Iron Man 3 vs. Pain & Gain: Comparing Miami's Biggest Summer Movies

Categories: Film and TV

Iron Man 3, opening Friday, is partially set in Miami.
It's been a huge week for Miami on the big screen. Last Friday, Pain & Gain opened nationwide, bringing Pete Collins' New Times tale of bodybuilders' extortion schemes gone wrong to audiences across the nation. Meanwhile, in theaters from Japan to Portugal, Iron Man 3 wowed Marvel fans, creating enormous expectations for American viewers who'll pack cineplexes to see it when it opens in the States this weekend.

Both movies were made, at least in part, in Miami. Michael Bay spent months on various locations around town to capture that inimitable Miami ambiance. Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, meanwhile, brought his cameras to Vizcaya and a couple of other Miami locales. But until now, we didn't know just how much Miami we'd get to see in the third installment of the Tony Stark saga.

Turns out it's a pretty hefty chunk of the film. That means Miami is the star of two consecutive number one box office hits (unless something beats Iron Man 3 this Friday, which: no). And she's a versatile actress too, because once you get past the explosions and the testosterone, these two films couldn't be more different. Here's why.

See also:
- First Iron Man 3 Trailer: Kick-Ass Villains, Awesome Explosions, and Tony Stark as Zombie Jesus
- Iron Man 3 : Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, and Guy Pearce On Location in Miami

- Pain & Gain: Mark Wahlberg and The Rock Are American Idiots Gone Bad

Miami vs. Not Miami
Pain & Gain, as we've written before, is an only-in-Miami story. That's part of why Bay filmed it here; the city is an inextricable part of the plot.

In Iron Man 3, on the other hand, Black had just a few requirements: a fancy mansion, an ocean, and a wide-open space where a bunch of stuff can blow up. Miami has the ocean, Miami has Vizcaya, and Miami has, uh, the other thing. (We don't want to spoil it for you.)

That doesn't mean Miami is more recognizable in Pain & Gain; seeing Tony Stark amid its skyline, buildings, and bridges add extra geeky giddiness for Magic City audiences. But while Pain & Gain is a story about Miami, Iron Man 3 is a story that just happens to take place, in part, in Miami.

Advantage: Pain & Gain

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