‘Pain & Gain’ Reviews: Should You See Mark Wahlberg On Steroids?

Sat, April 27, 2013 12:04pm EDT by 6 Comments
Pain And Gain Reviews
Courtesy of Paramount

‘Pain & Gain’ hit theaters on April 26 with high expectations of Michael Bay massive action and Mark Wahlberg comedy. But did the movie actually meet them? Keep reading to find out!

Pain & GainMichael Bay’s (director of Transformers and Armageddon) latest action flick starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson promised to be a vivid, fast-paced extravaganza that also had a ton of laughs and a better story than most of Michael’s movies, not to mention Mark and Dwayne at their most muscled-out. It looks like flat out fun, but before you go dropping your paycheck (because movies are expensive!) to see it, check out what the critics had to say!

The Reviews of ‘Pain & Gain’

New York Post

A Michael Bay film is much the opposite of the new Michael Bay film, Pain & Gain, a dizzying lowlife saga that’s fast, smart, wicked, sort of ambitious and blazingly ironic. It’s as unpredictable as a Lindsay Lohan drive to the grocery store, as overstuffed as the pictures on Anthony Weiner’s Twitter feed and as hilarious as me on the bench press.

New York Times

The opening scene, a police chase from which the rest of the story flashes back, sets a tone of hectic excess. Mark Wahlberg, running from the heavily armed forces of law and order, dashes across rooftops and lumbers, sometimes in slow motion, through streets and alleys. The camera swirls around him, freezing as a glob of saliva pops out of his mouth, dropping down to allow us a peek up his nostrils and then tilting and sliding to register the impact of his face on the windshield of a car. What follows is two hours of sweat, blood and cheerful, nasty vulgarity, punctuated by voice-over ruminations about Jesus, physical fitness and the American dream, along with a few tactical visits to a strip club. It all leaves you pondering whether you have just seen a monumentally stupid movie or a brilliant movie about the nature and consequences of stupidity.

Los Angeles Times

When Michael Bay goes small, Pain & Gain happens. Humans handle the bone-crunching. The gore becomes gorier. The dialogue increases substantially too. Metal things may not transform, but they still make a world of hurt delivered by “Pain & Gain’s” iron-pumping bodybuilders.

AV Club

Set in sun-baked, steroid-addled ’90s Florida, Pain & Gain buffs up an ostensibly true story of greed and ruthless ambition into a comic-book macho fantasy of upward mobility gone awry. Any pretensions of satire, moral ambiguity, or social commentary get lost in a hurricane of empty, mindless spectacle.

Village Voice

Though this story needs no embellishment, Bay can’t help himself. He adds wild sidebars and shoot-outs to the already-insane material. At one point, a character feeds his own severed toe to a chihuahua. Bay injects slo-mo effects, Instagram-esque freeze-frames, and B-movie-style gore. These cheap tricks work like movie steroids, unnaturally inflating the appearance of what’s happening onscreen—and diminishing its overall, uh, potency.

You know what? Even the bad reviews make this movie sound like a ton of fun! Let us know what you think of Pain & GainHollywoodLifers!

WATCH: Pain & Gain Trailer

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