Max Payne is yet another movie in a long line of movies inspired by
videogames that shares little more with the game that they are based on than
their titles. Max Payne in Max Payne the film (Mark Wahlberg) is in many
ways similar to the videogame incarnation of the character, and like the game
the movie is set in a snowy, film noir version of New York, but the similarities
pretty much end there. The movie does make reference to the slow-motion
"bullet time" feature of the game by slightly slowing some of the shooting
sequences, but the movie doesn't attempt to provide any explanation for it,
making it feel odd and out of place. It looks cool, but that's about it.
In fact, that can be said about the entire movie. Visually it is quite
interesting, from the dark and cold cityscape to the winged demons that haunt
those who take a super-soldier drug that has found its way to the streets.
The story leaves a lot to be desired, and the film struggles to maintain any
kind of narrative cohesion in spite of its clichd and well-worn plotline.
The film is beautiful to look at, but then it has to go and spoil it all by
opening its mouth.
If you're going to sit down and watch Max Payne, then you may as well do it
with the Blu-ray version of the film. The visuals are the best part of the
film, and they are that much better in hi-def. The sound is well-mixed,
and the sound is good from the concussion of explosions to the clink of spent
shell casings falling to the ground. The disc comes with both the movie's
theatrical release as well as an unedited director's edition of the film.
Other features include picture-in-picture commentary on the film, a making of
featurette, a "graphic novel" which chronicles the events leading up to the
point at which the film begins. It's more of a minimally animated cartoon
than a graphic novel, and will probably not inspire repeated viewings.