Rated PG-13 for violence including intense shooting sequences, drug content, some sexuality and brief strong language.
Directed By: John Moore
Written By: Beau Thorne
Staring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Chris O’Donnell, and Donal Logue
I don’t believe in Heaven. I believe in Pain. I believe in Fear. I believe in Death. -Max Payne
Coming together to solve a series of murders in New York City are a DEA agent whose family was slain as part of a conspiracy and an assassin out to avenge her sister’s death. The duo will be hunted by the police, the mob, and a ruthless corporation.
What on the planet was anyone thinking when they conceived this movie? I hate to jump on the anti-Max Payne bandwagon here, but it was just atrocious. It’s difficult even to know where to begin it was so desperately bad. The plot, the action, the pretentious cinematography, and ridiculous characters all made this movie a complete failure.
Max Payne may have lacked in numerous departments, but much of it could have been forgivable if the pacing and action held up. This was not the case. The transitions were slow and banal, and the action never really even kicked in until the final ten minutes, and it was so anti-climatic it wasn’t close to a pay-off for the first hour and a half of lameness. This movie is actually labeled an action movie, and it was absolutely one of the most boring movies I’ve seen in a long time. Even as annoying as Pearl Harbor was, it managed to keep me moderately interested in the next bad line BenAffleck would deliver.
The plot itself is trying way too hard, when it really just boils down to a crime caper/espionage type film that was overdone with outrageous cinematography. After the first few “demon” shots, and the snow coming down in slow motion, I could not take another slow motion shot. As though the world has never seen snow fall before. Was the director’s intent to draw out the suspense for the next encumbering moment? All it did was put me to sleep. Literally. I fell asleep nearly an hour into it, and not because I was tired, but because there was nothing to stay awake for, or perhaps my mind just shut itself down to protect itself from downloading anymore wasted information.
The acting wasn’t bad, but that’s not saying much. There is essentially no dialogue, and Wahlberg spends the majority of the film brooding and looking angry. He was far too talented to be playing such a simplistic part. Mila Kunis is stunning to look at, and she did fine in her role, but I never understood the importance of her character being involved in the story at all. After the first scene or so it was obvious she and her sister weren’t necessary components to build the plot anymore. They were conveniently thrown in as eye candy, probably another hopeful distraction from the fact that there really wasn’t a screenplay, just a few idea’s to shoot snow and hallucinations and call it a movie.
I’m a gamer but I’ve never really played Max Payne, so I’m unsure how this would appeal to those in the gaming world, but from the sounds of it the game is far more complex than the film was. I just couldn’t recommend this movie to anyone. Beyond any non-expectations I had, I at least figured for some decent action moments and even they were totally unremarkable. The final scene and it’s close is insulting to anyone who has a brain, but then most of the movie is. Max Payne got part of it right, it was a pain to view.