Almost there, but not quite
Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain is 1/3 of an entertaining film, another third a mess and the remaining an excess. There are flashes of brilliance in his direction, showcasing striking visuals amid all the violence. Yet there comes a point where things come across as too much, as nothing else is brought into the table about two-thirds into the movie. The three leads Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie are fun to watch, though it’s nearly impossible to like their characters beyond the sporadic comedic quips they provide. The film eventually loses itself to tonal issues, and the complete package is almost a good one, but not quite.