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Max Payne
5 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
John Moore

Written By:
Shawn Ryan, Sam Lake, Beau Thorne

Cast:
Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Donal Logue, Chris O'Donnell, Kate Burton, Ted Atherton, Bill Boyd, Amaury Nolasco, Andrew Friedman, Conrad Pla, Warren Belle, Stephen R. Hart, Pj Lazic, Duncan Key, Rico Simonini, Jamie Hector, Joel Gordon, Marianthi Evans, Nelly Furtado, Jamie Hector, Siobhan Murphy, Genadijs Dolganovs

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Max Payne (2008)
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Movie Review by Chris
January 27th, 2009

To say 'Max Payne' fails as a movie seems to harsh, and to say it succeeds on all levels is giving it a little to much credit, but saying its a passable video game adaptation is more reasonable. Released on the Playstation 2, Max Payne was a series of video games all bent around a detective getting revenge for the murder of his son and wife. The first game was titled "Max Payne", and was a really cool third person shooter, it was dark and violent, everything we wanted to see in a video game. The second game, "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" was the end to the series, both games followed on similar paths in terms of plot and such. 'Max Payne' the film takes a little from both game and puts it into 100 minutes of film time, which seems to be the reason why the movie wasnt as good. Though both games dealt with Max on this revenge path, the second game got a little more complicated with the plot and it was more complex, so when we add the two together things get complicated.

Director John Moore does a well job with adapting the video game to the big screen, visually more then anything else. The games were dark and used a great deal of shadows for little effects like a quick scare or something like that, but the film added a whole new level to that. The movie adds a drug called Valkyr, in which soldiers were taken to make them invincible, but then the drug went wrong and it became addicting. The people who took this drug saw demons and weird, freaky things like that. The film uses this for a lot of visual impressment, they make noises and are mainly seen in shadows, this takes away some of the reality but the movie was never meant to be real. It isnt anything to different to see that here we have another movie that worries so much about the visual look, and loses the plot and characters.

In fact the only real great thing about 'Max Payne' is the very few action scenes scattered throughout the movie. This yet lies another huge problem with the film, it's advertised as an action movie, tells a dramatic story and never becomes quite entertaining. It's actually a really boring movie, sad to say but John Moore just couldnt find that pace needed to keep us hooked for a little over an hour and a half. Now I love a good action scene, this is where the film picks up a little bit. The scenes are very well crafted and performed, with plenty of little things blowing up or getting destroyed. Though the movie was benched with a PG-13 rating, I saw the unrated DVD release. There is some more violence, which passes an appaerant PG-13 rating and I think the film was a little more entertaining with a little blood. There are some slow motion scenes throughout, but they felt like more just a waste of time, none of them really worth mentioning to much.

Mark Whalberg is a very predictable choice for the title role of Detective Max Payne, one whom never shows emotions and is very tough. Whalberg is a solid actor, he played a well performance in Invincible and has been seen throughout in other action films such as Four Brothers and Shooter. So he knows how to shoot a gun, but even in the video game, Max Payne is very oriented around the character, whom remains a mystery to the audience. We never know what hes thinking or anything like that, I guess the stone facial expressions are just a large part of character. Mark shows barely any emotion and I dont know if this is a good or bad thing, but Im very mixed about that. Though we see Payne as a hard boiled cop, Whalberg couldve put more emotion into the scene where he finds his dead wife and other examples like that.

Mila Kunis plays as Payne's little side-kick Mona Sax, who's sister was found dead after leaving Payne's apartment. Mila doesnt have to large of a role, but she should stick more with That 70's Show instead of roles like this. She's very bland and never really seems to try that often, plus her character is very bland and I wouldve liked to actually know who she is. Some more enthusiasm wouldve been acceptable from her as well. Beau Bridges plays a nice little part as BB, a friend of Max's family who turns out to be more against him then with him. There wasnt much characters in the games, besides a few detective and what not but overall the whole game was focused on shooting baddies with guns.

'Max Payne' is very flawed, the film is described best by saying that. The action is terrific, but the plot is confusing and the acting is very average. If your an action person then I say see this for the few chosen scenes, but other then that this is definitely not a must see unless your a die hard fan of the game like I was. It's dissapointing.

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