Towards the end of the latest offering from film critics’ favourite punching bag Michael Bay, a character states: “The truth is stranger than fiction.” It is a particularly apt idiom for Pain & Gain. A docu-drama masquerading as an action-comedy, it’s easily one of the craziest films of the year. Unexpectedly, it’s also one of the funniest.
Read the rest of this review at Flicks and the City here.
Through course of association, the merest reference to former wrestling superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson automatically brings to mind testosterone-filled actioners, and for good reason; this year alone the actor has starred in the enjoyable Fast & Furious 6 and the not-so-enjoyable G.I. Joe: Retaliation. With Snitch (2013), however, Johnson’s machismo is dialled down in favour of a more nuanced character study (in addition to a commentary on drug laws). As a result, what could have easily been yet another unintelligent explosion-fest turns out to be a likeable thriller – and audiences are all the better for it.
With Fast Five (2011), director Justin Lin – with a little help from Dwayne Johnson’s likeable Agent Hobbs – managed to reinvigorate the then-ailing Fast & Furious franchise. Racing to $626 million at the global box office, it’s no surprise that everyone is back for another round of vehicular warfare. Offering more of the high-octane action that the series is famous for, Lin’s Fast & Furious 6 (2013) is easily the most ridiculous blockbuster of 2013 thus far; and also one of the most enjoyable.