Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pain & Gain - 2 1/2 stars

After 3 Transformers movies, Michael Bay is taking a break from huge, epic movies where cities are destroyed and giving us a small caper movie.  Small meaning a $25 million budget rather than $200 million.  And no giant robots or asteriods threatening the Earth.

This movie is supposedly based on a true story.  Three bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Mackie, and Dwayne Johnson) kidnap a rich guy (Tony Shalhoub) and force him to sign all his assets over to him.  Then they try to kill him, but they're so incompetent that he survives.  While he's in the hospital, the police talk to him but they don't believe his story.  Once the kidnappers hear about this, they figure they're home free.  They have his house and his money, and they start living it up.

It may not sound like it, but this is actually a comedy.  Dwayne Johnson plays a born again Christian who's trying to stay out of trouble, besides the whole kidnapping thing.  He also happens to have a cocaine habit.  He's actually a pretty sweet guy, and he's incredibly gullible.  I don't usually like Dwayne Johnson in movies, but I enjoyed his character.

I got tired of Michael Bay's style a long time ago.  The camera never stops moving, and he puts in clever and unique camera angles and movements anywhere he possible can.  The editing is aslo very hectic, especially at the beginning of the movie.  The first 20 minutes felt like a long teaser the way it was cut together, and it was exhausting.  If the movie had stayed like that, I would have been very unhappy. 

Luckily the movie slows down a little once the plot kicks in.  It was very over the top and unbelievable, and it should have been at least 20 minutes shorter.  But I admit I was entertained at times.  There were some funny moments that made me laugh out loud.  This is one of those movies where I have some complaints, and I can't call it a very good movie, but I can almost recommend it.  Almost.

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