Max Payne (2008)

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Burnt out cop Mark Wahlberg stumbles across a conspiracy involving a super-addictive drug that induces psychosis whilst investigating the case of his murdered family.

Based on the Film Noir-inspired Rockstar game of the same name, Max Payne certainly looks the part. The fantastic visuals although not in the same league as Sin City, capture the mood and style of the game perfectly, and the slow motion gun battles that were the trademark of the game are very impressively staged. Unfortunately, as ever, the failings of the movie version can be laid squarely at the door of the script writer. Surely all he had to do was take the bare bones of the idea presented in the game’s cut scenes and flesh out the character and story? But no, if anything the narrative we find here is even more skeletal. Max Payne was an incredibly intense and self-destructive character, but here he’s just Bourne again, the characters all two dimensional and the story breathlessly episodic. I enjoyed it for the visuals and the impressive set pieces, but I have no particular desire to sit through it again.

Hardly the worst video game adaptation – in fact it’s actually one of the better ones – but it’s purely fire and forget film making.

6/10

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