I am guessing that a lot of people who are going to see Pain and Gain are not really ready for what the movie actually is. This movie is in no way over-the-top, but, very few realize it’s based on a true story and have not taken the time to read up on the actual story. Fear not my friends, I have the Pain and Gain true story as well as some advice for watching this film. First off, read the true story of the Sun Gym Gang before seeing the movie, you will thank me.
Why I say it’s important to read into the true story is due to what the trailer actually shows you. It’s only one part of the film and that is the story of kidnapping and robbing millionaire Victor Kershaw played by Tony Shalhoub. The only issue is that the trailer simplifies the movie a little too much. Pain and Gain’s trailer makes the movie look like this: Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) works at a gym that Victor Kershaw goes to, Lugo comes up with a plan to rob him and does, Kershaw hires detective Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris) and then Lugo is caught by the police while doing ab crunches on the wall of a roof for some reason….. There is a lot more to the story and taking the time to read up on the real story of the Sun Gym Gang is worth it. Especially due to the fact that the movie is over 2 hours long.
Writer Pete Collins first told the tale in articles published in December 1999 and January 2000 in the Miami New Times, it was partly these articles that brought Pain & Gain to life. Reading the articles, you can see why Michael Bay wanted to create this film and why he did it the way he did. Comedic, adventurous, exciting…. While there is nothing comedic about the real life events which took place, you can’t help but laugh at how bizarre Lugo and Doorbal’s lifestyle and antics actually were.
Pain & Gain Controversy:
As already mentioned, there is of course controversy surrounding the film. Articles are surfacing with interviews from real life individuals who investigated the Sun Gym Gang. Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Felix Jimenez stated that “You are talking about real people. And in this particular case, especially when you’re talking about the murder victims, these were innocent victims.” Zsuzsanna Griga, whose brother and his girlfriend were dismembered by the gang, said she didn’t want the American public to sympathize with the killers.
Looking at Pain & Gain from an artistic point-of-view and knowing what Michael Bay set out to accomplish, I feel he did a fantastic job. The bright colors and all the wacky eccentrics of the film make you feel as if you are part of the Sun Gym Gang. You really start to forget that it was a true story. A part of the movie even reminds you with text, “Remember this is a True Story!”
If you see the movie, let me know your thoughts. Comment below or hit me up!