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Max Payne
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Reviews & Ratings for
Max Payne More at IMDbPro »

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595 out of 825 people found the following review useful:

Did anyone who made this film even play the game?

2/10
Author: jhanke-2 from United States
18 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.

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487 out of 651 people found the following review useful:

How do you have this bad of a script?

4/10
Author: alaric3 from United States
18 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.

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575 out of 872 people found the following review useful:

From a die hard fan: this is a terrible film

1/10
Author: Mr. Man-3 from United States
19 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!

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205 out of 325 people found the following review useful:

strongly urging you NOT to see this film

1/10
Author: pixelblink from Canada
28 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

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85 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

oh my god what happened

3/10
Author: Laughingman from United Kingdom
5 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.

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62 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Without being compared to the game.

6/10
Author: Jan Strydom from South Africa
9 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.

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306 out of 583 people found the following review useful:

A die hard fan is pleased, and here's why.

8/10
Author: The_Amazing_Spy_Rises from United States
16 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.

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66 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

Gruesome

2/10
Author: a-seiwald-1 from Austria
4 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...

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107 out of 194 people found the following review useful:

Murky and jumbled but still a decent action movie

7/10
Author: NireWolf from United States
18 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.

7.5/10

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69 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

Not a Gamer, This movie is Awful

3/10
Author: baobabble from United States
1 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!

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