Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This wasn't THAT much of a Payne

Rockstar Games' antihero Max Payne gets his own movie with this video game adaptation. Mark Wahlberg plays the titular cop who is still trying to get over the death of his family while investigating several murders, while Mila Kunis costars as an assassin desperate for her own revenge when her sister is murdered.

Based on the popular 2001 video game, “Max Payne” is what it is: an action packed thriller that, at first, leads you to believe that a supernatural battle between the forces of good and evil is in the offering. However, as the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that the mystical world is not the fighting ground between good and evil. The good and the bad are mere mortals with justice being sought by the former and plain greed the agenda for the latter. As we get to know the troubled Max Payne, we find that there is more to his mission than just uncovering the perpetrators of the recent string of heinous crimes. His wife and child were murder several years before but the case has never been solve. Max gets himself assigned to the Cold Case File where unsolved crimes go to rest without resolution. He scours the dead files to try to find a clue, even miniscule ones, to locate his tiny family’s murderers.The mortal-based greed is based on a secret military contract to create a drug that would make super soldiers. But the test results are not predictable ­ some do become uber troopers but most succumb to horrible hallucinations of giant wraith-like creatures and insanity. “Max Payne” becomes a revenge flick that drives frenetically through its shootouts and slow mo action. There is more than a nod to actioners like “The Matrix” in the execution of the action. The film squarely hits the bull’s eye as it takes aim at the 18-30 video game obsessed male audience. The film does have some fun action, but you find yourself quite often wishing either to have more action, or a better mystery, because the film just hangs out in the mediocre middle. To its credit, though, the film moves ahead and doesn't drag. In the end it's just something you could do with your time, if you couldn't come up with anything better to do, and not hate yourself afterward. The performances were okay here. Wahlberg didn't really have to stretch his acting chops here, which was just right for this role. The most unbelievable for me was Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. I just couldn't believe his role as I.A. Detective Jim Bravura. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. He's not really an actor, just another rap artist doing a little acting on the side. Quite a few critics have bad mouthed this movie (my partner included), but I knew exactly what to expect. Having played the video game, I already knew the story and I was looking forward to seeing how it would be done on screen and I wasn't really disappointed. BUT this one won't be for everybody, so I'll suggest that you wait until it's released on DVD, or better yet find a copy of the game and play it. A 3 on my "Go See" scale.

No comments: