Max Payne (2008) Poster


User Reviews

Add a Review
401 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
How do you have this bad of a script?
alaric318 October 2008
Max Payne was a game that was born of Film Noir and John Woo. This movie? Voice overs = 1 or two. (There was hope in the opening but then nothing) Action scenes = minimal. (Not too bad other than being sparse) Acting = very good for what little the script offers. (The actors do not deserve the blame for this atrocity unless it is for choosing to do this script.) Scenery/Cinematography = Brilliant but wasted on scenes like 8 minutes picking up a folder with no conflict in the scene. (The scenery was impressively accurate to the game. I kept feeling like it was going to get better because of it. Then nothing would happen.)

I wanted this to be good. I kept lying to myself and saying it would get better any minute.

People who say I am disappointed because it isn't the video game need to understand I didn't want the video game I wanted an action film that captured the essence of the game.

We are left with no reason to care for Max Payne. If I was the writer I would have been ashamed to have my name attached.

Max Payne got the Indy treatment.

I really want my money back on this one. I felt insulted that they thought this script was a passable story.
505 out of 671 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Did anyone who made this film even play the game?
jhanke-218 October 2008
We know that Mark Wahlberg refused to play Rockstar's "Max Payne" game before performing in this film, but, in addition, I must assume that neither the director nor the screenwriter ever played this game before, either. If there weren't so many shots of the background scenery that tied in with the game (although they were never fully or, in some cases, partially explored), I would assume that no one involved in the movie had even seen cut scenes from the game. I would have assumed that they got a one paragraph synopsis on the game, with character names, and just made up their own story that barely connected to the game storyline.

When this movie was made for a "PG-13" rating instead of an "R" rating, most of the fans were nervous. And, after seeing the train wreck this film became, it's clear to see that our worst fears were realized. Worse even than whether this works as a movie adaptation of a video game is whether this film would works as a movie if you have no knowledge of the video game. Unfortunately, if you went to see this film looking for an action flick, you would say that this was one of the most boring, yawn-inducing films you'd seen in the action genre.

The lack of narration throughout this film, the lack of a solid action director like John Woo (who knows how to do slow-mo), and the lack of anyone from the Rockstar team helping with screen writing added up to what can only be described as a hollow, dull film that has virtually no tie to the amazing game that spawned it. The studio system strikes again.
616 out of 855 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
oh my god what happened
Laughingman5 April 2009
No spoiler here - it doesn't need one, its already spoiled!

OK so I am biased, having played both games to completion several times over I loved them both - dark, gritty, twisted, film noir greatness. the games, as most will no doubt know, were almost a scripted story board that was ready to go as a movie - seriously it should have been easy - don't bother with script writers - the script was already there, the games are a screen play! even down to camera angles and lighting - it should have been a no brainer. I would love to know what would have happened in the production crew and actors had actually played the game, but alas I suspect they had a treatment to work with and they just ran with that - Mark was an awesome choice for the role of Max but there it stops.

My big question is if your going to make a film of a great game why risk alienating the original fan base by not sticking with the already existing story line and instead running with an "off the shelf" plot (that was on the shelf for a good reason - it sucked!) and just putting in the appropriate names.

So whats next? do we have to now watch as Hollywood works it's way through more games - maybe Halflife? or Deus Ex - both could make awesome films but if this is what they are going to do with them why bother.

Simply put if your going to make a movie from an award winning game that sold in the millions - STICK WITH THE f*&KING STORY! games designers spend a lot of time making great games with great stories - gamers spend a lot of time enjoying them where the hell does some half arsed hack of a director get off knocking out crap like this. Yes its a given you name a film after a game with this sort of following and it will sell seats in the cinema - but do a good job of it- stick to the story and it will be a blockbuster! - it can be done - they said that Lord of the Rings and The Watchmen couldn't be done - but they were and were fantastic - granted they aren't games but the principle is the same - you research the material of the story before you make the film - get some of the original artists and creative producers involved instead of knocking out crap like this, it's not fair on the fans - and thats who the film is made for surely - do it well and they will market the game via word of mouth far better than any amount of trailers and hype will ever do and that means more money for the producers, I really don't understand why you would do it any other way.
108 out of 149 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Without being compared to the game.
Jan Strydom9 March 2009
Mark Wahlberg plays popular game hero Max Payne, a cop who sets out to find the man who killed his wife and child, while doing so he uncovers a potential conspiracy that could lead him to the killer.

While Max Payne boasts a great tone, atmosphere and great cinematography, the overall film wasn't really all that great, the acting was tough to judge, there were some good performances but the actors seem like they didn't have much to work with, the action scenes are minimal, and was just a ton of shooting and they weren't all that exciting, however if you are interested in this film, you can watch it, but I feel that there are better options.

Without comparing it to the game, I felt they could have done more to make it a bit more interesting and exciting, and possibly add more to Max Payne's back story and they could've been more inventive with the action scenes instead of making people just shoot at each other.

Otherwise, its a good concept and is well shot, but the execution needed a little more work.
72 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
From a die hard fan: this is a terrible film
Mr. Man-319 October 2008
I've had the pleasure of beating both Max Payne 1 and 2, so let us start this off by saying I like the games a great deal. At the very least I expected a dumb, entertaining action film. What I was shocked to find was a film so poorly made I am impressed that Mr. Moore actually put his name on the credits.

In the games Max is pushed over the edge and goes on a rampage of survival and revenge. He works his way up from person to person and every once in awhile, he has crazy dream sequences. Throughout there is a dry wit and extremely overdone noir dialog. It's so over the top, it's hard not to like.

I have no idea why the filmmakers chose not to follow that fairly basic plot setup because the replacement is absolutely horrific. The movie wobbles from scene to scene, alternating from making no sense at all to making Max and every other character in the movie look like complete morons.

What's further astounding is that the film can't even get the basics down. This is the worst directed film I've seen in over a year. It's pretty but the action is sparse and boring. Conversations are so badly shot it's no wonder that the whole theater was laughing at most of the scenes. At least one actor turns in a performance so stiff he should be declared legally dead.

And as for the 'staying true to the game' part? Well, they had some slow motion shots, but beyond that, all the style, humor, and over the top action is missing.

Alright, I'm done. I still can't believe the film was that bad. Oy!
596 out of 900 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Was this really supposed to be Max Payne?
edgecrusher024 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
First let me start by saying I am a big fan of the game and I still remember it to this day. With that said, this movie was maybe 25% like the game, I'm probably being generous here. The first hour was a boring predictable detective movie. The character in this movie was not Max Payne in any way except by name. More than half the characters were left out and on top of that the only story they used was the fact that his family was killed and it had something to do with the drug Valkyr. Instead of Max being a cop with "nothing to lose" and on the run like the original story suggests, he is merely a suspect in his partners murder therefore getting rid of the suspense of the whole cop on the run thing. They left out how it was narrated which was pretty much the way this noir story should have been told. Also the cryptic theme song that set the tone of the game was discarded like it meant nothing. They used what one crazy guy in the game claimed he saw while on valkyr as the base for the whole movie, there were no demons/angels or whatever they were in the original story, they felt VERY out of place. Basically they replaced story and substance with cool special effects and a big name actor, obviously in this case not a good trade. You barely get a chance to know Max before it abruptly ends in an unsatisfying way. Mark Wahlberg admitted to not playing the game therefore he had no idea how the character he was playing was supposed to be, way to research the role Marky Mark. On top of getting a mediocre director who obviously had no idea what source material he was really dealing with, this movie was doomed from the start. I really hope this franchise goes the way of the last 2 hulk movies, a terrible one gets made and then someone steps up and makes it the way its supposed to be. So who's going to step up and save Max Payne? If you like and remember the game, DO NOT see this movie, you might be better off watching Bloodrayne again.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
strongly urging you NOT to see this film
pixelblink28 October 2008
"I don't believe in angels, but I believe in pain..." Those opening lines of the movie can only mean one thing, trite bull****. I don't know what the people over at Fox Studios were doing when the subject of making a movie out of one of the best shoot 'em up, film noir inspired, and heart racing video game franchises came up for discussion. It certainly wasn't "Hey, we should play the game to see what this thing is all about." Nope. It was more like "Hey! This game made a lot of money. Someone quickly tell me what the back of the box says about the game and we'll write a crappy screenplay around it and miscast the whole thing." Mark Wahlberg plays Max Payne, the brutal, no holds barred and out for revenge cop from the video game of the same name... but wait! They rewrote nearly the whole character. He couldn't seem to give a rats ass about his murdered wife and child except for a few bland flashbacks. The acting is so misplaced and frozen in this movie and adding the likes of Mila Kunis, Chris O'Donnell, Ludicrous (holy crap what were they thinking?), and Beau Bridges didn't really give them much of a leg to stand on.

To sum it all up, I felt like falling asleep during the film (a feat not so easily accomplished for me). This was an action movie turned into a long boring drama with a few shooting sequences.

Don't waste your money. Rent 'Shoot Em Up' instead
220 out of 345 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
a-seiwald-14 February 2009
I never thought it was possible to turn a story that great into such a terrible movie...

First let me say I loved the games, I love action movies, crime movies, film noir and thrillers, film noir and thrillers, but

I hate this film, I really hate it. It is nothing like it should be, everything is missing - the drama, the violence( which really is an important part of the tragical tale of max payne), the dark humor, the characters... everything.

Max payne is the tale of a man who looses everything, who doesn't care about anything but personal justice any more and just fights his way through, getting in a worse condition every minute - he gets beaten up, he gets shot and drugged and yet he never gives up.

Personally I found many aspects of max payne in sin city.

The Max Payne movie however is like the children's edition, there is no pain, no blood( red is the third color next to black and white that is actually needed in max payne), no great bullettime actions, no film noir. The great characters from the game seem all ridiculous, like nicole horn (the evil mastermind) acts like the friendly ant from next door, BB is not nearly the cool suit he should be, no alfred wooden !?, jim bravura needs to be that old wasted guy from the game - and also the extremely precious sideline characters like vinnie (who was such fun to meet in the game) seem all wrong.

