Pain & Gain (2013) Review

Yep, that’s right feel the burn. Yet again a film with a great trailer, but the film doesn’t measure up. I found the film agonizing to watch sometimes and too quick the rest of the time. The film was too much serious and talk and not enough funny and action. Those are words I never thought I would say about a Michael Bay film, and boy was this a Michael Bay film! Don’t get me wrong this film is funny but it’s a hard watch and I don’t plan on seeing it again, took me 2 nights to finish watching the film. Dwayne Johnson was the best part of this film. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

“We snatch him, we grab him, signs a few signature, we give him a protein shake! He dunnit even know what happened! I watched a lot of movies Paul, I know what I’m doing!”

Pain and Gain banner


Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). Their kidnapping and extortion scheme goes terribly wrong since they have muscles for brains and they’re left to haphazardly try to hold onto the elusive American dream.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended

Story: 70%     Acting: 55%     Characters: 60%     Dialogue: 65%

Action/Comedy: 45%     Style/Sound: 55%     Visuals: 70%

Total: 60%

Pain and Gain poster

I get that the story is based of real life accounts but I expected Bay to go full on comedy and not try to semi conduct some sensibility to the plot, it’s so stupid and would have worked so much better as a balls to the wall comedy. The acting wasn’t anything special, everybody in the film seemed to take their roles with a sense of humour except Wahlberg who decided serious was right for his character, I could have liked the characters a lot more but here we are. Dwayne Johnson gave me the majority of the laughs, which is you know nice in a comedy. Born again Christian, Cocaine addict, ex criminal, body builder. Paul Doyle is an exceptionally funny character.


Someone said this film was an action comedy but it is so not, no action, and it barely made me laugh. The film is like a weird twisted dark comedy documentary which it certainly should have been advertised as. I think this film was a great deal of wasted opportunity which is sad. I did however get a few laughs from Dwayne and the story was an interesting another one to look up as it is really based of true events.

Pain and Gain trio


The best reviews I found would be these:

“Most of Pain & Gain is meant to be seen, just for the sake of bragging-rights and pure experience. But with that said, it is still fun for what you see with it’s random bits of comedy, drama, crime, and action, all rolled into one piece of wild popcorn fare. Also, it’s a Michael Bay film with no robots. So just be happy dammit!” Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews. Full Review

“At 2:10, “Pain & Gain” runs a bit too long, and the severity of the crimes involved get much more shocking than the promotional campaign would let on. But there’s no doubt that it’s a funny, entertaining, dark crime drama with plenty to say about the ludicrous nature of America’s “greed is good” mores.” Fogs’ Movie Reviews. Full Review

“Michael Bay shocks, sickens, surprises and somewhat satisfies in this “true life” tale. Viewing it can be seen as either a pain or a gain as this one falls right in the middle with two and a half stars out of five.” The Focused Filmographer. Full Review


My favourite scene would have to be a coked up Dwayne The Rock Johnson robbing bags of money with no plan and a lot of police chasing him, which in the end costs him and a toe and makes a small chiwawa happy.

Pain and Gain trio2

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

14 responses to “Pain & Gain (2013) Review”

  1. Hypersonic55 says :

    Very informative review man. I was gonna walk this film until I saw Mark Kermode ready to rip into it and with all the other horrible reviews that followed I thought I might give this film a skip. And now your review has literally made me want to stay away haha. I can’t believe Michael Bay fucked up this bad (actually in a small way I can) and he had no fucking special effects covering the screen. From the trailers I was hoping we were getting back to Bad Boys territory of films, but I guess those days are well and truly lost in time! 😦


  2. Kim @ Tranquil Dreams says :

    Hmm…still not sure about this one but I’m guessing the boyfriend will want to see it eventually and well, I don’t usually mind seeing The Rock 🙂 Awesome review Tim!


  3. table9mutant says :

    Good review. 🙂 I’d watch this if I had a penis. Maybe.


  4. Tom says :

    Good review Tim! I will be avoiding this since I really don’t think I like Michael Bay at all. But you have made me a tad more curious. maybe it’s on YouTube in sections. . . . . . . . .. .


  5. Natasha Harmer says :

    Great review 😀
    Kinda wanted to see this cos the trailer looked good…not so sure now though 😛 won’t be rushing out to see it any time soon!


  6. CMrok93 says :

    Nice review Tim. Such a bizarre movie, only made weirder by the fact that this is a true story, and most of what happened, really happened the way Bay shows it as being. That’s why the movie felt tonally uneven at times, but I still had some amount of fun with.


  7. theipc says :

    The wife wants to watch this tonight….. I’m leery….


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