Movie Review: Max Payne

By Jon Benton

Staff Writer

Max Payne came out in theatres October 18, a rendition of a video game into movie form. This movie sort of popped out of left field for me, as I wasn’t aware of it until the day before it was released. I decided to give it a try, since I had played the video game seven years ago.

The feel for the movie was superb, the lightening of the whole film was wonderful, giving this world a gritty, cold feeling. The quality of the visual images through the color tone helped the movie intensely with the connection to the audience and the understanding of the context.

The visual effects were impressive, however they took too much away from the story. These huge winged creatures flew across the screen from time to time, which were created solely for the movie, no recollection came from the game. If you ask me, I believe they were just looking for eye-candy.

The story starts out really well with characterization of the main character, i.e. Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg,) however the story seems to stick with this for majority of the movie running somewhat slow given its Action genre. Looking at it without genre tags however, the movie is still quite interesting until it reaches the last three fourths of the movie.

This is where the screenplay writers and the director lost me completely. They demoralized the character already made by developers neo Software, under Rockstar. This defeated the whole purpose of Max Payne by destroying his moral code, other than the fact that the movie began getting irrational. The action scenes became ungodly unrealistic, which before the key moment in the movie (transition from past to present) had been somewhat more agreeable.

Speaking of ungodly, the transition of spiritual outlooks from the video game to the movie is quite different as well. When playing the game the character Jack Lupino (Amaury Nolasco) was a very dark man who was big into satanic culture. The movie turned him into something completely different, which I feel took away from the mood of his character. The movie was big on Christian and Nordic beliefs, the game seemed to be more of Satanic and Nordic.

Another problem occurring was the lack of characters and their importance. Mona Sax (Mila Kunis) had very small screen time and she was one of the main characters. Her role should have been bigger it seemed, and I feel that the audience will not be able to enjoy the character for the lack of time they were able to spend with them. Alfred Woden and Vladimir Lem, two characters who played a big role in the series vanish from the home television to the projected screen. For the sequel that the movie blatantly set up for, it will be interesting to see if they incorporate these two characters and if they will have any more screen time than Mona Sax did.

From my perspective this movie was failure and disgust, at least for a person who has known the lore of Max Payne prior to the release of the movie. Possibly for another who has not played the games or paid close attention to the story of the movie before watching this it could be enjoyable.

I am going to say, without a second thought that the making of this movie was for money guzzling purposes only. The intent for making something out of the love of art had nothing to do with this, which is a sad thing that we all witness. The ratings for this movie were actually cut down, taking away forty minutes of the film to make it PG-13, so young teenagers could watch the movie. I’m not making any promises, but maybe if we wait for the DVD to come out with the extra forty minutes, just maybe it will be better.