When they would just have filmed game scene after game scene, level for level the would have provided a better story. The included the wrong unimportant plots from the game but ignored the stuff that really matters.

They should have let the guy who cut the trailer make the film, cause it was really an awesome trailer that actually captured a pretty good image of the original Max Payne style.

The great funny scenes are gone completely too, you never have to laugh at all, nothing like a gansta in a capt. baseball bat suit...

Really, really terrible.

The 2 points I give because there are actually some nice images like the valkyries and the drug trips - and because of the super gorgeous Natascha^^ (sister of mona) ... who max did not sleep with, another reason to hate the movie, one of many though...
78 out of 122 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not a Gamer, This movie is Awful
baobabble1 March 2009
A movie shouldn't really be rated on its quality as an adaptation. Rather it should be rated on character development, storytelling, suspense, etc. Honestly, this story had potential. I was decently intrigued for about the first 15 minutes. But that just makes it worse because it got my hopes up.

I'm not sure why I sat through it. The ending was utterly predictable.. and not the kind that makes you feel clever for figuring it out. I knew who the 'bad guy' was the second he walked on screen.

The only reason I gave it 3/10 was because I watched the Unrated Edition, which, in my experience, often means "this movie sucks!" (In other words I AM giving the benefit of the doubt.) So, why did I watch this version??? I don't know ask, Axxo...

Don't waste your money OR your bandwidth!
81 out of 135 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Thriller full of action , violence and lots of computer generator effects
ma-cortes24 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Everything ripped apart in a New York minutes...Detective Max Payne(Mark Wahlberg) is a man with nothing to lose in the violent, cold urban night of New York. A fugitive undercover cop framed for murder and now hunted by cops and the mob. Max is a man with his back against the wall, fighting a battle he cannot hope to win. Prepare for pain.. But Max has nothing to lose. His wife and daughter have been murdered by narcotic addicts, a drug called Valkyr that induces hallucinations of flying demons . However things get worse, he has been accused for the killing of his best friend, a D.E.A. agent( Donald Logue). He's only helped by another agent (Mila Kunis) whose sister (Olga Kurylenko) has relationship to strange mobster (Amaury Norlasco) and his criminal activities.Blaming the Russian mafia, he seeks out the most gangster mob boss in the city, taking on an army of mobsters that he could not possibly hope to overcome, Max Payne confronts the epitome of crime, but aware that the mafia is only a pawn for a higher corruption, as he discovers the power-hungry , hush-hush pharmaceutical Corporation and whose security chief (Beau Bridges) is his mentor. In an attempt to clear his good name and settle his past, Max Payne serves as a vigilante to eliminate the origen of a new designer drug being trafficked and which turning ex-soldiers into killing machines, that of which he thinks was responsible for the murdering of his wife and daughter.

This is a rumbling action movie based on video games by Sam Lake , one of the most important action games ever made for the P.C. Tough and two-fisted Mark Wahlberg as detective who sets out to uncover the truths behind his family's killing , his role as revenger driven by determination to avenge , acting as judge, jury and executioner is similarly to ¨Death Wish-Charles Bronson¨ and recently ¨the Punisher-Thomas Jane¨. Large secondary cast as Chris O'Donnell, Beau Bridges,Kate Burton and the Bond-girl Olga Kurylenko. And a brief interpretation as widow by the famous singer Nelly Furtado. Colorful and dark cinematography with glistering camera-work by Jonathan Sela capturing the rain and snow that falls on N.Y. buildings and streets . Stirring musical score fitting to noisy action by Marco Beltrani. This Neo-noir vendetta picture is middling directed by John Moore . He is an expert on remakes (The Omen, Flight of the Phoenix) and warlike action (Behind enemy lines). Rating : Acceptable and passable. The flick will appeal to Mark Wahlberg fans.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Payne in the ass!
Max_cinefilo8930 December 2008
Poor Mark Wahlberg. Ever since he obtained a fully deserved Oscar nomination for The Departed, he has struggled to hit it as big again: Shooter was enjoyable but unmistakably shallow, We Own the Night received very mixed reactions, and The Happening was one of the most unjustly panned movies of 2008 (well, minus the plastic plant scene). None of those, however, is as bad as Max Payne, which just about tails The Truth About Charlie for the title of Wahlberg's career low.

But hey, few people expected Payne to be any good in the first place. For starters, it's based on a video game, and those never turn out well on film. Secondly, it's directed by John Moore, whose body of work is all but encouraging (he remade The Omen, for crying out loud). Plus, it comes off as a mix of fantasy, action and revenge thriller - in short, a mess.

For those not familiar with the game, the story centers on the titular cop (Wahlberg), a brilliant homicide detective who's been reassigned after the brutal murder of his wife and kid. When a Ukrainian girl (Olga Kurylenko) is found dead with his wallet in her pocket, he's immediately charged with the murder, and the only way to clear himself is to find a thug named Lupino (Amaury Nolasco), who might even have something to do with Mrs. Payne's death (go figure..).

