Film Review: Pain & Gain

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 30 Aug 2013

The Michael Bay arthouse movie that was meant to prove there’s something beneath the surface of the lecherous Hollywood director only goes to cement the opposite, Bay’s pornographic sensibilities run through and through.

Based on a true story, three bodybuilders get in over their heads when they attempt to kidnap a rich member of their gym and write off all of his assets into their own names.

The plot had a lot of potential and the characters sound interesting on paper but in Michael Bay’s hands it was all wasted. Pain & Gain is too silly for its own good and though the bodybuilders crunching their way through the stress does raise a few laughs, it so quickly steps over the line of intentionally not taking itself seriously into being utterly ridiculous.

The performances of Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie are entertaining, although Dwayne Johnson is much less successful, struggling to deal with the satirical nature of the story. However, the duo don’t come close to saving the film.

Bay’s  repeated objectification of women hits a new low, here peering up the skirt of a scantily clad corpse. This level of misogyny is really unacceptable in a mainstream Hollywood movie.


FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

We’ve been featured on the front page of Reddit and produced off-shoot club night Friday Night Fist Fight, launched a Creative Agency and events column The London List.

FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

You can contact us on:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble, Instagram and RSS.