FILM: PAIN & GAIN
CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie
Director: Michael Bay
Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). Their kidnapping and extortion scheme goes terribly wrong since they have muscles for brains and they’re left to haphazardly try to hold onto the elusive American dream.
FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) – the Fed – and Boston cop Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) – the Fuzz – couldn’t be more incompatible. But when they join forces to bring down a ruthless drug lord, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies.
The Ashburn-Mullins dynamic is akin to that eternal physics problem about an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. Only, here, it’s hard to tell who is which. Ashburn is ambitious, talented, brainy, and possesses Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction and intuition. She’s always the smartest person in the room, and isn’t shy about letting everyone know it. The socially awkward Ashburn has no family, significant other, or even friends. Her only companion is a cat…that belongs to her neighbour.
“We joke about this, but ‘The Heat’ is kind of a love story,” says McCarthy. “Mullins and Ashburn struggle with each other, get past it, and then actually begin to enjoy working together. That brings some heart to the comedy. Nobody wants to watch two goofy people do things poorly. But Ashburn and Mullins together are better than the sum of their individual skills, so you’re rooting for them.”
“Ashburn’s effectiveness as an FBI agent comes from her meticulousness, stubbornness and thoroughness,” says Bullock. “But she’s completely inept when it comes to any kind of social interaction. She’s trying so hard to make up for that particular weakness that she becomes insufferably arrogant on the job. Ashburn is respected but not liked because she isn’t a team player. Every time she opens her mouth, people cringe.”
If Ashburn needs to be taken down a notch, then Mullins is only too happy to oblige.
Mullins, says Melissa McCarthy, is “all kinds of bark, but no bite – though she might actually bite people.” Mullins grew up on the streets of Boston, and has a shoot-from-the-hip (and mouth) style of dealing with crime and its perpetrators. She’s the “yang” to Ashburn’s “yin.” Ashburn likes to get inside people’s heads; Mullins prefers bashing them in.