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Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Pain & Gain (A Michael Bay Film)

This was one of my most anticipated films of the year and although I didn’t expect it to be in the same league as Oz, Gatsby, Star Trek, Iron Man, or anything else that might actually be a “good movie” I figured that I would enjoy it. I thought it would be one of those stupid funny movies making fun of bodybuilding with some slapstick comedy antics thrown into the mix. The trailer made me think it was about a bunch of stupid bodybuilders that wanted to get rich so they decide to kidnap someone or rob a bank to get a big pay day. I never expected it to be based of real events or to just be so dark in its comedy. Do I have a problem with darker comedy? No, not generally… but I think (and so did everyone else in our theater) that the advertising was misleading. Here’s how it went, play by play.

Alana and I were planning on seeing it Saturday morning until we found out how nice the weather would be, so at that point we made a last minute decision to see it opening night at a theater farther away at premium ticket pricing. What a mistake. We got there early and were the first ones in the theater. I’d like to add that AMC Flatirons Crossing is a beautiful and clean place where I recommend families and individuals to see their movies at that location. As we took our normal seats (the last row of the bottom section) despite having full freedom for choice, we saw a diverse selection of groups and individuals walk in and sit down.

AMC first look was boring enough (talked about some new shows called The Dome and Longmire, etc.) and the previews were so-so. It was mostly movies we already decided to see or not see so there was little excitement value. And then there was the movie.

Michael Bay provided us with lots of pain and almost no gain. The cast was excellent but it did not work. Ed Harris, Tony Shaloub and Rebel Wilson delivered and kept smiles on our faces. The Rock is always one of my favorites and maintained great balance in his role but I wanted something simpler and with less darkness. There was some controversy over the film because it felt like it was made to make you sympathize with the criminals, while family of the victims expressed that they do not want people to feel that way. It was not what we expected and it felt like it was four hours long… not two. That is a bad sign for me when it comes to movies. The Lord of the Rings extended cuts feel like a TV show because they’re so good.

I wanted a stupid version of Pumping Iron with some highway slapstick robbery thrown into it. It felt like a total waste of time and money and failed in finding its niche as a blockbuster cast not-quite-mockumentary.  The fake Sun Gym Gang and Michael Bay do not deliver and I do not recommend this movie to anyone. His attempt to satirically provoke thought in achieving goals and the American dream are lost in the puddles of blood he creates.