Mark Wahlberg plays Daniel Lugo, an ambitious bodybuilder and personal trainer turned criminal in this based-on-a-true-story action caper from Michael Bay. Lugo recruits a born again criminal, Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and a fellow gym rat Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) to perform a sting operation on dubious local businessman Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub). When the police refuse to take Kershaw’s story seriously he turns to retired police officer and private detective Ed DuBois (Ed Harris).
Despite a promising start and a natural chemistry between Walhberg and Johnson as lead characters, Pain And Gain is an anaemic piece of storytelling. The extended middle section of the film meanders along without any real sense of tension, drama or comedy. There are laughs to had, but they are like flowers in the otherwise arid desert of what could have been a fantastically bizarre crime caper and instead ends being a crude and forgettable buddy film.
James also saw this film and you can read his thoughts here.