Stunt Granny Movie Review: Pain & Gain

pain-and-gainSure, this movie debuted April 11 but we didn’t review it so here it comes. It wasn’t worth going to see full price so my lady and I shuffled off to the Marginally More Than a Dollar Theater before it left even there. I’m not sure what I expected from this movie. All I remember reading about it was that some group was angry that they were glorifying criminals who killed someone. I’m quite sure whoever said that didn’t watch this movie. Or they had their eyes open and didn’t get the message of the movie which was Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg), Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and Paul Doyle (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) were all incredibly stupid weight lifters who got what they deserved. So spoilers ahead. You have been warned so no bitching.

Daniel Lugo is the main character and ring leader of this crew. I could have done without the ending being at the beginning of the movie because it was a linear story otherwise and didn’t add anything to the movie a la Pulp Fiction. Lugo has big dreams of being a rich guy but the only thing he truly cares about is looking buff while taking copious amounts steroids. It is funny that a rich guy who may have had help from performance enhancing drugs is playing the part. Lugo is a gym trainer who changes gyms to make more money. Unfortunately, after bringing in major business into the new gym his needs aren’t satisfied so him and his best friend Adrian Doorbal hatch a plan to kidnap a client Victor Kershaw, played by Tony Shalhoub, and have him sign over his Scholtzsky’s fortune. I immediately thought to myself “How dumb is this plan?” but because they’re both idiots, no such thought crosses their minds. They feel the need to have a third person in their crew which is where Paul Doyle comes into the equation. He is another ex-convict who can’t get a job anywhere. Lugo convinces John Mese, played by Rob Corddry and the owner of the new gym, to hire Doyle all while planning to add him to the kidnapping crew. Doyle is the only sympathetic figure since he had cleaned up his act after his drug fueled conviction by becoming drug free and trying to dedicate his life to God. His character certainly brought the funny because of his split personality between his old life and new life. Lugo persuades Doyle to join his crew by telling him that it will be easy and no one will get hurt. Only another dumb weight lifter would think that a kidnapping could end without someone getting hurt.

Their incompetence comes in when they attempt to kidnap Kershaw but they fail twice before finally grabbing him on their third attempt when he comes out of his Scholtzsky’s. Keep in mind that these lunk heads thought ninja costumes from your local Halloween store were good costumes. Lugo, Doorbal and Doyle end up keeping Kershaw in an abandoned dry cleaners turned sex toy storage warehouse. The later of which comes into play because Kershaw is beaten with sex toys. After finally breaking Kershaw and getting him to sign over his Scholtzsky’s and money, Lugo runs into the problem that none of the paper work is notarized. John Mese comes into the equation because the gym has leveled off, he needs a sponsor for a body building competition and he just so happens to be a notary public. Lugo promises him a Schlotzsky’s sponsorship in turn for notarizing the documents that will bring him his “deserved” riches. Because Kershaw knows their identity, Lugo realizes that they need to kill him. Their first attempt to drive him into a concrete column fails because his car has an airbag and because Doorbal buckled Kershaw’s seatbelt before sending him on his way. Even Doyle & Lugo contemplate how dumb Doorbal is after that incident. Lighting the car on fire back fired because Lugo poured all of the gasoline on the exterior of the car and unlike every other movie, it didn’t blow the whole thing sky high. Because Doyle is driving the get away vehicle, Doorbal & Lugo convince him to run him over, twice.

Kershaw ends up surviving but when he tells police about the event, they don’t believe him because it is so outrageous and he isn’t exactly the most pleasant person on the planet. What police would think that you were beaten with dildos is a legitimate story? I’m pretty sure Mariska Hargitay didn’t even cover that ground on Law & Order: SVU. After Lugo & company learn the police don’t believe Kershaw, they leave him alone. Doorbal ends up blowing through his money because of his wife that he meets after the job. Doyle ends up relapsing and blowing his money on an exotic dancer & cocaine. Lugo has been “fitting in” with the new neighbors at Kershaw’s house and didn’t blow his money. All of these flights of fancy are comical in their ignorance. Doorbal & Doyle talk Lugo into one more job. Their target is Frank Griga,who has money because he is a pornography king. That is funny alone because of their earlier use of dildos. The trio talks him into investing in a non-existent project. They have one last meeting with Griga and Sorina Luminita, his wife, at Doorbal’s home while his wife is at work. Lugo & Griga go off to have private talk while Doorbal & Doyle party with Griga’s wife. When Griga asks to meet the investors Lugo is working for, he flips out and accidentally kills Griga. It doesn’t take long for Luminita to figure out something is wrong. They end up injecting her with horse tranquilizers and in the process overdosing her. Just because you take steroids doesn’t mean you know how to dose out other drugs.

Kershaw was successful in convincing a private investigator to look into his case. As bizarre as it was, Ed DuBois (Ed Harris) ended up finding the incredibly stupid weight lifters easily. He tried to convince police to look into the matter but they didn’t. DuBois exposed that not only were the trio incredibly dumb but so were the police and anyone who was in contact with these nimrods. The police finally realize they need to arrest Doorbal, Doyle & Lugo after Griga & Luminta are reported missing by a maid and a chihuahua. Nothing like being done in by a dog who is larger than their steroid shrunken penises and testicles. Doorbal & Doyle are caught easily. Lugo did evade capture momentarily but did himself in by being greedy enough to go after Kershaw’s offshore bank. Dumb criminals never know when enough is enough. They showed an overview of the court case but there wasn’t much to it other than their sentencing.

This movie was a dramedy but the drama was taken away in the opening scene when Lugo was trying to run from the police. The comedy came in the form of Doorbal, Doyle and Lugo’s many miscalculations and mistakes. There are no punch lines, just a whole lot of stupidity. If showing three incredibly dumb people get their just punishment, I suppose they were glorified. -Kevin

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2 Responses

  1. You’re a do er, not a Don’t er by writing this article. Good job!

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