CATEGORIES Movie News"Pain and Gain," "Transformers" director Michael Bay's new low-budget crime movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, looks like it could be one of the sleeper hits of the spring. The trailers promise a wild, darkly tinged comedy about some Florida bodybuilders who decide to get into seedy criminal activity. But what isn't so clear is that "Pain and Gain" is based on a real life incident and the victims of those crimes aren't particularly happy with their goofy Hollywood reenactment.
"Pain and Gain" is based on a series of 1999 Miami New Times articles by Pete Collins, detailing the misadventures of the Sun Gym gang, whose eventual criminal activities led to murder. (The Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie characters are currently sitting on death row in Florida.) Both police investigators privy to the case and family members of the victims are speaking out against the movie, (which, it should be noted, nobody has actually seen yet).
In an Associated Press report, Zsuzsanna Griga, whose brother and his girlfriend were murdered by the gang, said that the movie's depiction of the criminals as affable goons was "ridiculous." "I don't want the American public to be sympathetic to the killers," she said. Law enforcement officials were equally unhappy. ""You are talking about real people. And in this particular case, especially when you're talking about the murder victims, these were innocent victims," retired Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Felix Jimenez said.
Ed Du Bois, who is played in the movie by Ed Harris, was a private detective who one of the earlier victims hired to retrieve his money. Du Bois says that, at least based on the source material and what he's seen so far, things are pretty true to life. "If you read the original article, the basic elements are in the movie but there is a lot of Hollywood in that movie," he said.
What remains to be seen, of course, is how these characters are actually being portrayed and how closely the movie hedges to the actual events. The film has yet to screen for critics and the Associated Press' request to see the film early was denied.
[h/t HuffPost Entertainment]