With some minor adjustments, this could easily be the latest installment of Death Wish. If only things were that simple: the plot is twisted even more with a subplot concerning a mind-altering drug called Valkyr, which makes everything look like Hell on screen and destroys Norse mythology's credibility off screen. Then again, decent scripts are rare when it comes to this sort of flick, so Moore is supposed to redeem himself with visuals and action scenes: in the first case, he delivers more than enough; in the second, he disappoints, and big time - not counting the first ten minutes and the last twenty, there's a serious lack of pace and ass-kicking.

Last but not least, the acting. Wahlberg does pretty much the same he did in Shooter: gritty and watchable, but never exploits his huge potential. Mila Kunis, who plays the "Payne girl" (sorry, couldn't resist), is totally miscast, being too young and with the wrong background (That '70s Show), except for the fact that she is of Ukrainian descent like her on-screen sister Kurylenko. Beau Bridges, generally a fine presence, manages the unenviable task of becoming worse as the picture progresses, and Nolasco's villain is as lifeless as they come (and let's not even get started on Ludicrous' "acting").

Long story short: if this were a game, it would reach the "Game over" stage after twenty minutes. Compared to this, even Tomb Raider looks decent enough.
30 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Murky and jumbled but still a decent action movie
NireWolf18 October 2008
I have never played the Max Payne games, so I have no idea if the movie was faithful to its origins. I've heard some people say that it was and others say it wasn't. But in any case, this really wasn't as bad as everyone seems to think. No, there wasn't as much action as you might get in a "Transporter" movie, but that didn't really bother me because sometimes I like movies that have a little more thought behind them. There were still some really awesome action sequences though and it was definitely beautifully shot. The atmosphere that they created with the lighting was great.

However, there were still some things that I didn't like about this movie and that they could have done better. First, most of it, especially the beginning, seemed very jumbled and hard to understand. The writing and the editing were sub-par. Second, and this is probably due to the bad writing and editing, you never really connect with any of the characters and so you can never really feel any overwhelming emotion about their situation. The whole thing seemed slightly hollow and empty, as if the writer and director themselves were not quite sure what they were trying to get at. Third, the acting sucked big time in some scenes. It wasn't horrible throughout the whole movie, but it still left much to be desired. Fourth, there were many things in the story that weren't fully explained, which only contributed to the hollow, confused feeling of the entire movie.

So, overall, it is not a bad film, but I was slightly disappointed. It really could have been an amazing movie, and I blame the writer and editor for almost completely ruining it. The only thing that saves it is the few awesome action scenes and the cinematography. But please don't believe anyone that says it one of the worst movies ever because it's not. It's just not as good as it should have been.

113 out of 206 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A die hard fan is pleased, and here's why.
The_Amazing_Spy_Rises16 October 2008
Oh, my dreams have sort of come true. Max Payne, on film. I had prayed for months that it wouldn't stink to the high heavens like every other video game adaptation. Thankfully, Max Payne does not stink as a standalone film or adaptation, nor is it anything like the other game adaptations. John Moore's obvious goal in the film was to match the spirit, tone, and grit of the game, and I have to say that he reached it.

While I was disappointed in the lack of action sequences, I think that including even half of the action from the game would have taken away from the realism of the film, as mountains of action sequences work a lot better in a game than they do on film. The film opts for a quieter tone, and a much more thoughtful and introspective approach. I appreciated this a lot, as a fan of the game. By no means is Max Payne just thrown together to make a quick buck. It is well made, and well thought out. I was not disappointed in this aspect.

Mark Wahlberg, thank you for not failing. That would have ruined my year. Wahlberg delivers a quiet, yet subtle and intense performance in the title role as the most "pain" and "pun" inducing detective of all time. While there is a large supporting cast, I really wasn't swayed either way by any of them, besides Chris Bridges, who was actually playing a character for once instead of himself on screen. Mila Kunis as Mona Sax wasn't the best casting in the world, but Mila proves that it wasn't the worst casting either. There isn't as much depth to her in the film as there was in the game.

As an adaptation, the Max Payne film is very different from the game in pretty much every aspect besides the tone and the characterizations. Once again, all I wanted was the tone to be right, and I got what I wanted. Though the noir aspect of the game is somewhat lacking (I missed Max's inner monologue so much), I still found it to be the dark and effective thriller that the game was. A brooding performance from Wahlberg and a matching score only add to the film. Stunning visuals, engineered by the fictional hallucinogenic drug in the film, in addition to the dark cinematography, steal attention away from the fact that the film's editing is subpar.

I have to bring to life the fact that Max Payne is not an action movie at heart. It is a mystery film with some action scenes (and some very well done visual effects). The game may have been a shoot 'em up style game, but I know that you can't do this on film and expect to be taken seriously, which Max Payne should be.

