Thursday, October 16, 2008

Max Payne (2008)



Max Payne is a celebrated game, and with its film-noir/graphic novel roots, becomes an easy property to adapt for a movie. Yet, Uwe Boll... no, John Moore botched it up. The movie plays out like a cheaply-written foreword to what a real movie could have been. Although the visuals are spot-on, with muted and gray colors, bleak and contrasting visuals and especially the way the camera follows Max Payne in most of his movements, just like the game, that is all the movie picks of what made the game a success. The game’s omnipresent voice-over narration by the titular character did begin the movie, but it dies a natural death hardly ten minutes in.

Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg, back in Happening mode) is an NYPD detective whose family was left murdered one fateful day. He spends subsequent months hunting for one escaped killer. The movie picks up from when the dead-case heats up, and Max finds himself episodically partnered with a female assassin out of high-school.

Max Payne really has nothing to go for it. The story itself takes you nowhere and the action sequences – the main expectation from this movie – leave a lot to be desired. Mark Wahlberg himself evokes no empathy or sympathy as we mechanically follow him from point to point in an inactive trance. The absurd obviousness of the antagonists for the audience also makes the entire runtime of the movie a ritual waste. To make it worse, all the “cool shots” were used up for the trailer. It ends up like a dream-less sleep – a lot of time goes by being inactive, but you are still tired at the end of it. Eventually, the anticipated end-credits come as a blessing.

Eventually, the only thing to remember about this movie will be the effective use of Marilyn Manson’s “If I was your Vampire” for its trailer.

My rating --> 1 of 5

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