Michael Bay has been saying for years that he wanted to make a “small picture” that wasn’t just a bunch of explosions, and was actually about something. Apparently, this is what he had in mind. Generally, this movie has been received as most of Bay’s work: a giant piece of shit. But I’m going to be kind to Bay. I didn’t think it was that bad. It wasn’t good by any stretch of the imagination, but it honestly wasn’t a bad film. That’s about the highest praise I can give to Bay.
Pain and Gain tells the story of three meat-head bodybuilders in Miami. They kidnap a wealthy (and shady) businessman, and torture him into signing over all of his assets to them. They then leave him for dead in a ditch somewhere.
The first half of the movie is decent. It mostly talks about Mark Wahlberg’s character’s life, how he wants more, he wants the American dream, but he isn’t going to get it, he’s gotten as far as he’s going to get in life with his particular skillset. When he winds up as the businessman’s personal trainer, he decides that he is going to take what he wants by any means necessary.