At it's core, Max Payne, despite a lot of changes from the game, remains the dark, story driven thriller that I've loved for a good part of my life. I'm proud of the film as a die hard fan of the game, and respect it for what it is as a film by itself. I'm satisfied, and not disappointed. For those who haven't played the game, Max Payne is an effective mystery film that is driven by the main character and the exposition around him. For those who will inevitably complain about a lack of action sequences, wake up and realize that Moore & company got the tone right, at the expense of necessary cuts.
317 out of 610 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Can't believe that people actually liked this movie!
chrichtonsworld25 October 2008
Who cares if the plot is different from the game. This being an adaptation it is to be expected. What i do want to see is that the essence of a game is captured. And without any hesitation I can say that is not the case. "Max Payne" the game was a tribute to classic John Woo movies starring "Chow Yan Fat" like "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer" which contained beautifully choreographed action scenes filmed in slow motion. Everyone who had seen one of those movies wanted to be the gun blazing "Chow Yan Fat". The game made that possible. The good plot is one of the key elements that provided the special ambiance that made the game stand out from other shooters. However it was not the reason why people played the game. And somehow a lot of people including the ones who made this awful movie missed that point. Bullet Time was the main character in Max Payne the game. Without it Max Payne would never had been as popular as it is now. In the movie there are maybe two and a half scenes where events are slowed down. I know that we are spoiled after "The Matrix Trilogy" and several other movies. But how can you exclude it like they did if it plays such an important role. And even if I can forgive them for not using the bullet time effect as much as I wanted to. Why not offering action scenes a la "Shoot em up". At least then I would have gotten a fraction of what this movie supposed to show. There are many other topics and flaws I could mention and discuss. But since the action element was the most important one I see no point in going deeper!
51 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Don't waste your money, it's one of the worst films made this year
BenjaminFoxDickerson19 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Oh Max Payne… What unfortunate series of events were put into motion to make you such a bad film?

First, the writing; knowing full well that is a movie adapted from a video game that is derivative of other films. However, as a popcorn flick, you don't expect to be challenged mentally, you see it to get your violently happy smile on. That's it. It's a simple escapist pleasure to see a movie that's dumb, but fun. The formula is that simple. Shed those completely unnecessary layers that may slow down the action and instead insert bravado into the spots between the action scenes. Crank is a good example, there's very little to that movie aside from stay hyper and kick ass.

So the first problem with Max Payne is heavy handed and droning attempt to develop a two dimensional character… Why? It's not like Max Payne needs a lot of development, he's a dude with a vengeance on, shut up and let it happen. Instead you're walked through all of these really bad scenes filled wit the worst dialogue put to page. It's like watching soft-core blue movies without a nut to bust. That's just the first 20 minutes. The movie continues, but first let me tell you how they open the film, because it really set the bar for the rest of really badness of it all.

We open on a man walking down a hallway towards a door cracked open and light bleeding through it… A baby is crying in the distance. The man moves closer to the door and on that door a big sign reading "Baby" is hung on it. First off, I ma not sure why, if they're assuming that an audience is that dumb; they didn't just put a big old title on the screen, or put an interpreter up there to point and say "Hey, there's an Freakin' BABY in there!" I know it ties with the video game, but this is an adaptation, some changes for the sake of not raping the audience's intelligence have to be made. And, believe me, it doesn't stop there, the film is filled with some of the most heavy handed art direction, really bad sound design and some of the worst editing I've seen since Live Free Die Hard. It's that bad.

Later on in the film Max and the Mila Kunis playing a Russian girl supposed to move plot, but ultimately becomes a tragic and unfulfilled, unresolved and disjointed piece of the movie; well they stop into a goth tattoo parlor, where they go through a catalogue of tattoo's and stop on the reoccurring one they see. They question the proprietor and at the drop of the dime he pulls out an old book about Norwegian mythology and starts talking about Valkyrie's, the symbol and the significance of the mark/tattoo. This brief wikipedia presentation ends with such a blatant inconsistency with Mark Walberg/Max Payne asking one more question and then the shop proprietor responding with a really big and dumb "Huh?" So in one single turn he goes from Mythology and theology expert into dumb goth guy.

The movie spends so much time building to a conflict, but without any tension, just trivial scene after scene.

There were points in the movie that we were really laughing, but they really weren't supposed to be funny. Dramatic tension was the goal, but the exact opposite occurred. In particular Mila Kunis talking to Max about how much of a dark time bomb he is. The dialogue is SO poorly written that the scene becomes comedic.

Beau Bridges line in the end is also laughably bad.

Other miserable notes… Chris O'Donnell, Yep, bad.

Nelly Furtado's cameo… Was one of the most laughably bad moments on the screen and the first shot of Ludicrous, was also really funny. Like, really, really funny.

I guess some things that should have been aborted are born, and Max Payne is one that is prospering. Which is really unfortunate.
36 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Beautiful rendition
vipher2022 October 2008
There's three kind of people going to see this movie. 1--People that have no idea about the game that think they're just going to watch some kind shoot-em-up mixed with a Constantine/Sin-City feel. 2--Those that have played the game and enjoyed the gameplay. 3--Those that have played the game and enjoyed the gameplay, but moreso, were mesmerized by the entire feel of the storyline; the dark noir-like cut scenes, the way Max's loss hunts him continually in an eerie way, the twisted levels with S&M induced screaming in the background of one and others with the valkyrie laced druggies wondering around, and of course, the poetic story-telling by Max himself.

