Saturday, February 14, 2009

Max Payne Movie review

Name: Max Payne
Format: Movie
Director: John Moore
Publisher: Twentieth Century Fox
Release Date: 10/17/08

Confession: I didn't play Max Payne when it first came out, I played it first only a year or two ago. That doesn't make it any less of a special game to me; I found it to be one of the best Third Person Shooters I've ever played.

The game, Max Payne was very cinematic, and was basically movie ready. It contained great action scenes, lots of dialog, good direction, and a really good story. I thought it screamed "movie," so when I heard one was being made, I was excited, if just a little. I thought I wouldn't see the day of it's release though, so I was surprised to see it finished.

The movie starts off a little differently then the game, and as it goes along, it becomes less and lees like the game, with larger portions removed, characters changed, and pointless changes. This movie has cuts you'd expect see in the Harry Potter movies, just really stupid choices.

A large portion of the story was cut out to make is simpler I suppose, but instead makes it feel a lot more generic and shallow. It has less clever writing and plot twists, and most of action is excluded, leaving a generic action movie, but with only a small bit of action, with everything else just being mediocre. Cliché. That's a good word to describe this movie, with most of the plot twists taken out, there's nothing that sets it apart.

Not only did they change the plot a lot, but the characters were also changed making it feel not like Max Payne. It is sad, because the only thing the movie has going for it, is the name, which feels almost completely wasted here.

The direction in the movie sometimes really fails, making you scratch your head, thinking "What is even going on in this scene?" I often was left wondering why events were happening, and some scenes were just face-palm embarrassing.

The acting was aright overall, though often dipped below what I'd consider passable, as in, not good. Mark Wahlberg, the actor playing Max Payne, doesn't really fit the role very well, he looks it a little, but he sounds far too whiny, and young to play the role very well. Mark isn't alone in this, with a lot of the characters feeling like they just don't belong in the roles, which makes the cast feel really bland, and just bad a lot of the time.

I can't completely complain, as some of the actors were quite perfect for the roles, but sadly, it was some of the lesser characters, it's too bad the casting wasn't better.

What I Liked:

Max Payne throwbacks:
I'm glad the makers of this movie did reference the game in some ways, like graffiti that showed up in the game, and a few other things. Though this didn't forgive everything else, it was nice.

Some parts are spot on:
Some parts of the movie are pretty much the game in movie form, which is great, it's too bad they are surrounded by parts that are not. Still it's great to feel like it's actually Max Payne sometimes.

Some lines are done well:
Max Payne does say some lines that sound like they could have been from the game, which is good, I just wish it was all his lines.

Some cool artistic shots:
There were a few shots in the movie which I thought were done quite well, at least from an artistic standpoint.

What I didn't Like:

Bad Actors:
The acting in the movie was really under par, and it hurt the movie a lot, it's sad that just better actors could have taken it quite a ways.

Lousy plot:
With the best parts of the plot absent, you're left with a pretty by the books action movie, and considering what they had to work with, it's sad.

Didn't use Max Payne theme:
I love the Max Payne theme song, it was one of the staples of the game, but it wasn't used throughout the whole movie, and that's a crying shame.

Where is my action at?:
For how much action was in the game, it seems a waste to only have a few real action scenes, leaving waay to much other stuff.

Bad Direction:
This movie is badly directed, I don't think anyone could say otherwise, it just wasn't well done.

Terrible cuts:
They cut a lot of things they didn't need to, a lot of it was really important to the story, and leaves things stretching it.

Who Cast this?:
Who really thought Mark Wahlberg could play Max Payne? And Ludicris as the police cheif? Did the casting director even see the game it was based on?

With the plot so abridged, the story is left to bare bones action, with cliché action, characters and all.

Honestly, the drugs effect in the movie is a really stupid plot device, and was much better done in the game.

Just bad:
This isn't a movie I could see anyone coming out of truly happy with, not players of the game, nor people seeing it for the first time, it's just not good enough.

Overall Scores:

Presentation - 7/10: It's a standard action movie, and I've seen worse, but it's still not good. As a Max Payne movie, it spikes a few times, but generally stays terrible.

Production Values - 8/10: It's a Hollywood movie, it looks fine, I just wish the movie was worth watching.

Acting - 6/10: Some characters really work, but they are the side characters, while the main cast falls short.

Music - 7/10: It's kind of average, it fits, but it's nothing special.

Story - 5/10: They butchered the masterpiece of the original story, it's barely recognizable, and much more cliché.

Value - 4/10: Something you will watch once, and remember as a waste, just not worth it.

Overall fun watching - 6/10: It was hard to make it through the whole movie, as it does it's best to stray from what made the original game amazing, it's really too bad, and a waste.

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