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Max Payne Review

October 20, 2008

Oh joy, another video game based movie. I will answer the first question that should be on your mind. Did Uwe Boll have anything to do with this movie? No and thank god, in fact it’s directed by John Moore. Now this isn’t a world known movie director, but in my opinion it’s not always a good idea to hand someone popular a title like this. Some popular titles you might recognize that he directed is Behind Enemy Lines and a remake of The Omen. If you don’t know anything about the video game, it was released on the PC in 2001 and then released for the xbox and PS2 December of 2001. It was an excellent game, given great reviews by critics and players. Not only did it have an interesting way to tell the story, by hand drawn panel after panel with dialogues in bubbles (just like a comic book), but also had a action packed shooter system. It was the very first to create Bullet Time or what we all call Slow Mo. The Matrix soon followed among a handful of other games that try to improve on the system. A sequel came out, which didn’t do as well and no one really went crazy for it. But it still wasn’t a bad game and now we have a live action movie with Marc Walberg as Max Payne.

Now Marc Walberg is a pretty kick ass actor, hes not as action packed as Vin Deasel, but he does have his own kind of charm on the big screen. Some other well known actors are in this movie, Mila Kunis from that 70’s show as Mona, Beau Bridges from Stargate as BB Hensley, Olga Kurylenko from the new James Bond movie as Mona’s sister, and Ludacris as Jim Bravura. Wait a minute, Ludacris? The rapper? What the hell is he doing in this movie? Well I mean he did an excellent job in the movie Crash but honestly, I don’t see why he was chosen for this part. Marc Walberg did a pretty good job in his roll but there was definitely something missing. He is supposed to play a very dramatic part, Max Payne has lost his wife and his newborn baby because of some drug headed thugs, high on valkyrie running rampant on the streets. One thug could not be found so he joins the DEA to spend his life looking for revenge. Not really an oscar winning plot line but it work’s. So trough out the movie Max Payne has a depressed, blank, expression on his face and from time to time goes into a rage. Marc Walberg at times looks slightly amusing when he is angry and sometimes his emotions just wasn’t there. I would say Beau Bridges might have done the best performance, not enough for any oscar but, who I compare to everyone else who were mediocre at best. I could not take Ludacris seriously trough out the movie and Mila was just there, she might as well have died in the beginning of the movie and it would not have made a difference.

So I mentioned the main plot line but how does it fit into the movie versus the game. Well the main points were all there, Max Payne and his crazy attempts for revenge, hallucinations caused by valkyrie, and most of the main characters. The movie did though screw around with what purpose everyone serves. In the game Mona had a twin sister, Max never knows who to trust and usually gets screwed over by them. In the movie he teams up with Mona right away and her sister (who isn’t a twin) dies right away. The main villain is changed in the movie where as in the game, a female character from the Aesir corporation is who Max is after. The movie does make references to places like Ragnarok, the meaning of valkyrie, and Jack Lupino (who is into witchcraft and demonic things in the game but not shown in the movie.) But there was a very poor choice from the director, which was the fact that Max Payne does not take any painkillers trough out the entire movie, Slow Motion was used about 3 times only, one of which was done for his well know flying jumps, and over all too much lame plot and not enough action. How can you leave out action in this movie with such a cliche plot? How can you leave out the painkillers? He just walks around the movie with bullet holes and acts like its nothing. I didn’t mention that the drug everyone takes is light blue instead of the video game version, which was a poison green color, did I?

The effects in the movie were done pretty well, there was snow constantly falling trough out the city the entire film, demonic flying shadows, and a apocalyptical view of the world. Although I do have another grudge, which is the fact that this movie was rated PG-13 which was another horrible idea. There was almost no blood trough out the movie and a very sexy Olga Kurylenko who couldn’t show off her naked body. Also everyone was taking the drug valkyrie by drinking it, which is ridiculous especially since they even kept the graffiti from the video game where the V in valkyrie has a needle sticking in the middle of the letter. The dialogue in this movie wasn’t horrible, but even though some may find the one from the video game to be laughable, it was still poetic and amazingly done. Most of the time you can tell the video game purposely made fun of its own style but it can be beautiful.

In conclusion there is nothing special about this movie. It isn’t horrible but it doesn’t have an amazing plot line nor does it do anything well in crazy trigger happy action. But this also manages to be uninteresting to the fans of the video game. All the actors could have played better in their roles, the movie should have been rated R, the director should have made the everything more gritty, and there should have been more appeal to the video game fans. I understand that it would be stupid to completely follow what the game did but when you already barley have a genius story line what more are you looking for? I don’t recommend it for movie watchers and I don’t recommend it for the fans until it comes out on DVD. But again it isn’t bad and it isn’t boring.



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