24. Pain and Gain
Original Release — April 26, 2013
Released in 2013, one might wonder why it took so long for a muscle-bound superstar like Dwayne Johnson to partner with the bombastic cinematic force that is Michael Bay — but per the results of the finished product, maybe this union of titans should have never happened. Marketed as blue collar vigilantes striking out at the filthy and corrupt rich turned out to be a frightfully incompetent attempt to turn real life tragedy into macho-American comedy. Three gym rats — Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie — decide to extort a massively rich client and have his assets transferred to them.
Yet, while the film still attempts to frame these characters as heroes just in the pursuit of the American Dream, their get-rich-quick-scheme soon devolves into kidnapping, torture, and murder. The events of how they try to kill their mark becomes overdone and stomach churning, even by Michael Bay standards. Though Johnson and his two co-stars are always enjoyable, their comedic timing and charm is consistently misplaced in squandered characterization.
Image Source: IMDb