MAX PAYNE | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

MAX PAYNE

Adapted from the Max Payne video game, it follows a New York cop whose wife and baby are killed by thugs high on a designer drug called Valkyr. Devastated, Max Payne joins the Drug Enforcement Agency and goes undercover with the mob to find the source of the drug. Framed for the murder of his partner and hunted down by both the mob and the police, he is forced to wage a one-man war against crime.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: 18PL
Release Date: 16 Oct 2008
Genre: Action / Adventure
Running Time: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
Distributor: 20TH CENTURY FOX
Cast: Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: "Hitman"

In an increasingly uninspired Hollywood season of sequels and prequels, something like "Max Payne" is a sight for sore eyes, even if it's part of another growing trend - video to movie projects. Consider it your disclaimer then - that this review will follow a gamer's perspective, the same one that assassinated "Hitman" as a movie high on action and low on engagement.

The good news is that it is a superior movie to that last one, no doubt. It's just that if studios took more pride and integrity to please both sides (the fanboy who's buying the ticket because he's worn out the keyboard playing the game and the guy who's buying the ticket because it looks like a cool action movie), they wouldn't always end up balancing commercial demands and content logic. Not that we're crying foul over the unusually large pistol that Detective Payne carries the first time he pulls one. We really shouldn't complain either that Max seems a whole lot more indestructible than he does in the game, destroying a central element about the character - his fragility.

Alright fine, it avoided the "Hitman" invincibility. However, what happened to Payne's bullet time? Director John Moore was quoted as saying he wanted to avoid any Matrix-like repeats or John Woo slo-mo's. They even used a special motion camera system to facilitate the intensity of the stylisation, it seems. Sadly, the action is not nearly as impressive as the decidedly unusual attempt to do justice to the story.

Thankfully, they avoided the noir narrative in the game, which gamers would probably love, but would ruin the texture of an action movie. Thankfully also, they have cast the sexually invasive Olga Kurylenko in yet another leggy Eastern European white trash role - the same one she did in "Hitman" next to Timothy Olyphant and no doubt in the upcoming James Bond movie too, next to Daniel Craig. Well, if you're good at it, why not!

The disappointment, as suspected by fanboys in early forums about the movie, is the role of vampy Mona Sax, a key figure in the story which went to Mila Kunis, the irritating girl we still can't dissociate from "That 70's Show". It is said that the actress herself was worried when she read that gamers didn't like her for the role. You read it here first that they're right - she's completely forgettable. Still, perhaps that's better than casting Ludacris as an unforgettably ridiculous copper who couldn't resist flexing his chest like he was about the star in an NBA game!

So the decider falls on that man Mark Wahlberg. Did he do okay for a vengeful cop who lost his family? Mostly, yes. He didn't try too hard to colour Max and came out with a satisfactory countenance of a man who just wants an answer. That was the essence to the game.

For that, "Max Payne" gets this vote as one of the least embarrassing game adaptations there is out there. However, someone tell Twentieth Century Fox that Max should carry two pistols for the sequel. Two.

Cinema Online, 10 October 2008
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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