Based upon the magazine articles written by Pete Collins & directed by Michael Bay (Transformers Trilogy) the film follows real life events between late 1994 & summer 1995. The story begins an introduction to Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), a personal trainer at the Sun Gym in Miami, Florida . Tired of his normal life, not making enough money & seeing one of his clients, Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) who has it all, Lugo decides to kidnap, torture & extort Kershaw of all his money & assets. He teams up with another trainer at the gym, Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) along with Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson), a former felon, now church enthusiast. The three put their plan into effect, which works for a short time period. However upon their success, they soon want more, leading to mistakes being made.
Due to this film being based on actual events, many would say that it wrongly glorifies this story. I can understand someones reasoning in saying that, however as film its by no means perfect but it is entertaining. It contains many trademark Michael Bay moments such as slow motion shots & explosions. Wahlberg, Johnson & Mackie are likeable leads, despite playing unlikeable characters. There are some funny moments between the three along with others (black comedy). The score by Steve Jablonsky (while not award calibre) adds another positive to the film. The negatives are that it is rather slow at times and (while enjoyable when watching) it does not stay in your mind for long.
Overall Pain & Gain is an entertaining film, with likeable leads portraying unlikeable real people.
3 Stars ***