Monday, February 23, 2009

Max Payne (2008)

I've mentioned before that I had high hopes for this movie since I am a big fan of the video game and its sequel. I finally saw it over the weekend and was severely disappointed. Of course, in any movie adaptation, the filmmakers reserve the right to change elements of the story. They did so, but in ways that didn't make any sense.

In the game, Max was a homicide detective. His wife and child were murdered. Max becomes an undercover DEA agent working against the Punchinello family. He goes to meet his fellow agent Alex Balder in the Roscoe Street subway station in the opening scene of the game. Alex is murdered and Max becomes the prime suspect. The rest of the game is Max hunting down the real killers, trying to clear his name, and uncovering a conspiracy behind his wife's murder.

In the movie, Max was a homicide detective. His wife and child were murdered. Max transfers himself to the cold case squad and goes out at night investigating their murders on his own. He gets set up for the murders of Natasha Sax and Alex Balder and has to clear his name.

There are some cool elements to the movie, but it doesn't capture the style or feel of the source material. There are only two big gunfights and two instances of bullet-time (the real fun parts of the game). The relationship between Max and Mona Sax isn't explored at all, and Jack Lupino has maybe three lines of dialog in the entire picture.

I was hoping the movie would be good and do well at the box office. Not only because I was a fan of the source, but also that it might push the game designers to finish the third installment of the franchise.

1 comment:

StephenD said...

That sucks. I was hoping it would be good since I'm a fan of the games too.

Two of the best things about the game were the John Woo two-fisted gunfights and the noir storyline. Seems like they ditched both.

I guess I don't have to rush out to rent it now.