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Max Payne review

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Max Payne


PG 13 99 min





Well friends I had to make a coin toss between MAX PAYNE and W for this issue.

Well I thought long and hard and decided that since nearly all Oliver Stone movies suck and since he’s obviously trying to cash in a few weeks from the election (and the new DiNiro movie didn’t open as I’d planned) that I’d cheat Ollie out of the free publicity and go with MAX.

Oh yeah I know it really should be terrible right? Right off the bat it’s based on a video game and not even a very good video game.

Second it stars Marky Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is a guy I really want to hate, just for the hip hop records but I must admit he rarely stinks up any movie that wouldn’t stink without him, and he’s OK here.

As I checked the rest of the roster I noticed Beau (the other Bridges brother) Bridges, Chris (where is he now) O’Donnell and Mila Kunis, that little hottie from THAT 70S SHOW. Too bad this is rated PG 13.

Well MAX PAYNE was a mildly pleasant surprise, kind of like when your blind date is average looking though you were expecting Rosanne Barr.

The plot is pretty basic; since detective Payne’s wife and kid were murdered he’s been pretty erratic. When a floozie winds up dead with his ID in her purse he draws even more suspicion from his friends and rivals on the force.

Also central to the story is some kind of new dope that causes panic and hallucination for nearly anyone who takes it. Nearly, that is, because a small few become fearless, ferocious fighters. (Sorry for the cheap alliteration)

You should spot the bad guy in the first few minutes but what story there is only works as a vehicle for some pretty cool visuals. And I don’t mean over the top computer generated effects but just very impressive camera shots and set design.

I don’t often mention the crew but Jonathan Sala and Daniel T Dorrance (cinematographer and set designer) really pulled this one out of the potential crapper.

Rumor has it that one scene was edited to go from an R to a PG 13 and I’m guessing it’s the one in which Payne is pounding the living hell out of O’Donnell and there’s not a drop of blood. That means MAX PAYNE will make more money even though the audience misses out on a more serious film and, ahem, Kunis in a nude scene.







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Guest Aloysius

I'd be less generous than the two of you and give it a C-, but I definitely agree that there were some nice artistic elements buried beneath all the garbage.


For instance, there's the repeating motif of snowfall. At first, I thought it was just the director overdoing things, but when Beau Bridges' character says, "It's unbelievable: All that snow and watch it end up being a beautiful day," I said to myself A ha! Maybe this isn't such a shitty movie.


Also, there's an interesting red-blue color thing going on in the film, most noticeably in the red color tinting of the second scene shot in Payne's apartment & the blue liquid everybody's getting high on. It may a red pill/blue pill tribute to The Matrix, a movie whose sartorial style (long black trench coats) and cinematic effects (slow motion shots) were copied by the creators of the video game.


In that vein, the repeated slow-motion segments were a nice tribute to fans of the games.


And I have to link to this:


Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals

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