Posted by The Lam | Oct 22, 2008
MAX PAYNE was oh so PAYNEFUL!!!

What a failure this was. An EPIC FAILURE~! And I'll tell you why. This movie had everything going for it which was why it made the failure seem so huge. It had star power. It had a very competent director. The visual style was there. It had a simple storyline... a storyline that was basically fuck-proof because it's so basic. The effects (when there were any) were also pretty great. So where did they go wrong?

Pacing.

If the first two-thirds of the film was like the last third, I think it would have been a fine film. Not great by any means, but fine. I mean, there was hardly any action in the first hour. It was all talk and build up. Every 5 minutes I was saying to myself, "okay, something cool is gonna happen now". But it never came. I think had they added 2 or 3 big action sequences during that hour, that it would have helped the film breathe and flow better. I mean, didn't they realize that the source material was an action game?

Max Payne is based on the video game of the same name following the titular character as he searches for the killers of his family. The storyline in the movie was basically the same, although there were some obvious deviations (crooked corporations instead of gangs and mobs).

Although Marky-Mark's acting was the palest of comparisons to his performance in The Departed, I can forgive it only because in the game Max Payne, those performances were wooden. Ludacris was just a little more than a set decoration in various scenes. The first time he popped up on screen, the theater erupted in laughter (the same thing happened when my friend saw it last week). He's a fine actor, I think it wouldn't of hurt to give him a bit more screen time. Mila Kunis does her best to play a tough chick, but I just can't buy it. She's the scrawny little girl from that 70's Show, and she's too sweet to play the rugged girl. However, she was fine too.

Hats off to the set decorators, editors, and director of photography. They did quite a superb job of disguising Toronto as New York City. I kept looking for clear Canadian landmarks, but couldn't find any. I think I caught a brief glimpse of the Four Seasons Centre though. Oh yeah, and the obvious Bay Station at the beginning.

So in the end, I guess that's the grand tragedy of it all; the potential was all there, it was just squandered. This could have been great. They left the ending open for a sequel, but I have major doubts to whether they'd act on it. Until next time, later geeks.

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7 comments so far.

  1. The Cheap-Arse Film Reviewer October 23, 2008 at 5:10 AM
    That's a damn shame. I still want to see this though, for two reasons- Veriety, of all magazines, actually gave it a half-decent review, and I quite like Mark Wahlberg as an actor.

  2. The Lam October 23, 2008 at 1:17 PM
    I had the same feeling. I knew that most of the reviews were atrocious, but I still did want to see it. In Toronto, on Tuesdays they have $5 tickets (instead of the regular $10-$12). I'd say that it was worth my $5, nothing more.

  3. Mike October 23, 2008 at 10:00 PM
    I seems they will never get a video game movie right. High hopes for this one but sounds like a dud.

    Mark Wahlberg movies seem to be hit and miss, either they really suck or they are really good.

  4. David Wornica October 23, 2008 at 11:47 PM
    I probably wasn't going to see this one due to some of the horrible video game adaptations I've seen in the past, but I think this review cinched it for me.

    I'll spend the $5.50 on an NES game or something.

  5. Rudjard October 28, 2008 at 5:36 PM
    almost every video game turned movie ended up flop. Resident Evil is my exception...yeah MAX PAYNE turned lame very lame even the story weren't so good. not good value for your hard-earned allowance. LOL

  6. kenwooi November 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM
    I just watched it. Was just fine for me. Lots of suspense in it.

  7. The Lam November 1, 2008 at 9:24 PM
    @Dave:
    Hahaha, an NES game would be more well spent!

    @rudjard:
    There hasn't been any video game movie that I've really liked yet, I'm still waiting for it. But at least you enjoyed RE.

    @kenwooi:
    Well, I'm glad that the movie at least worked for you.

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