‘Pain & Gain’ Trailer: Michael Bay’s New Bodybuilder Action Comedy

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 26th, 2013 at 7:13 am,

Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain is actually based on a real-life 1999 Miami New Times article series written by Pete Collins, about “a gang of local bodybuilders with a penchant for steroids, strippers, and quick cash. They later became known as Miami’s ‘Sun Gym gang’ and quickly developed a taste for blood and money.” (Click the following link if you want to read Collins’ ‘Pain & Gain’ articles - they’re pretty great.)

The film stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Daniel Lugo and Paul Doyle, the duo who become the aforementioned criminally-inclined bodybuilders; Anthony Mackie plays their cohort Adrian Doorbal, Ed Harris is the “villain,”  while comedic actors like Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Ken Jeong (Community), and Tony Shalhoub (Monk) all bring the funny.

Visually and tonally speaking, Pain & Gain shares a lot in common with Bad Boys II, Michael Bay’s other Miami-based action/comedy film. This includes the color palette, glamour shots of hot bodies and exotic locales – and of course, trademark Bay chase scenes and explosions. That J.J. Abrams-esque lens flare effect you see? Well, you have the Transformers films (now also starring Wahlberg) to thank for that.

Then again, the trailer seems to indicate that Bay is trying out some new techniques as well, as evidenced by the multiple “harness cam” stylistic shots that open and are featured all throughout the trailer. Of course, whether using tactics new or old , visuals never were Michael Bay’s weak point – that Achilles heel tends to belong to the quality of his films’ scripts (as in, ‘lack thereof’).


Pain and Gain Poster Pain & Gain Trailer: Michael Bays New Bodybuilder Action Comedy


Unlike Transformers, the script for Pain & Gain – written by Captain America: The First Avenger scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – seems to offer a solid narrative arc (the rise and fall of some unqualified would-be gangsters), some effective comedic beats, and a pronounced (and funny) riff on physical fitness mentality. It’ll be curious to see if the film goes on to chronicle some of the darker moments highlighted in Pete Collins’ article series, as the reign of the Sun Gym Gang was anything BUT a bloodless affair.

With the combination of the cast invovled, the action, laughs – and yes, those muscled bodies and the invevitable “Bay bombshell” women that will go with them - it looks like Michael Bay’s “small film” could turn out to be one of the more widely-appreciated projects the director has put out in years (i.e., since his Bad Boys days).

Pain & Gain will be in theaters on April 26, 2013.

Source: Michael Bay

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  1. Ugh… Michael Bay. That name alone makes me uninterested.

    • Give the trailer a shot. It has a good old “Bad Boys” vibe to it.

  2. If your a Bay hater: You suck at watching movies

    • People who criticize hate his style of story telling, but that doesn’t mean he sucks at action telling. All his million dollar making movies are proof of that.

    • If you use “your” instead of “you’re”: you suck at grammar… and sorry, just never been into Michael Bay or his movies.

      Although, he apparently directed ‘The Lionel Richie Collection’, lol, interesting.

      • I’m also usually tempted to go all “grammar nazi” on people here, but when it doesn’t have anything to do with the argument, I say just let it go. Also, English might not be their first language.

  3. Hmmm….

    From the trailer itself, the dialogue sounds kinda cheesy and overacted, but then again, it’s just a trailer. I’ll hold full judgement until the full movie.

    Stylistically, it looks very different from Bay’s other films, so this might turn out to be good. But then again, it’s Michael Bay…

  4. Also, Kofi, I think you made a mistake. The Rock’s character’s name is Paul Doyle, not Adrian Doorbal. Anthony Mackie’s character is Doorbal.

    • YEah, that was a C&P FAIL.

      Thanks for the catch!

      • No prob

  5. I like Michael bay, His movies are a lot of fun IMO, and this one looks really good. Like it was mentioned in the article, quality of his scripts do suck but when it comes to visuals and action, I think he’s one of the best in the business

  6. Totally looks like a “small” film for Michael Bay, even has peeps walking away from an explosion.

  7. Why is it impossible for Bay to hold the camera straight!? Do we seriously need a stylistic, tilted shot while a guy sits in the doctor’s office? I loved Michael Bay when I was young, but now all of his films are obnoxious and completely copy each other. He used up all he tricks in his first film and has yet to learn any new ones.

    • It’s called “style” or “visual aesthetics”. A guy sitting in a doctor’s office is a boring image and he spiced it up. I like it. As crappy as his last two movies were, visually he is beyond reproach for me. It’s a matter of taste, though.

      • Seriously? “Beyond reproach”? Simply put the camera on a Dolly, tilt it, and chuck it down the track….BOOM…you’ve just accomplished all of Bay’s “style” and “visual aesthetic ”

        Watch a Steve McQueen (the director) film to actually learn what visual aesthetic is. There’s not a single frame of Hunger I wouldn’t hang on my wall.

        “Beyond Reproach” buahahahahahaha!!!! Gimme a break….

        • Set up a tripod for a static shot with bland lighting, open up the aperture to the widest setting for plenty of bokeh. BOOM. You’ve just accomplished McQueens style and visual aesthetic.

