Max Payne is the latest in a string of horrible projects Mark Wahlberg has chosen to be a part off (see The Happening, Shooter etc.). Although this movie is based on a film, this critic has never played the game (or heard of it before the film came out).
Max Payne is a hard ass detective, hardened by the murder of his perfect wife, and beautiful new born baby. That’s really all the background we’re given, two lines of dialogue. So don’t expect to really care what happens to this guy. Payne spends his days clerking on cold case files at his precinct, but spends his night as a vigilante dressed in black. Finding the seediest members of society to ask them questions, to track down the killer that murdered his family. It’s then that he comes in contact with a Russian junkie, Natasha (played by Olga Kurylenko, the bond girl in the upcoming Quantum of Solace). We’re also introduced to her crazy sister Mona (Mila Kunis, with one of the worst Russian accents since Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October). Natasha ends up getting herself murdered after she stoles Payne’s wallet, and then Payne and Mona join forces to track down the person they think killed both their family members. Oh, and there’s some sort of drug out there that is left over from a military experiment that makes people super strong, aggressive, and evil. Original, eh?
The film was shot very stylistically, with a washed out grey pallet most of the time. Think Sin City, or 300 but not as well done. Neither Wahlberg, nor Kunis is believable in their parts, as everything they seem to do is humorous. This film is directed by John Moore. The script from first time writer Beau Thorne is laughable as well. There’s serious logistical issues (I know this is based on a video game, but Max gets shot from close range with a shot gun, and he just walks it off…). Mostly, I just wanted this movie to be over about 20 minutes in. This might be worse than Hitman. Who would have thought that Tomb Raider would be one of the better video game adaptations?