Pain & Gain. Far too sexually explicit, profane and laced with up-close violence for viewers younger than 17, “Pain & Gain” is an over-the-top caper comedy for adults. Set in mid-1990s Miami, it is the reality-based story of three incredibly stupid Miami bodybuilders and their plot to rob a rich and obnoxious client and take over his mansion and businesses. The only problem: They have no clue how to do it or how to cover their tracks. Daniel Lugo, a self-obsessed, uneducated personal trainer, hatches the scheme and recruits co-worker Adrian Doorbal and ex-con Paul Doyle. They will kidnap Victor Kershaw and force him to sign over his fortune to them. He’s a newly sober alcoholic, so they pour liquor down him, gag him, beat him, hang him from a dry-cleaning conveyor and more. He eventually escapes, but Kershaw’s own history is so shady that the cops don’t believe him. The three doofuses keep coming after him. Eventually, he piques the interest of a private eye who starts going after the three bozos.
THE BOTTOM LINE: “Pain & Gain” includes several scenes with strong and bloody violence. Even dead bodies have hands hacked off and burned in an attempt to destroy evidence. A couple of characters use cocaine and alcohol. The film includes visually and verbally explicit crude sexuality. The script brims with strong profanity.
Arthur Newman. Too sexually explicit for viewers younger than 17, this grown-up Walter Mitty-ish tale may appeal to college-age filmgoers and even more to people in their 40s and 50s. Wallace Avery is divorced and estranged from his son. Even his girlfriend, Mina, finds Wallace boring. So he announces he’s going on a camping on the beach, alone. He picks up a fake passport with his new name, Arthur Newman, leaves his old clothes on the sand and drives off in a new car. At a motel, Arthur witnesses the raucous arrest of Mike, a drunk, stoned shoplifter. Sensing a connection, he bails her out. Though vastly different, they find romantic and emotional common ground, spending a rather odd few days invading the homes of people they know to be out, making love in the homeowners’ beds while pretending to be them.
The bottom line: The film is full of increasingly explicit sexual situations. Mike nearly overdoses. The characters use strong profanity. Arthur nearly chokes on food in one unnerving scene. An unidentified person falls off a bus in medical distress and dies, despite Arthur’s use of CPR.
Horwitz is a freelance writer.
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