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Pain & Gain 

Dimwitted dudes with shiny muscles

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Michael Bay proves himself as disastrous with "small pictures" as he is with blockbusters in Pain & Gain—the beach bod true crime flick that's oozing with machismo. Based on the Sun Gym gang Miami murders, P&G finds a pumped up Mark Wahlberg as a dimwitted personal trainer who "believes in fitness." To get out of his go nowhere life, Wahlburg concocts a plan to kidnap and extort a wealthy sleaze bag client (Tony Shalhoub). He recruits 'roided up coworker Anthony Mackie and born again ex-con Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to help, but geniuses the trio are not. There's lots of talk about the American dream and personal fulfillment amidst all the murder and torture. Bay can't help himself though, shoving aside thematic depth for jokes about fat people and whatever shiny toys catch his eye. Big or small, Michael Bay remains the worst part of his films.

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Vol 22, No 52
May 28, 2015

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