          As I said it’s a matter of taste and that door swings both ways. No need to discredit my knowledge about image composition, thank you very much.

          • You discredited yourself when you said Bay’s visually beyond reproach. Bet you find fireworks simply phenomenal.
            “Colors, shapes, and Lights!!! This Kiwanis 4th of July show is beyond reproach!!!”

            • You really have issues. Unfortunately our time is up. See you next week.

        • Michael Bay fans are the Raiders fans of the film industry…

          • Ha! As a die-hard Broncos fan, I love this statement!!

  8. small films = small explosions… At this point if he were not to blow something up, I think I would feel a little disappointed.

  9. Looks like one of Bays better films to me i’d see it

  10. OH whats up Rush Hour 4

  11. I personally think the only ones that’s gonna see this are chicks

    • …and men hot for The Rock and Mackie. I don’t know any guys who are hot for that Wahlberg person.

      • Lmao at Mackie, seriously? You’ll get more people going for Wahlberg and The Rock before Mackie, Wahlberg for his rigid fitness regime and the past Marky Mark stuff, and The Rock because of the wrestling, and Mackie for what?

  12. This one closely resembles a bloody and lethal kidnapping incident by two bodybuilders.
    You can make acomedy of it, just don’t say it is based on true events. Because those guys where not reckless, they where ruthless.

    • “Based on true events” is a very loose term. Often it means nothing more than the real event being the initial incentive for writting a script that can be completely different, except for a few similarities. It never claims to be an accurate retelling of the true events.

      • Except the one-sheet states, “This is a true story,” and not “based on a true story.”

  13. Isn’t Mackie playing Falcon in Cap 2? This was a good prep movie for that because he was way too skinny to play a superhero.

  14. I can’t believe I’m about to say this about a Michael Bay movie but here we go:

    I LOVED this trailer!

    • I need to lie down now.

      • You’ll get over it. Transformers 2 & 3 kinda made us forget that Bay actually used to make good or a least decent movies. There is no shame in remembering and acknowledging that. :D

        • 3 was alot better than 2 I think. The scenery where the film took place, plus all or most of the jokes reminded me alot of part 1. The second one just felt like it didn’t fit well with the other two.

          • I couldn’t really stand the whole job hunting segment with Sam, and Ken Jeong’s, John Malkovich’s and Alan Tudyk’s characters were very, very irritating. Unfortunately these things take up about an hour of the movie. If Bay had left all that slapstick stuff out and made it a straightforward 90-100 minute action epic (Battle L.A. style) I would love the crap out of Transformers 3. But as it stands it’s just being dragged down by too many annoyances that keep me from enjoying it thoroughly.

  15. looks good and give Michael Bay a break …geez too much hate !

  16. I generally dislike Bay, but this looks pretty fun

  17. “Michael Bay’s New Bodybuilder Action Comedy”

    Now there is a sentence to suck my soul out of the body…

  18. People seriously give this a chance. I know its Bay, but if you take the time to read the New Times article you’ll realize how movie-esq this true story is. I personally cant wait. It looks like Marky Mark and The Rock pull off the comedy quite well.

  19. What a shame Marky Mark is in it playing his little cutie pie act AGAIN. Johnson and Mackie, 2 of my favourites. Looked like an almost perfect action film. Damn.

  20. My Brain hurts.

  21. I really don’t like Michael Bay, but I do like the Rock and Wahlberg. So… like Bad Boys, I might give this one a shot.

  22. Is it just me or does this movie look dirty..
    I mean, physically filthy. All the characters look as if there are no showers in Miami and the film itself just looks dirty. Maybe its “stylized,” but its just off-putting for my taste. Maybe if it was in the hands of a talented director l, I’d understand it and perhaps even enjoy it…but alas, its directed by an 11yr old with ADHD.

  23. Funny how people make fun of michael Bay and yet he makes more money off of one film than most of them will see in their entire life

    • …and? Twilight made more $$$ than any Scorsese film, what’s your point?

    • And since your only defense of Bay is tantamount to “Shut-up, these films make money,” I take it you can’t come up with anything else nice to say about his movies. BTW, you do recall that The Island was a dud, so Bay doesn’t have the box office immunity that you claim.

  24. It’s an interesting subject with a talented cast…to bad it’s being directed by Michael Bay. Sure, the action sequences could be great (if he refrains from the stupid shaky-cam), but he has no sense of comedic directing. His beats fall flat and he’s got the sense of humor of drunken college douche-bag. Seriously, watch all the comedic scenes in Transformers again, they tend to play too long, often are mean-spirited stereo-types, and rely almost entirely on crass and tired gags such as “look at John Tuturos ass” and “my mom just ate a pot brownie” and dude aren’t these guys RAAAALy ethnic. I do love me some tasteless humor (Broken Lizard, Kevin Smith, and Lonely Island), but Bay has the delivery of a dunder-headed jock.

    By the way, if you think he’s actually funny, then good for you. You didn’t waste your time or money in watching these films.I am happy for you and don’t automatically assume you are as much of an ass as Bay is.