More TV Memories – Max Payne.

Max Payne (2008)

This is an American film that I was interested in seeing, although this one definitely isn’t in the genre of comedy (well not intentionally anyway). This is a film that is based on a successful computer game, and being interested in games, I do find it interesting to see how these characters are going to be brought to life, and who will play them.

I actually reviewed the game version of Max Payne a while ago (maybe it’s about time that I reviewed some more games one day soon). Again, this is away from a genre that usually takes my attention, but the magazine hype machine went into overload even by its own standards. If I didn’t buy this one and think that it’s the best, I’ll be a right wally apparently, and I wouldn’t want that now would I.

So I got the PlayStation 2 version, and it really was an experience, being rather grim and violent. The plot of the first game is essentially reused for the film, with Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. Max is a cop in New York, but he has had enough of everything, he wants to break the rules, and leave seemingly dozens of innocent (and not so innocent) men writhing around on the floor hurt in his quest for justice.

It’s not all senseless, as a shot here, and an explosion there, brings him closer to his revenge. There is a rather decent cast supporting Wahlberg, including Mila Kunis (of Family Guy fame), along with Beau Bridges and Chris Bridges (no relation). Because I’m more into comedy, it seems that I look for the laughs or odd moments in films even as bleak as this one. I am reminded of when the first game was released, and critics said that Max had a “constipated” look on his face.

It was felt that this made his macho shooting unintentionally amusing. But when I was looking for reviews of this film, most of them concentrated on the Bullet Time-style effects, and the feeling that this was all taking itself far too seriously, but I did see one critic independently of the game reviews say that Wahlberg’s performance came across as “constipated”.

Now I don’t think that this was supposed to be a compliment, but it would seem that he managed to play the mood of the character just right. I think that Max Payne has been shown on TV in this country, fitting into the very late slot on Film4 rather well, that’s for sure. DVD extras include a look behind the scenes, and a use of the graphic novel style to explain the plot like the game did.

The picture on the cover of the DVD is nice and shiny too, er, I’m stretching too far to find positive things to say now. A sequel was briefly threatened/promised (delete as applicable) but never materialised. I’ll review another game-turned-film soon, along with a couple more Wahlberg films, which definitely are in the comedy genre that I’m more used to.


One thought on “More TV Memories – Max Payne.

  1. Des Elmes says:

    Its current IMDb rating is 5.3 – making it considerably better than the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film (4.1) and the 1994 Street Fighter film (4.0), but slightly poorer than the two Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider films (the first 5.7, The Cradle of Life 5.5).

    And again, I *know* that IMDb ratings don’t tell the complete story… 😉


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