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Max Payne - Review

Category: , , By Manu
Who doesn't know Max Payne - the vengeful NYPD cop with a constipated expression who chews pain killers like its Tic-Tac and shoot all the bad guys to hell? The New York City Police officer was immortalized by the groundbreaking video game of the same name. With all this baggage on it one would expect the film based on the video game to be a big hit. Well, expectations are meant to be broken.

I started to watch Max Payne with a pretty high expectation. I'm a big fan of the video game and loved the graphic novel style story telling in the game. Even though the trailers led me to believe its a different story from the game (with supernatural stuff) I was still hopeful. The movie opened with the scene in the trailer- Max Payne drowning in icy water. Then it goes back 1 week just like in the game. The plot is pretty much the same as the game. We see Max in the Cold Case Department still knocking down doors looking for his wife's murderers. The whole atmosphere is dark and reminded me of the atmosphere of the game. He seeks revenge and stumbles upon a lead linking his wife's murder to Aesir Pharmaceuticals and a drug which was developed for the military and shut down because if side effects(Like we haven't heard that one before). In between he teams up with Mona Sax who does pretty much nothing but shoots up a couple of people.

The first 30 minutes or so was average or below average. I almost wrote off the movie as another "video game turned movie" crap. But just then it picked up some pace and story. The Film Noir like story telling was intriguing at first. The picturesque New York city was visually pleasing. The slo-mo take was good. Don't get me wrong. The acting and dialogues were below par. May be because almost all my expectations were washed away during the first 30 minutes i enjoyed the next few minutes.

But then things took a turn for the worse. The drugs and Valkyries run amok and wreak havoc in viewer's minds, any Jack ass can guess the "big surprise", and the director decides to use the slo-mo for two more excruciating times. I wanted to yell-"Enough with the slo-mo already". The climax is as stupid as it can get. Though visually pleasing, the climax lacked sensibility, finesse, style, everything. What could have been a really exciting action sequence was totally ruined. Even the horrible "Hitman" had better action sequences than this.

After the "Big surprise" we return to present time and Max decides its not time to die and goes up and get to land. Then as if he doesn't have enough problems he takes the drug which is the root cause of all the problems (like thats going to help..Please..). Then he and the director goes mad and Valkyries begin to appear, sky turns to fire, in short Max Payne gets high. What a mess?.. What follows is a sequence that does nothing to move the people who watch the movie. We just sit through the horrible acting and incomprehensibly stupid things that is going on on the screen. And to top it all off the big finale, the big face off between Max and the guy who killed his wife - single gun shot, no dialogues, no fights, nothing. I was like.. WTF??? ...

Mark Wahlberg plays Max Payne and Mila Kunis as Mona Sax. I love Mark Wahlberg and liked many of his movies-Departed, Invincible, Shooter etc. I have never thought him to be a bad actor. But i have to say he did a really bad job in Max Payne. He did good in capturing the walk and mannerisms of the Max in the game. But he was just a bad actor in the movie. Olga Kurylenko does pretty much nothing other than be pleasing to the eye and show a little skin. She dies pretty soon. I love Mila Kunis cause of her character in "That 70's show". She is never a great actress but I think she is cute. I thought she did a pretty neat job in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". But in this movie she is not used at all. She appears in few scenes with a single expression throughout the movie and shoots a couple of people. The casting of Ludacris as Jim Bravura, "a generic cop who just wants to solve the case", is debatable. He also does pretty much nothing in the film except bring a little more misfortune to our hero, Max Payne. Beau Bridges as BB Hensley an old time ally of Max payne does a pretty good job as he always do but not enough to redeem the film.

My Verdict - A movie that starts out a little promising soon turns in to an incomprehensible mess that fails to qualify as a movie. A visually appealing flop. A brave move to include supposedly supernatural elements but could have handled better. What could have been a really exciting action movie was totally ruined. Even if it was a mindless shoot-fest, I would have liked it better than what it is now.
My rating - 1/5 The one solely cause I love the character Max Payne and because the film was visually a little appealing.

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