Survivors angry over 'Pain & Gain' depiction
MIAMI (AP) — The real-life murder, torture and kidnapping case from South Florida that's behind the coming movie "Pain & Gain" indeed reads like a script — just not a funny one.
The fact that the film, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, is an action-comedy has angered survivors of the Sun Gym gang's crimes and those who investigated them nearly two decades ago.
"You are talking about real people. And in this particular case, especially when you're talking about the murder victims, these were innocent victims," said retired Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Felix Jimenez.
Zsuzsanna Griga told The Miami Herald that the movie's depiction of the gang as sympathetic bumblers just trying to get ahead is "ridiculous." Gang members murdered and dismembered her brother and his girlfriend.
"It's horrible what happened to them," said Griga, who lives in Hungary. She could not be reached by The Associated Press. "I don't want the American public to be sympathetic to the killers," she said.
The Paramount film, which opens April 26 and is directed by Michael Bay of "Transformers" and "Armageddon" fame, is adapted from a series of Miami New Times articles about a group of 1990s bodybuilders who hatched a brutal get-rich-quick kidnapping scheme that eventually escalated to murder. Paramount declined comment.
The New Times series told of mastermind Daniel Lugo, played by Wahlberg, his sadistic muscleman Noel Doorbal, played by Anthony Mackie, and Jorge Delgado, who is not portrayed in the movie, who were denizens of the Sun Gym, which was known for its hardcore bodybuilders. Johnson plays Paul Doyle, a fictional member of the crew.