Now, if you are one of the first two....let's face it, the majority of you just won't get it. You won't truly appreciate the lengths the director goes to in keeping the storyline congruent with the game, but not just rip it off completely. For those of you that keep saying Clive Owen should have played Max cause he did well in people should be the last ones to leave a rating on here. This film is not just a mindless shooter. This film would have been another game-to-film adaptation that had zero substance if Clive Owen had played the part. And people really would have been crying "Sin-city ripoff" if he'd played the part, since he was in that one too. Now was Mark Walberg PERFECT as the role? I don't know about that. But I thought he did a really job and captured Max's demeanor quite well.

I know it seems there may be no difference between liking the game for it's gameplay and then loving the game for it's story-telling, but there really is. When me and my buddy discussed the game, we always talked about how good it was simply for the mood and storyline, rather than the actual gameplay. And we both ended up really liking the movie.

You have to go into this movie understanding that there's more to it than just shooting guns and bullet time. If it was just those, the movie would have gaping plot-holes and would lose it's emotion. But the director leaves equal time for every issue; The eerie mood, how obsessed Max is with finding his wife's killer(s) and the way it affects his relationships, the hallucinations from the drugs, the corruption in which the valkyr has led to, and, yes, even the bullet-time. There really is a lot of substance to this film. It's a murder mystery film that also incorporates some vivid action and special effects. If people would know this going into it, I think their reaction would be a lot better. Probably not much of a movie to go watch with your g/f or wife, as my buddy's wife and her friend sat there and cut up the whole time cause they weren't connecting with the movie (which got on my nerves, as I was really into it).

All in all, I think it was beautifully done. It set out to capture Max Payne from every angle and did just that. It took ample time to make fanatics of the game go "holy crap, that scene was straight from the game", but yet also write in some originality of it's own that worked well within the plot. As far as some of the characters, I thought every one of them played their part to near-perfection. Mila Kunis actually did surprisingly well and it was fun to see her play the femme fatale bad@$$. Ludicrous didn't really have that much riding on him, but he still played the part just fine and I never got the feeling of "rapper-turned-cop" from his performance (unlike the way I can't stand many of Ice Cube's performances cause he's very one-dimensional). Chris O' Donell had a very short role, but I thought he played it amazingly. I haven't seen him in anything in a while, but he played the part of a corporate big-wig scared for his life very well and showed a lot of emotion in his performance in a way in which you almost feel sorry for him. Beau Bridges executed his part perfectly (not much more to say about that). I even enjoyed Donal Logue's serious short role as Max's partner, Alex.

Not a perfect movie, but definitely a good one, and by far the best video game-to-movie adaptation I've seen thus far.
122 out of 236 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
scott-tomasso26 October 2008
Let me first just say that I AM a fan of the video game. So I, like others who have commented on here already, was really just looking for a fun action movie. I didn't expect it to be Oscar worthy or anything like that...just a fun time at the movie theater.

That being said...I was extremely disappointed at this movie. Actually, that's being nice about it. This was such a poorly executed story that I nearly walked out. Seriously, seriously bad.

The visuals were nice, but even THOSE were too stylized and even painfully funny to watch at times (most of the time). It seemed they were trying too hard. And for an action film, there sure was a lack of action for the first 3/4 of the movie.

Now the acting...I honestly felt I was watching a student film with some of those scenes. Ludicrous was just that. Mark Wahlberg was OK at best. Donal Logue - awful, Mila Kunis - out of place...the only bright spots were Chris O'Donnell and Olga Kurylenko (who is smoking hot).

Bottom line...I would not recommend this movie to anybody. I'm not even sure how this got made to be honest. Especially with the amount of money that was poured into it. Amazingly bad.
39 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Easily the best video game to movie crossover to date.
space_base16 October 2008
I got to see MAX PAYNE a day in advance due to a sneak preview screening at a local theater.

And I've got to say... it was impressive to say the least. I consider MAX PAYNE and it's sequel to be my favorite games of all time, and now the movie is the best based on a video game yet produced (though that's not giving it enough credit). Though the film does a few things different, it definitely compliments and stays true to the source material. John Moore, a hack director, turns in his best work to date, delivering some crisp and tense action scenes and most importantly, gets the feel for the game JUST RIGHT. There is also some stunningly gorgeous effects a digitally-altered photography to behold. Mila Kunis was slightly miscast, but Walhberg I feel was a perfect fit to Play Max. It's also good to see Beau Bridges working again, and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges proves once again he's the best rapper-turned-actor since Ice Cube (Boys N the Hood and Three Kings... not the family friendly Ice Cube of recent memory.

But the reviews will be terrible. Every time a movie based on a game is released, critics bash it. OK, most of the time it's justified, but here, I can assure you it won't be. Some reviews I've read are straying from the film, and talking about how games shouldn't ever be movies because they have NO emotional impact or artist and creative purpose. A: this is a completely idiotic, false, and ignorant statement, and B: this has nothing to do with the film being reviewed! SHOOT EM UP and WANTED got very strong reviews which they wouldn't have if they were based on games (and they were essential video games!). MAX PAYNE is better than both of those, but will get pummeled critically do to the format it's source material is on. That's just stupid.

