Sometimes you watch a movie based on a true story that is so strange/horrifying you can't even cry. The reality of the events depicted is rather grim, despite its Hollywood glitz-and-glam facade, but you are too shocked to show any emotion. You sit there, asking (in your head and out loud) "Is that for real?" You laugh, sometimes because of the awkward hilarity, sometimes out of discomfort. You give your boyfriend the satisfaction of watching a movie about weightlifting for his second (but probably not last) time.
Pain and Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, is a tragedy dressed in a clown suit. It tackles crimes like extortion, grand larceny, kidnapping, torture, and murder with satirical nonchalance. The main characters happen to be bodybuilders, but the movie focuses on their illegal shenanigans over their physical endeavors.
While based on actual events, the movie certainly takes creative liberty in dropping and inventing characters and plot. I thought it was well-written and crafted, and though gruesome in parts, the story itself was intriguing. I also enjoyed the large and diverse cast of veteran and rookie actors. If you have a soft stomach for blood or sensitive ears language-wise, I'd pass on this movie, but I think in general it appeals to a wide audience. Just remember, sometimes your pain is someone else's gain.