There are two fundamental problems with the action "comedy" Pain and Gain: First, Michael Bay is the wrong director for this sort of material, and second, whoever cast the likable Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in the film made a terrible mistake. I like Wahlberg and Johnson, and that's the problem: In the film the criminal masterminds they portray are such losers that it's just wrong to have these two popular actors in these roles.
Pain and Gain is based on real life events: Sun Gym was a cut-rate bodybuilder's gym just north of Miami, marketed and mostly run by a self-aggrandizing personal trainer with a shady past. Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) trains all the rich and beautiful Miami denizens and has a buddy Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) who shares Lugo's dissatisfaction with the crummy deal they've got. "You ain't gunna be rich being a personal trainer" they repeat like a mantra.
Enter rich Jewish entrepreneur Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) who taunts Lugo about his wealth, his cars, his houses and his women. Being poor is a state of mind, Kershaw keeps telling Lugo. When Lugo goes to a motivational seminar run by Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong) and affirms in front of a crowd that he's a DOER not a DON'T'ER, he hatches a scheme to kidnap Kershaw and force him to sign over money and property.
Add fresh-out-of-prison Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) as the new muscle-bound trainer at the gym and we have our three stooges. When Doyle, Lugo and Doorbal kidnap Kershaw, they figure it'll be a breeze, maybe a day or two tops before Kershaw buckles and gives them everything they want. Except he doesn't and the kidnapping drags out for weeks. There's more to their criminal hijinks, and after Kershaw gets free and tells all to the cops, just to find they don't believe him, the forces of justice end up personified as semi-retired private investigator Ed DuBois (Ed Harris).