Bodybuilding Celebrated in Goofy Comedy

Monica Terada, Staff Writer

Pump your spirits full of steroids in this Michael Bay flick of hot chicks, inflated pecs and amusing gags.

The perfect combination for Friday night’s lightweight entertainment pick.

“Pain & Gain” follows the story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), America’s dumbest, yet, most confident citizen. A dangerous mix for the future of the nation, but hilarious to those bright enough not to follow in his footsteps.

Lugo is a doer with strong beliefs in low body fat and high muscle mass. He aspires to more than the average salary of a personal trainer and therefore concludes he should just steal the self-made and hard earned wealth of Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub).

For the daring task he recruits the help of bodybuilder friends Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie). In 130 minutes of goofy, yet, thought provoking comedic action, the three deliver funny jokes and bloody punches in mesmerizing slow motion.

The bodybuilders’ illegal acts, however, are not of their own creation. The movie’s premise and characters are based on real life events involving a criminal group charged for kidnapping and murder.

Two of the real group members, Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal, currently sit on Florida’s death row awaiting execution.

A reminder that the “cool” characters seen in the movie are not necessarily like the ones in real life, although screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely did make quite a solid adaptation.

The dialogue was well written, loyal to the stereotypical attributes of each character; Lugo is the commander in chief, Doorbal the funny guy, and Doyle is the simple minded, weak element in the group.

The cast’s excellent performances makes it hard to choose a side between the villains and Kershaw the victim.

It looks like Michael Bay has produced yet another hit.