Attempting to reach the “American dream” of wealth and success, three bodybuilders resort to crime to accelerate their goal. Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) recruits two gym junkies (Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie) to carry out his crazy scheme of kidnapping a wealthy gym member (Tony Shalhoub) and extorting him for his assets.
Pain and Gain is based on true events and was insensitively filmed as a black comedy. The humour stems from the “three stooges” type kidnappers who can’t do anything right. Satire quickly gives way to horrifying scenes of violence, torture and human dismemberment leaving audiences unnerved and queasy.
Vulgar and brutal, Pain and Gain should not have been scripted as comedy – the torture and slaughter of real people portrayed in this film is no laughing matter. (MM)