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15th May 2024

Netflix has just added a crazy action crime movie

Stephen Porzio

Loosely based on true events, the film features an all-star cast.

Netflix has just added Pain & Gain, the 2013 action crime movie from director Michael Bay (Ambulance, Bad Boys, The Rock).

Based on loosely on true events, the film centres around a crew of ripped Miami bodybuilders (played by Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie) who score a high-rolling lifestyle through kidnapping and extortion.

“Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg), manager of the Sun Gym in 1990s Miami, decides that there is only one way to achieve his version of the American dream: extortion,” the plot synopsis reads.

“To achieve his goal, he recruits musclemen Paul (Johnson) and Adrian (Mackie) as accomplices. They abduct rich businessman Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) and convince him to sign over all his assets to them.

“But when Kershaw makes it out alive, authorities are reluctant to believe his story.”

Bay, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame), does great work placing the viewer into the mindset of its dumb, inept central trio and why they are driven to commit these criminal actions.

That is before the filmmakers shock the audience with the level of violence and ruthlessness the characters we’ve been following are capable of.

Pain & Gain is also noteworthy for its dynamic, stylish and vibrant direction and its packed supporting cast, which also includes a terrific Ed Harris as a PI who crosses paths with the bodybuilders, as well as Ken Jeong, Rebel Wilson and Rob Corddry.

While the movie received a mixed reception from critics upon release, it is now widely considered as being among Bay’s best films.

Here’s a sample of some of the positive reviews Pain & Gain received: “For Michael Bay fans, Pain & Gain may be his masterpiece, where the director’s collision of testosterone-fueled action and blunt wits is perfectly in keeping with the subject.”

Empire: “Michael Bay goes back to a Bad Boys budget and a big boys’ rating, for a true-life crime story that’s inconsistent and frenetic, but also funny and wilfully outrageous.”

New Yorker: “A brash, vulgar, exhilaratingly vigorous, spontaneously complex hoot of a true-crime movie.”

The Guardian: “There’s something inspired about putting Michael Bay in charge of a brazen action-comedy about gym-pumped knuckleheads who screw up their own criminal masterplan most royally.”

Time Out: “The first hour may be Bay’s career high point: it’s fast, freaky, gloriously tasteless and startlingly pointed in its attacks on western insecurity, shallowness and greed.”

Pain & Gain is streaming on Netflix in Ireland and the UK right now. It is also available to watch in the US on Paramount+.

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