So what’s the deal with Max Payne (20th Century Fox, 10.17), the Mark Wahlberg actioner that’s based on an effin’ video game that I wouldn’t see at knifepoint? On one hand, you have a 10.15 review from Variety‘s Justin Chang; on another (and I never do this), you have a reaction from email@example.com on the film’s IMDB page.
And I don’t know, man. I’m feeling a somewhat cautious, carefully parsed current from Chang but a kind of no-holds-barred, bolt-of-clumsy-truth vibe from cre8ed.
It was obvious from the ads and the trailer that Payne is a straight-paycheck, hold-your-nose-and-do-the-jobber for Wahlberg. (All I want to do is watch that SNL talking-to-animals clip again.) Almost every youngish name actor does a film like this now and then. Except DiCaprio, I mean.
“Stylishly made, armed to the teeth and ludicrous in the extreme,” Chang starts off, “Max Payne sends its eponymous antihero into New York’s underbelly on a deranged quest for revenge. Along the way, director John Moore” — a director I instantly discount for his work on the absurd Flight of the Phoenix and the not-good-enough Behind Enemy Lines — “unleashes every visual trick in his arsenal.”
We all know what that phrase means. We all know how movies that use “every visual trick” make us feel.
“The flashiest” of Moore’s tricks is “a hail of bullets that whoosh across the screen in delirious slow-motion — no doubt to distract auds from an increasingly risible story involving tattooed corpses, Norse mythology, demonic hallucinations and perhaps the weirdest cinematic reference yet to the war on terror,” says Chang.
Cre8ed wrote on 10.15 that he just returned from a much previously hyped film very disappointed. In a word, boring! I’m fairly forgiving with reviews, I usually give most films the benefit of the doubt especially films based on video games. This film is based extremely loosely on the game. Some action scenes were cool but most were the same old same old repetitive shoot-outs we have seen a thousand times before.”
“This gets a big 5 out of 10. I will not be buying the DVD on this one.”