A Comical look at a True Story, Pain & Gain isn’t Funny to Some

Friday, April 26, 2013

  Pain & Gain Actor Anthony Mackie defends Director Michael Bay’s 

decision to portray Tragedy as Comedy”

By Christopher “Flood the Drummer”® Norris

If you've never read the story of the “Sun Gym Gang” as chronicled by writer Pete Collins in his 1999 three-part series called Pain & Gain, which was published by Miami’s New Times, then don't rely on Director Michael Bay's New movie “Pain &Gain,” which touts "This is a true story," to give you authentic chronological accounts of the case; nor its preceding murders, tortures, and kidnappings. You can however rely on a ton of laughs from the movies loaded cast which stars Mark Wahlberg as the “Sun Gym Gang” mastermind Daniel Lugo, Former WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the hilarious “Born Again” coke addict Paul Doyle (based on Jorge Delgado) and Anthony Mackie as the “sadistic sidekick” Adrian Doorbal. Traditionally, true stories about murder and torture don’t involve a ton of laughter, a multitude of penis jokes, a Big Black dildo that has a reoccurring role or a BBQ featuring human hands; yet Bay’s new take on the “longest, most expensive case ever tried by Miami’s State Attorney's Office” not only tickles the funny bone for 130 minutes, it has also angered many – particularly the survivors and those who investigated the crimes nearly two decades ago.
“The way they tell it made it look like a comedy,” said Marc Schiller, author of "Pain and Gain: The Untold True Story." Marc Schiller, whose book was released in January, said he does not approve of Michael Bay movie's portrayal of the criminals. The Huffington Post’s Matthew Jacobs reports, “The film presents the criminals, known collectively as the "Sun Gym Gang," in a somewhat lighter, more comedic tone than Schiller finds appropriate based on his harrowing experience.”
“You also gotta remember that not only I went through this, but certain people were killed, so making these guys look like nice guys is atrocious," explains March Schiller.

The cast of Pain & Gain have been very outspoken that they are not making light of what the victims went through, they are merely telling a bizarre and absurd story that just so happens to be true. “In no way shape or form do we make light of the victims or what happened to them. But looking at the circumstances of the situation, it’s comical,” states Pain& Gain co-star Anthony Mackie, who gained nearly 30 pounds for the role. He never heard of the story before being cast as the “Caribbean Adonis” Adrian Doorbal, and feels that nothing about this case seems realistic. That at no point in time could he imagine something like this happening. “The victims just became byproducts of the ridiculousness of the story. So I get it, I understand why they reacted to movie being made, but Michael (Bay) dealt with their (Sun Gym Gang) demise in the classiest way it could possibly be dealt with, if the story was going to be dealt with at all,” adds Mackie.

Director Michael Bay
Breaking free from his “Transformer Machine” and feeling the need to “do something different,” Director Michael Bay rounded up two of Hollywood’s elite actors (Wahlberg and Johnson) and a few $250 Go-Pro cameras and told the story of a gang of local bodybuilders with a love for steroids, strippers and quick cash.
Philly red carpet screening w/ Mackie

Mackie told me the story of an Oscar Party a few years ago, recounting how he met Bay and eventually landed the role in this film, which features explicit bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use. The two of them stood by the bar, exchanging jokes. “We cracked up for hours. A year later he hits me up and says ‘You're funny; people should see you do comedy.’ He sent me the script and told me that Dwayne and Mark were in it.”

Unlike most “true stories” this cast of characters chose not to interview the survivors or the criminals themselves, opting rather to rely on headlines and oracles from those who knew them as associates.  “I just really didn’t want to sit around with someone on death row. It didn’t seem like a good Saturday to me” explains Mackie of his reasoning for not strengthen the portrayal of his character with a series of meetings with the real Adrian Doorbal. Mackie tells me “it was never discussed about meeting with the survivors or those close to the case.”

PLOT: Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is a regular bodybuilder who works at the Sun Gym along with his friend Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie). Sick of living the poor life and working the standard 9-5, Lugo concocts a plan to kidnap Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), a regular at the gym and a rich, spoiled businessman, and extort money from him by means of torture. With the help of recently released criminal Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson), the “Sun Gym Gang” successfully gets Kershaw to sign over all his finances. But when Kershaw survives an attempted murder by the gang, he hires private investigator Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris) to catch the criminals after the Miami Police Department fails to do so.
Despite not meeting with the survivors, and those that committed the acts, this film tells a great story and is really one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. If you turn easily to blood and gore, you may have your hands over your eyes for a large part of the movie. But still, it’s worth the price of admission. Those behind Pain & Gain muscles up the courage to turn tragedy to comedy, and love or hate it, this movie will have you die laughing – pun intended.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
©2013 All Rights Reserved.
Facebook: /therealTBOInc

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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