5 Second Review: Max Payne

Marky-Mark Wahlberg brings the acclaimed video game to life. Expect bullet-time and convoluted plot twists aplenty.


  • As one would expect having seen the trailer, there are some very pretty shots in this movie. Lots of slo-mo jumping around that looks real purdy.
  • Chris O'Donnell is in it. Haven't seen him in ages!
  • I like Mark Wahlberg. In other movies.
  • The movie features a very brief appearance from Jamie Hector, AKA The Wire's Marlo Stanfield. His five or six lines are a glimpse of what this movie could have been like, if it had been any good.
  • It was kinda funny in bits, though that was not the intention.

  • You know when a movie is so bad, it's funny? Max Payne flirts with that line. Then goes beyond it so it's just back to regular old 'bad' again.
  • The purdy shots we've seen in the trailer are few and far between. I count two. If i was being lenient I would allow the opening shot, which gets repeated throughout the movie, to count as two or three shots in themselves. But I'm not being lenient, so they don't.
  • The famous 'bullet-time', which the game pretty much invented, is incredibly lame. In attempt to better The Matrix (which obviously handled the concept quite well), the cinematographer has decided to simply make the shots longer. Much longer. As in Mark Wahlberg jumps in the air and doesn't land for 2-3 minutes. The result? Stupid. Hella stupid.
  • Hmmm... I wonder who the killer is? Can you guess??
  • Mila Kunis (as in Jackie from That 70s Show) is completely ridiculous as a hard-ass gun toting femme fatale. Completely ridiculous. And apparently she's the tougher older sister of Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko. Which, I'm sorry, she's just not.
  • Can I stop you right there? I've just had an idea- let's have this argument in the rain! The lashing rain! In fact, lets drive somewhere specifically so we can have the argument where it's raining really, really heavily. It's bound to look very dramatic.
  • Max's ex-partner, a detective, works by scrawling amazingly childlike insights on crime scene photos (presumably in fat crayon). 'KILLER???' (arrows, pointing).
  • Shamelessly bad villainry. 'Seeing as you are going to die, here is a detailed breakdown of how I did it. HAHA!'; 'No! Don't shoot him! We can think of something far more elaborate and inconclusive!' etc. etc.
  • The cinematography looks completely half-assed throughout. It's like the whole production was concentrated on those two or three 'trailer' shots, and the rest of the movie was knocked out in a matter of hours.
  • In fact, stylistically the entire thing is a rather poorly disguised attempt to ape Sin City, leading me to spend hours concocting Daily-Star-style puns such as 'Sin Shitty' (moo ha ha).
So basically my advice is to only see this movie if you are either (a) related to Mark Wahlberg and thus obliged to, or (b) quite inebriated. In fact, even if you fall into either of these criterion, there's bound to be better options available. Seek them out.

Stumble Delicious Technorati Twitter Facebook


November 25, 2008 at 1:22 AM Chrisnostanding said...

My advice would be, watch the trailer, then make up some dialog to fill the in between spaces, imagine people shooting in slow motion and enjoy the result, Instead of sitting through scene after scene of snow and hammy acting.

One of the many factors which detracted from the film was the appearance of characters which have now got large parts in other series/films but are underused in the film. As a result you see them only as their previous characters and they don't develop any character of their own. In this case Marlo Stanfield (The Wire), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), Brea Grant (Heroes), and Ludacris. The exception to this was Mila Kunis who should never have been allowed near this film.

The final straw in this shoddy effort was that there was about 2 scenes which could be considered as 'bullet-time'. Taking into account the fact that the enjoyment garnered from the games came almost solely from diving around in slow motion shooting things, thus removing the slow motion removes the enjoyment.

November 25, 2008 at 1:32 AM Clockwork Rob said...

I completely forgot about Ludacris.

-You want me to act in a film? But I'm a rapper, I can't act.

-Don't worry, Ludacris, acting is easy! Just put on this hat and trenchcoat.

-Wow! Just like a real detective!

November 25, 2008 at 5:02 AM Evil Bob said...

I could have sworn that The Matrix was out before Max Payne. Actually I will swear to that. Because it was.

November 25, 2008 at 12:09 PM Chrisnostanding said...

Yeah bullet time was in the Matrix first. The Matrix was released in 1999 and Max Payne was out in 2001.

I think 'Bullet Time' might be copyrighted so maybe they couldn't use it or somethin.

November 27, 2008 at 10:19 PM AnonymousBoosh said...

Yeah, Max Payne (or rather the makers thereof) just copyrighted the phrase for use in conjunction with video games, which is a) the reason the Matrix games had some crappy 'focus time' thing, and b) proof that lawyers are shit-ticks feeding off the excrement of human misery (no offence to your dad).

And FTR The Matrix didn't invent it either, I think it was the BBC documentary series 'Walking With Dinosaurs'. I think there was even a lawsuit over it.