I was very fortunate in 2013 to attend a screening of Pain & Gain. As happy as I was to be in the theatre, I’m sure the people who invited me, regretted their decision. This film is 2:09 long, and I probably the entire time laughing until I cried. Even seven years later, I have not forgotten that night.
It was around this time that I became a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg, while finally getting behind Dwayne Johnson’s acting career. Together these two megastars of the film industry and bodybuilding world gave us a comedy that we’d never forget.
I had been afraid for many years to rewatch this comedy, based on actual events. I didn’t want it to be worse than I remembered since I consider this one of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen. Upon a second viewing, the film did not disappoint. Although I did not laugh non-stop, I did thoroughly enjoy the stupidity of the main characters.
One wrong decision after another is really the downfall of these guys, who only care about living out the American dream and getting a pump in whenever they can. I think what amazes me, looking back, is the conditioning Walhberg, Johnson, and Anthony Mackie. As I watched the film, I did some research on the workout routines the actors put themselves through. Most people think it would be simple, since these guys look jacked up most of the time, but you’d be surprised what these three did to their bodies in a short time in preparation for the role.
Another thing I should point out is that I have never been a fan of Tony Schlump. However, what I took away from my second viewing is his performance. I hated his character, Victor, at the beginning. He was just a rich punk who bragged about everything in his life while never appreciating what he had. That obviously all changes, and I actually started to feel bad for the guy. Schlumb’s performance got me to develop feelings for the character, even though he is still a jerk from start to finish.
I love this movie because of the performances from Johnson and Walhberg. They are so stupid and blinded by the glory that they are complete disasters in every sense of the world. I totally understand that Pain & Gain will not be for everyone. You may be lured in by the stars and be disappointed with the content. Either way, I love this film and wanted to share my joy with you. 8/10