2013 has brought us new movies from Stallone, Arnold, Statham, Van Damme and Iron Man but you know what just might be my favorite movie of the year so far? Pain and Gain.
Why? Because it's a movie about DOING. Sure, their version of the American Dream is bigger and more fucked up than yours but damn is it entertaining to watch. Michael Bay's mini budget opus still looks as flashy and hyper real as his astronomically expensive projects but doesn't quite bludgeon you into a coma with car chases, explosions and fighting robots.
It's becoming common knowledge that Mark Wahlberg gained 40 some pounds of muscle for his role as Daniel Lugo, personal trainer turned kidnapper and extortionist. The former Marky Mark is a father of four now so training starts early, like 4:30/5:00AM early. Wahlberg had gotten lean for Broken City but bounced back for P&G by hitting the gym hard, eating 10 meals a day, waking up in the middle of the night to eat and working with GNC on his own supplement line. In the flick, Wahlberg is all neck, traps and arms. He's so swole you're not sure he can put his arms down. Check out an old school workout of his here and a new one here.
Anywho, back to me and the flick. Growing up idolizing Arnold, Frank Zane and Jean-Claude Van Damme meant I was reading Flex Magazine and not knowing bodybuilding professionals do it for a living and are on some kind of supplementation (legal and illegal). So watching this time capsule of a movie complete with hip packs, cut off jean shorts, white high top sneakers, Otomix workout shoes, Zumba pants, striped leotards and cut off flannels made me crack up regularly.
On a deeper level, it struck a chord because the characters GO FOR IT. No half assing, no second guessing, they grip it and they rip it. I know they're all vile human beings for it but you can't help but laugh at them, especially Lugo's attempt to assimilate into suburbia. You can relate to his character's constant optimism, positive energy and can do spirit that is twisted by his desire to be more than the guy who is liked but to be the guy who is admired (and rich).
Not sure if further (and ho hum looking) adventures of Superman, Wolverine or The Wolf Pack are going to top this one.
Take a look at Wahlberg and Johnson's eating routine, you'll get full just reading it.