Friday, 13 September 2013

281, Pain & Gain

From the trailers, this movie looked to me like an absolute hysterical riot.  Then you realise it's actually based on a true story and wonder that if that's the case - how funny can the kidnapping, torture and extortion of a businessman really be?

Well - the easy answer is about 3 minutes of funny.  The Trailer.

Sadly, if you are expecting a fun filled party with Wahlberg, The "Rock" Johnson & Anthony Mackie bowling around as three goofy body builders trying to make a quick buck then like me - you'll be in for a shock. 

The comedy moments are all in the cinema trailer with the initial fancy dressed kidnap attempt including a Samurai and Green Ninja mixed with The Rock's loss of his big toe are two of the stand out laugh out loud moments but what's left is easily described as quite a violent and brutal portrayal of how three guys played the criminal system for about a year resulting in life sentences for two of them and a number of murders along the way.

Dwayne Johnson is by far the stand out casting for this movie.  His character is the ex drug addict / re-born Christian who once the money rolls in quickly picks up his old habits making himself an obvious weak link in the secretive chain but he will have you in stitches doing everything from barbecuing corpses hands in front of Police to wearing a Crockett styled Miami Vice suit and getting ink bombed with a secure cash bag stolen from the high street.

Wahlberg is the brains of the operation, albeit completely botched from the start and Mackie's relationship with the brilliant Rebel Wilson will have you weeping with laughter into your popcorn.  Things start to get serious when retired Detective Ed Harris gets involved with the claims of criminal activity and as soon as someone with half a brain gets involved - the crew are taken down almost instantly.

No need for spoilers here as this was a well publicised case in the USA with one of the trio already out of prison, the other two facing death row for their actions and a few more who didn't make it through their sentences.

Its hard to question 'real life' movies as its only going to be as captivating as the actual events and it was nice to see the mug shots of the real criminals at the end which does bring a large element of realism to the whole movie but if I could hand on heart say that I got what I was expecting when I watched this film then I'd be lying.

If 'dramatisations' of real life crime stories are your thing then you'll love it.  I did enjoy it but only after reality kicked in that this wasn't just a straight forward comedy gangster movie.  If I'd known it had a violent plot, backing up the 'A List' cast then I would have gone in with a completely different frame of mind but now, looking back - its a real look at a hideous crime that took place not too many years ago and with that in mind (& considering one of them is now out of prison).  It was great :)