There has never been a good film made from a computer game. Not once. Not
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hitman or Alone in the Dark. Not
Silent Hill, Super Mario Brothers or Doom. Not Resident Evil
or PacMan: The Movie… Okay, I made up that last one. However,
there are many other movies which I have not listed which are just as bad as
the motley crew above.
Max Payne does
not break the losing streak.
problem is a very basic one. Computer games are not about character or plot
or thinking things through. They are about reacting. They are about
stimulus. They usually only have time to impart a very basic plotline
before throwing as much mayhem as possible at the screen.
Visual style is much more important than
substance. The only real ramifications they provide is the possibility of
seeing the words “Game Over” flashing on your screen.
lack of deep thought and background is okay – perhaps even necessary – in a
game. However, it is deadly in a movie.
many ways Max Payne is stylishly filmed and put together and yet at
the same time it is a stylistic mess. The filmmakers couldn’t seem to be
able to decide if it was an old-fashioned noir, a gritty modern urban
nightmare or a futuristic cyberpunk fantasy and thus it becomes an uncomfortable
mish-mash of all of the above.
There are some dueling storylines – all pretty standard claptrap and yet
none of it really makes much sense. It’s also all pretty obvious – you know
who the eventual baddy will be the first time he appears on screen.
(Mark Wahlberg) is a completely deadened cop looking for the man who killed
his wife and baby son. That murder has something to do with the military, a
drug company and these black wraith-like creatures attacking people on the
streets of New York.
in some generic bad-guys, super-powered soldiers, lots and lots of
submachine gun rounds and a Russian assassin played by Mila Kunis. Mila Kunis? Really? I do like her as an actress
and thought she was terrific in her last breakthrough role in Forgetting
Sarah Marshall, but
it’s kind of tough buying her as a cold-blooded hit woman.
lots of explosions, predictable plot twists and some ridiculous stunts (at
one point, Max shoots a bad guy with the gun over his head while he is
falling backwards in slow motion –
at the same time that his target misses
Payne with four
bullets while actually looking at and aiming for him).
all makes little sense, but it’s not supposed to. There are extended scenes
of the audience just sitting back and watching as Max picks off dozens of
bad guys while dodging every bullet coming his way.
sort of like watching someone else play the computer game – only even less
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: January 20, 2009.