See this movie with an opened mind. It's a very well crafted modern neo-noir.

140 out of 278 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Very good for a film based on a computer game...
Michael_003617 October 2008
...which is intended to be qualified praise. Having played both 'Max Payne' games, I really enjoyed the small touches in the film that are intentionally added to please the 'fanboys' like myself, such as bullet time (albeit too brief)and the flashings of red whilst Max is attacked (the same that occurs when Max incurs damage during the game). I also really enjoyed (and I will avoid spoilers) how the script managed to inject some realism into how Max could realistically shoot down (and sustain damage) towards the end when the climax erupts in a shower of bullets.

Also great perfs generally all round - Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly good, Mr Bridges and Ludicrous are adequate, and although she has nothing to do but basically be hot, the upcoming Bond girl is smouldering. The director also adds some nice touches in parts, particularly some of the action scenes which are very well shot/choreographed.

Fan boy ravings aside, the film critic in me had concerns with a number of filming techniques. Firstly, the pacing. The pacing is all over the place, with the first hour often dragging in parts. I also had the concern that people without an awareness of the 'Max Payne' mythology may wonder what the heck is going on. Secondly, given the emphasis on plot in the first hour, the movie is inadequate in explaining back story for some minor characters. Yes, we get the point Max lost his family. We see this in flash back at least three times, each time not adding anything further to the plot. This time could have been spent fleshing out the characters - people whom i saw it with today (not ever having played the game) were wondering (apart from the sister connection) why Mona Sax was such a vicious woman who had a knack for wielding sub-machine games, or how BB came on to the scene. Third, it is disappointing that the cuts to permit it to be a PG 13 are obvious. Here in Australia it is MA (meaning no admission below 15) and deals with some very dark themes, so it is disappointing that the MPAA had to be humoured to get a PG, when really, it is an MA film (or R17 in the US).

Overall, an enjoyable film, particularly for most fanboys. Having said that, fanboys will probably agree there is not enough 'action' for an 'action' film, whilst film critics will no doubt criticise the shallow character development.
70 out of 139 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A massacre of everything that max payne stands for. Plain murder!
andre_loverboy29 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
No use in using appalling words in describing the crime committed. To a film fan such as i, it's not very often that one of my favorite games as a kid(and one of the best ever made to this day, hear the critics) get boosted to the big screen. and when it does u hope for the best and even better. and then u take a look at the wreck that these money grubbing, blood sucking, with no talent whatsoever executive producers display in front of you. Jesus! I admit, wahlberg's expression looks very much like max's. but everything else is just another character. not to mention that they invented everything else but the characters and the locations of the original story. that story was so damn good, i've been dreaming for years for it to become film noir. now somebody will just have to remake it cuz this just will not do! and that is the sorriest most pathetic excuse of a lupino i've ever seen. God! THE FLESH OF FALLING ANGELS! ruined... i wish that the real max payne would just show up and put a slow motion bullet straight in the head of whoever is responsible for shattering such an opportunity at a master piece along with every max payne veteran's expectations. and no more Christmas cards for mark wahlberg
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Lots of fun
Good fun and lots of action and suspense. Stylish and unpredictable. Walhberg didn't play at his best, but more than good enough if you liked him in Shooter. The style of Max Payne reminded me of Sin City, but Sin City is of course a lot better. I think Clive Owen would have made a even better Max Payne, as his character in Sin City has a similar "mood" to it. Look out for the two beautiful women Mila Kunis and Olga Kurylenko, they steal the frame in every scene. Amaury Nolasco is great as Lupino, we need to see him in more roles like that. He kind of reminded me of Jason Stratham. Don't except the most solid story in here, but as a pi**ed off policeman Max Payne delivers his rage well enough. 8/10.
30 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Actually quite a faithful translation
sartrix17 January 2009
I have heard and read a lot of bad reviews about this movie, and when my girlfriend wanted to watch it anyway, we feared for the worst. Glad to say: we feared in vain! Both of us have played the games, tho in my case I never managed to get hooked on part 2. No matter, since the movie just covers part 1.

A lot of reviews mention how things are missing from this movie, like bullet time slow-mo's, gore, and narration. But to be frank, we didn't miss anything really. In fact it HAS gore, slow-mo's (good ones even, without looking like a matrix rip-off) and narration. Just not through the entire movie, just like it doesn't have shooting through the entire movie. People.. a movie is not filming how some one goes through the game shooting people one by one. A movie actually tries to focus some more on the actual story! It's quite well compressed from the many hours of game-play to the few hours a motion picture can be.

And that story was done fine. It was faithful to the game safe for some minor acceptable liberties, and solid enough as stand-alone for those who didn't play the game as well. The only confusing thing was the '1 week earlier' flashback which starts the movie and lasts well over an hour of the movie's total time. The mention of the dead wife in the prologue's narration can put viewers on the wrong track thinking it's 1 week before those deaths. However, once the scene comes which clearly shows which part was actually the flashback, it suddenly falls into place.

The end of this flashback is the turning point of the movie from storytelling to solid action. I have no peeves with the action, aside of the endless clips of ammo. Never reloading is a common thing in movies, and by far not the worst to happen.

