How well do you remember Pain & Gain?

Torrance Grey

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

This 2013 film about three bodybuilders "masterminding" a criminal get-rich-quick plan gave us three leads with great comic chemistry and a twisted, anything-that-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong plot. Test your memory of this Michael Bay outing with our quiz!

In what American city does "Pain & Gain" take place?

"Pain & Gain" is based on actual events. But it also takes the usual liberties -- streamlining events and creating at least one composite character.

The film's opening and closing line is, "I'm Daniel Lugo, and I believe in ____________."

If only he'd stopped there! But Lugo isn't content to just be a personal trainer all his life, or even to move up to gym management or ownership. Sigh.

What is the name of the gym where Daniel (Mark Wahlberg) works?

Daniel is a trainer there, where clients like to ruffle his hair and slap his shoulder. He says that the motivation, in part, for a kidnapping and extortion plot was that "I wanted clients to stop petting me."

Who played Adrian Doorbal, the first accomplice Daniel recruits?

Mackie plays against type as an innocent dimwit in the film. His main motivation in joining Lugo's criminal plot is that he needs money for injections to overcome steroid-induced impotence.

Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) is different from the other two in what way?

This is a bit of a trick question, as Doyle is the one strongly identified as an ex-convict. However, Daniel also served time, in a white-collar prison, for an investment scam. What truly differentiates Doyle is that he's the only one with strong religious feelings.

Who played Victor Kershaw, the rich Sun Gym client?

Albert Brooks was originally sought to play the role. Then John Turturro got involved, but had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts, at which point Shalhoub was cast.

According to Kershaw, who invented salad?

Kershaw seems to enjoy having a captive audience in his trainer, Daniel. He also cracks wise about the problem with weights: "They're so heavy."

According to Johnny Wu, what are the two kinds of people in the world?

Johnny Wu was reportedly based on Tommy Vu, who did a number of infomercials in the '90s. In the movie, he's played by character actor Ken Jeong.

What is Adrian adding to his drink at the strip club?

We're hoping this is an exaggeration of the bizarre things bodybuilders ingest to gain muscle. But given their obsession with dietary supplementation, we can't be sure this hasn't happened in real life.

All three lead actors packed on muscle for their roles. What was their combined weight?

Wow. Let's all take a moment to reflect on how many Kardashians it would require to make up that total. (Rob doesn't count.)

Who played the nurse, Robin, whom Adrian fell for?

Comedienne Wilson also played "Fat Amy" in "Pitch Perfect." (Bonus points if you knew the other three were her co-stars in that movie.)

What is the crew's code name for Kershaw?

Kershaw's expensive house is therefore the "Eagle's Nest." They first go there to kidnap him, but he's having Shabbat with his family, so they abort.

During their attempt to kidnap Kershaw in a parking lot, what is Adrian dressed as?

Aliens -- always depicted as having big black watermelon-seed eyes and incredibly pointed chins -- were huge in the '90s. It'd probably be a lot harder to find that costume nowadays.

What is Kershaw's nickname?

Kershaw was born in Colombia, where his grandfather fled to during the Holocaust. This seems to give him a certain amount of grit, as he doesn't easily roll over to the kidnappers' demands.

How does Kershaw recognize Daniel?

Pro tip: If you're ever kidnapped for ransom, don't let on that you recognize your kidnappers. This is, of course, why Daniel decides he has to kill Kershaw rather than let him go.

What magazine does Paul Doyle read while watching Kershaw?

Paul was difficult to talk into joining the plot. Having served time, he apparently has genuine religious feelings ... until the temptation of money just becomes too strong.

What kind of dog does the crew steal from Kershaw?

The dog, named "Tasty Reuben," was an attractive brown-brindle greyhound. After Robin takes to him, he becomes her pet, shared with Adrian.

When meeting the bank officer, where does Daniel say that Kershaw is?

Poor Daniel -- he tries so hard. But if there are any elephants in Europe, the only things they need to be saved from are zoos and circuses.

Who played John Mese, Sun Gym's owner?

Corddry specializes in fast-talking untrustworthy characters. John Mese isn't a bad guy at first, but he gets drawn into the criminal plot because he has something Daniel can't do without. Speaking of which ...

