Johnny Wu, Michael Rispoli as Frank Griga, Keili Lefkovitz as Krisztina Furton, Emily Rutherfurd as Carolyn DuBois, Larry Hankin as Pastor Randy, Tony Plana as Captain Lopez and Peter Stormare as Dr. Bjornson.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give PAIN AND GAIN three tubs of popcorn out of five. If this hadn’t been a true story I probably would have given it a two – maybe. I think it’s an inter4esting true story but if it weren’t a true story it would be a funny film for frat guys. Throughout the film they make muscle comments and such, which are funny aspects but not funny as a whole.

The storyline is my problem – that someone was actually dumb enough to do this is funny. Even though the story is true is feels like a bad attempt to make a comedy. I don’t think anyone did a bad job in the acting at all. I’m going to remain a Wahlberg-Johnson-Harris fan but this dvd wouldn’t be in my collection.

This was more of a creepy documentary for kids in juvenile hall teaching them what NOT to do to rob people!

In the end – their American dream is bigger than yours!



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Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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