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  • Justin Louallen

Pain & Gain Written Review

Hey, sorry there's no video review this time. Been busy lately with some stuff and haven't really had the time to shoot a video for reviews. But, I did see Pain & Gain yesterday and I just thought I'd explain a little of how I feel on here after seeing Michael Bay's newest film. Now, when it comes to Michael Bay's movies, I have very mixed feelings about them. Back in the 90s, when I was growing up, I was a big fan of his early Don Simpson produced action flicks starting with Bad Boys, The Rock, and Armageddon, and I used to always record those movies when they came on cable with my VCR. Michael Bay has one of those distinctive filmmaking styles where his films have a very gorgeous visual and polish look to them and he also always throws in lots of humor in all of his movies that are either dumb or so bad that's intentionally hilarious. But yea, about Pain & Gain, now I went into this movie not really expecting a whole lot because the last movie I seen by Michael Bay, "Transformers 3", I was really pissed and left me with a very bad headache and I gave up on Bay after that. My main problems with transformers movies in general is that they don't even make the Transformers the main characters, and much like Bay's other films, he throws in 20 or something characters that I just did not give a shit about and just wanted to have a good popcorn movie, but even that was hard to have because of all the shaky cam and unnecessary shots that Bay does by pointing the camera like it's a porno in some scenes with close up of a woman's buttocks or the robots humping a woman's leg; and wouldn't you know it, 2 years later, I actually found a Michael Bay movie that was, (after almost 10 years) really damn good, honestly. This is the best Michael Bay movie I've seen since Bad Boys 2, which I know people hate, but, I still love that movie. The movie is actually based on a true story as well because it has these 3 bodybuilders, played by Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie, that's set in 1995 and pump and workout every day at Sun Gym who want to con a gymnasium fanatic into getting all of the shares and investments of the gym and the money and they kidnap him and hold him for ransom, but what they don't know and this is a common example in the rest of Bay's movies is that the characters are completely stupid to realize the consequences that come their way when kidnapping and attempting to murder someone. I found it very dark in a lot of this movie and I really loved the performances including Wahlberg, Johnson, Mackie, Tony Shalub, and even Ed Harris who pops up later in the movie and this movie kept reminding me of how much I missed the great indie type of movies like Fight Club. In fact, during the course of the movie, each character narrates their own back-story and their part in the kidnapping and extortion that I felt like I was finally watch a Michael Bay movie that has a plot that I felt invested in. It was great seeing Ed Harris work again with Bay after The Rock because that was one of my favorite movies that he was in and I found it funny how this movie is based on a true story and it kept reminding me via title cards that it was and I was like "Okay, I get it". lol. but anyway, Yeah, I really really liked this movie. I also enjoyed the choice of music as well and the score that was used throughout especially hearing Rolling Stone's Can't You Hear Me Knocking, Gangsters Paradise, Stranglehold, and so on and I thought the humor worked well too especially this scene where Wahlberg is playing basketball with these kids and he's like "I'm gonna be your step dad next weekend'. Lol. Now, that doesn't mean the movie has flaws though. One of the things that I was worried going into was that since this movie was based on a real life murder and event that happened, I was expecting that the humor would suck all of the seriousness out, but, you know what? Surprisingly, the tone was consistent. It was serious when it needed to be serious, and occasionally there would a joke that would happen, but it never threw me off or took me out of the movie for it. I mean, yes, i dont think it's a perfect film, but I will go on record and say that this is a million times better than those god awful transformers movies that I sat through, and I know theres people out there that are the audience for those, and hey, that's fine, I wont argue with that, but, to me, this movie really brought me back to my favorite decade which was the 90s and that was the decade I grew up in and watching this made me feel like working out all time in the gym and get really muscled out. lol. The violence too, good god, this movie was dark. there's a scene where Dwayne Johnson is cooking these dead body parts on this grill and it kept reminding me of his wrestling catchprase "Do you smell what the rock is cooking?". But, I dont want to go into detail about the whole movie because i'm trying to avoid spoilers, but, yea, I'd definitely check it out in theaters. I mean, sure, when you actually look at it as a real life story, it has it's flaws with the controversy stuff, but, if you're wanting to have a very well made, entertaining as shit, good time movie, Pain & Gain is the movie for you. :). Thank you Michael Bay. I know he's doing TMNT, and I'm pretty sure he's gonna screw that up, but, this movie I watched is one of the exceptions. Well, the next review I'll be doing a video of will be Iron Man 3, so until then, hope everyone has a great weekend and take care.

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