Pain & Gain

  • 15
  • Michael Bay (2013)
  • US
  • 124 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

This hyperactive comedy caper is based on the true story of a Miami personal trainer who, with two body-builder buddies, schemed to get rich quick by kidnapping a wealthy client and forcing him to sign over all his assets. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Anthony Mackie play the trio whose biceps are so much bigger than their brains that the scam seems doomed to failure. Director Michael Bay goes back to basics after the sci-fi antics of the Transformers movies, directing in a gritty, cartoonish style and alternating Three Stooges-inspired slapstick with much less pleasant content. Wahlberg and Johnson admittedly give the film some welly, but the mix of comedy and violence (which was the cause of some fuss in America, where the nastiness of the original crime still resonates) makes for uncomfortable viewing. Indeed, there are moments that make you wish Bay had made another Transformers movie, instead. Almost.

Plot Summary

Three bodybuilders make a disastrous attempt to get rich by kidnapping a wealthy businessman who goes to their gym and forcing him to sign over his fortune to them. The plan goes awry when the hostage escapes and hires a relentless private detective to track them down. Fact-based action comedy, with Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie.

Cast and crew


Daniel Lugo
Mark Wahlberg
Paul Doyle
Dwayne Johnson
Robin Peck
Rebel Wilson
Adrian Doorbal
Anthony Mackie
Johnny Wu
Ken Jeong
Ed Du Bois
Ed Harris
Victor Kershaw
Tony Shalhoub
John Mese
Rob Corddry
Frank Griga
Michael Rispoli
Captain Lopez
Tony Plana


Michael Bay

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Paramount Pictures UK
Violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 30 Aug 2013
Certificate 15