Max Payne Not a Payne-ful as You May Think

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I’ve always been a little wary of movies based on video games. Maybe it’s the fact that most are directed by Uwe Boll, which usually means Rotten Tomatoes gets to make good use of their 00% every once in a while.

Resident Evil, Doom, Tomb Raider, Super Mario Bros., Final Fantasy, the list of video game movies goes on and no and continues to grow much like the canon of superhero films Hollywood expands upon each year. Now, we can add one more to the video game list: Max Payne.

Max Payne isn’t a bad movie. It isn’t a great movie. It’s mediocre at best, and considering past video game adaptations, that’s not bad. Fans of the game may not be as kind as I am being, but you can leave your comments later.

Max Payne is like The Punisher but with supernatural elements. Elements that really seem out of place whenever they appear on screen. Maybe it’s because the film doesn’t set up these supernatural occurrences well. I felt they side-tracked the overall narrative.

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So what’s it about? Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) wants to find the person who murdered his wife and baby. With the help of the sexy Mila Kunis (Family Guy, That 70s Show, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), he becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that may cost him his life!

With appearances by Ludacris (Fred Claus), Chris O’Donnell (Batman & Robin), and Beau Bridges (the one not in Iron Man), the cast deck is stacked, but it still doesn’t help the film get over its overarching depression and despair.

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Oh, and by far the best part is the expositional Tattoo Artist who waxes poetic for no discernible reason about Norse mythology. While it’s good to know plot-wise, his willingness to share seems comical. Like in Wayne’s World when Mr. Bigg’s bodyguard (played by Chris Farley) tells Wayne and Garth extraneous information for no reason that they use later in the film.

The one bonus featurette, while interesting, is poor quality, pixilated, and headache-inducing. There’s also a feature commentary.

Max Payne needs a few anti-depressants and some sunlight. But I’ll give it a C.

Max Payne
20th Century Fox
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, and Chris O’Donnell
Unrated version contains violence including intense shooting sequences, drug content, some sexuality and brief strong language.
Running Time = 103 minutes

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