What essential thing does Daniel need from John Mese?

Daniel eventually gets Kershaw to sign away his home and assets, but he obviously can't bring the kidnapped man to a bank office for notarization. That's where Mese -- rather conveniently a notary -- comes in.

What do Kershaw and Paul Doyle bond over?

Kershaw isn't Christian, born-again or otherwise. He's Jewish, as the prominent Star of David he wears in an early scene makes clear.

What name does Kershaw give Paul?

"Eldad" means "beloved of God" in Hebrew. Kershaw, who by now has faked a conversion to Christianity at Paul's urging, is playing on Paul's religious feelings.

Which of the following is NOT a way that the crew tries to kill Kershaw?

Of course, crashing the car and setting it on fire were done with Kershaw inside. Then, when he staggers out of the burning car and falls to the ground, they try running him over. None of this works.

Why doesn't the first killing attempt, crashing the car, kill Kershaw?

"You fastened his seat belt?" demands Daniel, in one of the movie's funniest lines. Adrian, perhaps the dimmest of the three, explains that it's against the law not to buckle up.

Why don't the police believe Kershaw's story of being kidnapped?

The detectives sent out to interview Kershaw think that his kidnapping -- if there even was one -- must be due to an involvement in the drug trade, possibly with a gay sex angle. It doesn't help that Lugo's crew forced him to drink a ton of liquor, either.

Which member of the crew falls into cocaine use?

After the kidnapping and near-murder, Paul's religious convictions take a further beating when he discovers how much he likes cocaine. This is hard on his dwindling funds, which are already low from supporting Sorina in the style she prefers.

Which member of the crew loses a toe in a botched armored-car robbery?

Paul's robbery lacks the finesse (such as it was) of Kershaw's kidnapping. He simply bashes a guard with a tire iron and grabs the money bag. Things proceed from there as well as you'd expect.

What does the crew's next target, Frank Griga, do for a living?

Frank is the third-richest man in Golden Beach. He came to Paul's notice, earlier, when he took Sorina away from Paul at the strip club.

How does Frank Griga die?

Of course, if he hadn't been lying on the floor, this wouldn't have happened. He was there because of a fistfight with Daniel, provoked when Griga asked to speak to "board members" involved in Daniel's (supposed) investment.

How does Krizstina, Griga's wife, die?

From here, the movie descends into the crew's lengthy, grisly attempts to dispose of both bodies. It's here that it becomes clear that, no matter how comic the movie is, these were some really awful crimes.

Daniel escapes Miami in Kershaw's boat. What kind of boat is it?

Yup, that's really what it's called. These slim, quck boats are also sometimes called "cigarette boats" and are a favorite of smugglers.

What's in Kershaw's safe-deposit box in the Bahamas?

Though Kershaw had a certain rough-edged charm earlier, this is where we really see his human side. He's boasted about his "offshore accounts," but it's really old photos of his grandparents and parents -- evidently, the things he values most.

Who played Ed Du Bois, the private detective who pulled all the evidence together?

Du Bois is that classic figure of crime fiction: the decent middle-class guy who's content with what he has. This makes him the ideal, detached third party who can distinguish the truth from the lies.

Which character in "Pain & Gain" was actually a composite?

The actual Sun Gym gang was larger than three guys, and "Paul Doyle" was a composite of several men (one of whom was quite religious) who backed up Lugo and Dorbal. Meanwhile, "Sorina Luminata" is a fake name, but there was a real go-go dancer who fell under Lugo's influence.

This film was released in 2013. In what time period, though, is it set?

If you check out online trivia, a number of people have enjoyed pointing out props that don't match the time period, like a version of a Nintendo Gamecube that wasn't released until the 2000s. Come on, people: It's only a movie!

"Pain & Gain" was based on what source material?

"New Times" is a chain of American newsweeklies that focus on feature and investigative stories, not day-to-day news. If you're interested in learning more about the facts of the Sun Gym gang's crimes, you don't have to look up the archived articles -- they were made into a book, "Pain & Gain: This Is a True Story."

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