Due to the PG-13 rating that the studio wanted, John Moore filmed two versions of the two biggest action sequences in the film, a) The Aesir Swat Building Shootout and b) Max Payne's attack on the Aesir building starting from the parking garage scene. John Moore filmed a version with impact squibs (seen in the PG-13 cut) and one with bloody wound squibs. Moore also stated that the parking garage scene during the filming of using the blood wound squibs was "one of the bloodiest shootouts he has ever filmed".
When initially submitted to the MPAA the film was given an R rating. Director John Moore then reportedly trimmed a few frames and the picture was promptly given the more financially viable PG-13 rating.
Early in the film, Max beats up three thugs in the Roscoe Street subway station. This fictitious station is the setting of one of the first levels in the video game, where DEA Agent Alex Balder (upon whom the film's Detective Alex Balder is based) is murdered.
Max keeps most of the stuff from his old house in a shipping container at a place called Gognitti's Self-Storage. The place is named after mafia lieutenant Vinnie Gognitti, one of the video game's minor villains.
The club where Jack Lupino stores the Valkyr drug is called Rag Na Rock. In Scandinavian mythology, which is referenced a few times throughout the film, the word Ragnarök indicates the end of the world.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Jason Colvin's death scene was scaled back due to the PG-13 rating. Originally, there was a wide shot of him being shot in the chest with an enormous amount of blood spray from the wound, along with an impact squib underneath the bloody squib (to create a more brutal effect). In the PG-13 version of the scene, it is only a close shot of Jason Colvin (Chris O'Donnell) with a bit of the impact squib seen going off. The original scene is included on the Unrated Director's Cut DVD.