The atmosphere and build up was absolutely great. Grim, gritty and cold. The junks and bodies everywhere from the skipped plowing of the early stages in the game, makes place for visuals of how the drug Valkyr is being experienced. A slight change of scope from 'yet another gore movie' to actually elaborating more on the substance that's cause of everything. Had they kept the hellish scenes in junkie apartments, then they'ld have lost the contrast with the drug's effects, and therefor it's a perfectly good choice.

In closing, I'ld like to add that I've lost my confidence in the IMDb ratings and reviews as they've proved wrong yet another time. It's seriously better as many other action movies which get a 7+ rating like the failed Transporter 2.
22 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Verdict from a non-fan, this was a Major Pain
Girish Gowda2 May 2010
As everybody said Max Payne was a major pain in the butt when it releases a couple of years back, I didn't go to the theatres to see it. Last night, it was coming on TV and I thought, hey let me give it a try and sat down to watch it. The concept wasn't too bad, but the execution is very shoddy and amateurish.

Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) is a New York City police detective and he is haunted by the murder of his wife and baby's death even after three years. He killed two of the murderers, but couldn't kill the last one. He is a tortured soul who wants nothing more than hunting down the last murderer. During one of his routines to gather new leads and information about his family's murderer, he befriends Natasha Sax (Olga Kurylenko) who is murdered and her sister, Mona Sax (Mila Kunis) wants revenge. Jack Lupino (Amaury Nolasco) is her murderer and both Payne and Mona team up to get their revenge. But, is Lupino the real antagonist or is there someone operating behind the curtain?

First of all the cinematography is excellent - I loved the feel of the movie, the score is not overbearing. But what really is a drag, is that there is nothing in the story that drags the viewer in. The starting of the movie kind of captured my attention, but by the 30th minute, it was getting boring. Mark Wahlberg only has one expression in his face throughout the movie and it is a major pain in the ass when he portrays the same expression when he is happy with his family too. That is kind of confusing, wasn't he happy with his family when they were alive or what? Bad casting choice there and the writer seems to have no job here, as there are hardly any dialogues and whatever there is seems to be drowned out by Mr. Major Pain. Olga Kurylenko - why does so many of you think she is sexy again? She can act (Quantum Of Solace), but she isn't sexy (they should have roped in Megan Fox, now that is one hot babe) and she plays only a cameo which didn't add anything to the story. Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) as the bald Lupino who is high on drugs, looks and acts credibly, but there is not enough scope for his acting ability. Mila Kunis is also wasted. Why were there huge man-crows (or 'angels' like they call them) flying through the skies of NYC in the minds of people? I only got it, when they showed that all of them were druggies. This film seems to be telling us not to get addicted to drugs, we get it. Move on, will you? I don't do drugs (I am a 20 year old guy) and nor will anyone else who knows what drugs can really do. The slow motion scenes were good, but there was only a couple of them and the dark angels were very cool.

Though the film was somewhat boring, I can't give it a 1, because the visual treatment was excellent and I like some of Mr. Wahlberg's previous works. By the looks of it, there seems to be a sequel coming which I definitely won't be watching if the reviews are the same as this. Don't watch this at any cost, unless you are a teenage boy and get real high seeing girl-on-girl kiss.

7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good Enough
bddmnky19 October 2008
SO yes Max Payne wasn't all in all 100% accurate to the game, but the main concept and plot was dead on in my opinion. Most games made to movies are horrible and don't even come close like resident evil and still some how get praised. Max Payne on the other hand is much closer to the story line and style and gets put down. No game to movie is ever going to be perfect... just so much dialog and story line missing from games that gives you very little to work with and also in a movie you have to throw in a random hot girl and more effects just because.

Sure it was a little slow in the beginning, but all movies have to be built up to the suspense and action. It was a decent flick and not as horrible as all the comments say it is
38 out of 75 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A bad comedy...
...but the problem is this is supposed to be an action flick. Failing on all levels, I found myself laughing at points I knew I wasn't supposed to. And while this film has double the possibilities: (1.-an action flick for people who don't know the game or 2.- "Max Payne the movie" for those who know the game) it fails on both accounts.

As an action flick, it is uninspiring, has on cue cliché plot points, and very stiff acting. The plot is a mishmash of dribble, based on a vengeful cop's remorse over his murdered wife which worked in the game (while in movieland has been used to death). Some characters/scenes even come to the point of being pointless. And after the movie is finish the viewer realizes that all the demon/angel imagery has 0% to do with the movie other than some eye candy for the director to waste money on.

To those who know the game this is even more disappointing. They completely miscast the lead. Wahlberg is too all-American and his voice doesn't have the grizzled feel of a man with a heart filled with vengeance. He felt like too nice of a guy (even saying thank you in a scene). And the trademark moves/bullet time are only used once or twice which is the ONLY reason the game became so popular (and the only reason that this film was made)

The makers of this completely missed the point of the game - to relive all the cool action/gun flicks. That was the point of the GAME. So what is the point of making a movie about a game that tries to let you experience being in a movie? Here is the answer: ......
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews