Max Payne Movie Review
by Rhete

Considering this website is almost entirely dedicated to video games, and I'm the only oddball actually reviewing movies, I thought for my next movie review, I'd review a something that was originally based on a game! So here goes!

Resident Evil Extinction is an absolutely terrible movie, avoid at all costs.

Oh wait, wrong movie. Anyways, Max Payne is based off a game series of the same name, known for its gritty film noir style storytelling, and shamelessly ripping off bullet time from The Matrix and turning it into a pretty cool gameplay element. For a game where you run around shooting people 90% of the time, there is a surprisingly heavy emphasis on the storyline, so turning the games into a movie seemed like it would be a fairly easy transition.

Then the first trailers appeared, and things looked bad. Instead of a dark police drama, we got what looked like Max fighting it out with angels and devils, with the fate of the world at stake. It looked a lot more like a sequel to Constantine than a Max Payne movie. How could it be that the video game is actually more realistic than the movie? And how could they get the story so wrong?

Well it turns out, they didn't. The Valkyries (winged creatures) from the trailer aren't real. All of them are hallucinations seen by drug addicts. And nearly every single shot of them in the entire movie is in the trailer. I really have to wonder what genius thought it was a good idea to market the movie on such a blatent lie. There are even lines in the trailer like "The Devil is building his army" when in the actual movie, it's revealed a few lines later than this "devil" is just a pissed off ex-military guy. Whoops! Such false advertising for the movie only seemed to scare off the core audience, fans of the games.

As for the movie itself, it was pretty good, and on the scale of video game movies, it's probably one of the best ever. While I haven't actually played the first game (just the second) the storyline seemed fairly intact. Nothing was so horribly wrong that you couldn't make a sequel based off the second game right after this one. Max is trying to avenge the murder of his family, Mona Sax is properly introduced, and the overall feel of the movie is pretty close to the games.

The only major flaw I found with the movie is that the first half is a bit slow, and all the action is packed towards the end. Which isn't really bad, I like a movie with a good payoff, but putting it all together created another problem. Most of the movie is fairly realistic, I doubt most people would even know this was based on a video game. But Max is really never shown to be a total badass, just a very angry, despondent cop who works a desk job. So when he suddenly turns into, well, a video game character, taking out small armies by himself, doing slow motion backflip shoot over the shoulder attacks, and surviving everything against all odds, it is a tad jarring.

Still, I consider it a fairly good adaptation, though I seem to be in the minority. As long as you don't get hung up on little details being changed, fans of the game should still enjoy it.

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