12 of 21 people found the following review helpful
It was hard to laugh - so messed up,
This review is from: Pain & Gain (DVD)
"It was hard to laugh - so messed up" - That was how the couple in front of me aptly put it as they were leaving the theater.
This movie many times makes the claim "this is a true story" and while it is based on actual criminal events, "a true story" is a stretch. Doyle, the most interesting of the three characters, is a fictional composite of people who had much smaller roles in the crime spree than Lugo and Adriane, and liberties are taken with characterizations of victims and the details. True-crime buffs who want to know more should read one of the excellent books out there for the complete story. Also, Pain and Gain true story? is a good blog that quickly outlines what parts of the movie did and did not really happen.
That aside, looking at this as purely for its entertainment value, it is a fast paced film with a captivating, twisted story line that is not for the squeamish.
I love both Rebel Wilson and Ken Jeong and like a smart, dark comedy. However, I found the casting of these two comedians in this movie (as well as some of the sight-gags) to be a distraction. They are more laugh out loud funny and didn't mesh well into this dark tale.
At the end the narrator explains to us that our take away is to appreciate what we have. I've also heard Michael Bay in interviews say that's what he was going for. I didn't see it. Really what did these criminals have of real worth to begin with? I'd say the message is even for shallow, dissatisfied, and self-absorbed people - money doesn't insure happiness and ill-gained money comes with lots of complications. So even though it pretty much sucks, stick with your pathetic little existence.
My guess is that mainstream audiences will find this movie uncomfortable and that it will be in and out of theaters pretty quickly, but will find a niche market on DVD.