05 Feb

Pain & Gain

”Life’s gonna give me another set. I know it will.”
– Daniel Lugo

The Setup

We at Munch are huge fans of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (DRJ), despite having watched none of his movies, other than those that he is sweaty and present for in The Fast and The Furious franchise. I guess you could say we are fans of his personality. We like to think of him as the fourth member of Munch, who just has been too busy being a movie star to show up to any Munch nights. In any case, we figured it was time to watch one of his movies. At Walmart, on Black Friday, we happened across a $1 DVD of Pain and Gain, and it was impossible to say no. We have to support our friends after all.

The Food

For food, Dwayne said it would be great if we based our meal off of his 5000 calorie, 7 meal, daily diet. Our initial plan was to make the whole diet and split it between the three of us, but even that seemed like it would be too much food. You only need to look at Dwayne’s muscle mass to be able to tell that. (Lookin’ good, Dwayne!) Instead, we picked one of his seven meals and went with that.

Many of Dwayne’s meals look pretty bland, what with him having to keep trim and bulk up, but we were drawn to the cod, fish oil, and broiled vegetables Dwayne has as his fourth meal of the day. The meal was pretty simple, but we kicked the cod up a notch by making an herb, garlic, and breadcrumb crust. When we mentioned this to Dwayne he called these “empty calories,” but we thought they made an otherwise tame meal, fairly palatable. 

For dessert, DRJ requested that we take inspiration from one of his “cheat day” Instagram posts. We decided to go with the post in which he appears to be consuming an entire platter full of brownies and cinnamon rolls. It is well documented that this guy takes cheat day seriously, but we could smell what The Rock was cooking and were up to the tough task. We committed to baking and consuming double desserts.

By a happy coincidence, Oreo released their cinnamon roll flavored Oreoes that same week, so we decided to add them to the Yukon Gold Potato Cinnamon Roll recipe we found on Epicurious. The Oreo cookies ended up being delicious on their own, but we chose grind them up and add them to the cinnamon roll itself, with the filling being mixed into the glaze. We will save a deep dive on these for tumblr focused content because they are definitely worth their own post, believe us they were that good. Dwayne was definitely jealous he missed out, if the texts from him were any indication, but he was too busy filming Baywatch to get one.

For the brownies, we made a dry peanut crust, added brownie batter on top, and swirled in a peanut butter mixture. The result was a nice, gooey brownie, with the added benefit of having an almost shortbread-like crust. These were a big hit as well. We decided not to tell Dwayne about these because we didn’t want to keep rubbing it in that he was missing such an epic cheat day. He works so hard. Sorry you had to find out this way, Dwayne.

The Drinks

Since our good buddy The Rock consumes a 32 oz bottle of Gatorade a day, we decided to make a Gatorade-based drink for our cocktail. We chickened out and did not drink all 32 oz of Gatorade, as our sedentary office worker bodies could not handle the 56 grams of sugar that would entail. Instead, we made Mar-gat-ritas on The Rock, with lemon-lime Gatorade, Patron, and Cointreau. We used Rock salt on the rim, in honor of DRJ’s ever present sweat. This drink was supposed to remind us of the night we first met Dwayne, we had had a couple to many Margaritas and shots of tequila (thank goodness he likes tequila), and it was just a generally sloppy night, but memorable nonetheless. It turns out, however, Gatorade is not a good mixer. It really just tasted like watered down Tequila. Please do not try this even if it seems like a good idea. Dwayne told us not to do it, but we didn’t listen.


The Rules

  • Drink whenever Dwayne raises his eyebrow.
  • Drink whenever there is a sweeping shot of Miami.
  • Drink whenever Michael Bay features a “hunni” just because. (Ugh.)

The Movie

None of us really knew what to expect from Pain and Gain, but we certainly weren’t expecting a based-on-a-true-story kidnapping “comedy.” Comedy is in quotes because I don’t think we ever laughed. And we weren’t expecting it to be so bad, either. So, for this review, we are going to write about a few of the things we did not expect from Pain and Gain that ended up happening in the movie.

Things we did not expect from Pain and Gain

We did not expect Mark Wahlberg to get more screentime than The Rock

Look at this cover. Just look at it. Who do you think the main character is, and who is the supporting character?


The Rock is front and center on the cover, but probably has a total of 20 minutes of screen time in the movie. The movie is decidedly about Mark Wahlberg’s character, and Dwayne is hardly in the movie at all. If we had gotten more DRJ, we might have enjoyed the movie more, but instead we got entirely-too-much Marky Mark.

We did not expect The Rock to be a born again Christian with an anger management problem and a coke addiction

The Rock we know and love is wholesome and good-hearted despite his sometimes reckless course of action to save the day. His role in Pain and Gain was such a strange departure from the online persona he presents and his more recent roles such as Hobbs in the later Fast and the Furious films. To see him struggling with his misguided faith and drug addiction as he knowingly participates in a kidnapping heist turned attempted murder was confusing and troubling for us all.

We did not expect this level of patriotism

This, we only have ourselves to blame for, because the American flag is featured fairly prominently on the back cover. We should have known that having a flag on the back cover means America, freedom, or the American Dream would be referenced at least once every five minutes. Michael Bay has a weird sense of patriotism.

We did not expect Michael Bay to attempt to make a comedy based on a real life murder story

As far as we were able to tell, this was supposed to be a comedy. Maybe. It seemed like it was supposed to be satirical in a darkly humorous way, and other times it was over-the-top ridiculous, but it never really felt funny. It felt like it was trying to be funny without looking like it was trying too hard, but unfortunately it didn’t try hard enough.

We did not expect it to be so crude

To be fair, we didn’t realize it was a Michael Bay film until it was already too late, but we still didn’t expect it to be so crude. This was the teenage-boys-locker-room of movies, where the focus is on hot girls and machismo, and gay/racist/fat jokes abound. Gross.

We did not expect it to be so gross

Whether it was a guy’s face being run over by a truck or The Rock grilling up some human hands on the barbeque, this movie had more than its fair share of unnecessary graphic moments. We would not recommend watching this movie if you have an aversion to gore. Actually, we would not recommend watching this movie even if you don’t have an aversion to gore.  Just don’t watch the movie, plain and simple. Really. Don’t watch it

The Reviews

Andre: Pain and Dwayne. This movie was painful to watch, but it had The Rock in it! I think that’s the nicest thing I can say about this movie. I’d rather not get into DRJ’s weak performance in Pain and Gain, because I like the guy too much.

Leanna: 4 out of 20 reps. This movie really made me cringe. The rampant sexism and weird overtones of patriotism really made this movie hard to stomach, not to mention seeing one of my favorite actors and celebrities play a role that is so far beneath him. The 4 courtesy reps I’m giving this movie are purely for my discovery that Mark Whalberg is the same Mark as Marky Mark of the hit song Good Vibrations. Seeing his hilariously 90s music video was the only good thing (besides the food) to come out of this post.

Ben: 20%. I have expressed my dislike for the films Michael Bay creates, and this doesn’t sway me in the slightest. It was a relatively boring story of body-builders that decide to try and get rich by getting into crime, and they just keep falling down the rabbit hole. The thing is, this film couldn’t even lift its own weight. The only thing I was impressed by was how close they stayed to the original, true story. Which is probably the worse thing about this movie. They had an opportunity to improve, elaborate, add in any semblance of comedic writing, ANYTHING, to make this film better, but they ended up with a dull film, that seems to be trying to go for a Fight Club vibe, but ends up with the dark mark on Hollywood: the Michael Bay stench. Is that too harsh? Probably not.