Pain & Gain | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 129 minutes · 2013

Action, Comedy drama
Michael Bay tries his hand at satire, targeting the sort of hollow excess most of his movies epitomize. Based on true events, it tells the story of three moronic Miami bodybuilders who kidnap a millionaire, torture him for weeks, steal his fortune, and proceed to blow the money on drugs and shopping sprees. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie are impressive as the criminals; their focused, deadpan performances balance out the hyperactive direction, making it tolerable for once. They also convey a sense of pathetic insecurity behind the characters' cartoonish machismo, with its rampant sexism, sadism, and homophobia. Bay is no Paul Verhoeven, but he's coming from a similar place here, purposely amplifying the ugliest qualities of American culture. With Ed Harris and Tony Shalhoub.
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Director: Michael Bay
Producer: Donald De Line, Michael Bay, Ian Bryce, Matthew Cohan and Wendy Japhet
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Ken Jeong, Bar Paly and Rebel Wilson

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