Early Reviews Pan Max Payne Movie

By Chris Faylor, Oct 15, 2008 8:38am PDT Reviews for the Mark Wahlberg-starring Max Payne feature film adaptation have started coming in prior to the movie's October 17 debut, and despite some earlier praise, the results aren't pretty.

"I suffered through it, and you shouldn't have to...Nobody comes out of this thing looking good," reads Latauro's Aint It Cool News review, which later labels the film as "the year's most socially reckless movie" due to a plot twist near its end.

"It's so unbelievably dull, I'm struggling to find the energy to even write about it," the reviewer said of the flick's revenge-driven story. "The slow-mo option from the game may be great in that context, but looks fucking retarded in the film."

Another review, this one from Finnish outlet Suomen Kuvalehti, compares the John Moore-directed Max Payne to a movie from reviled director Uwe Boll, noting that "the choice between [Max Payne and a Boll film] is like deciding whether you want plague or tuberculosis, but if forced, I would say yes to Boll."

Furthermore, word from FilmThreat suggests that distributor Fox is timing the press screenings so late that most reviews won't come in until after opening weekend--a common way to avoid negative press.

Still, not everyone is down on the Max Payne movie. While TVNZ's Darren Bevan states that "Max Payne just misses the mark," he adds that certain scenes are "simply there to showcase the amount of pyrotechnics. And considering the action-heavy Remedy-developed games that inspired the movie, that may not be so bad.

It should also be noted that director Moore is planning a "gamer dedicated cut" of the film for its DVD release, which should be "a little slower and a little more atmospheric."

In related news, Shacknews can reveal that the film sports a "cold opening," meaning that there are no opening credits a la Star Wars, as the editors wished to emphasize the impact of what they view as a "powerful" opening sequence.

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  • OK so it looks like the DOOM formula is possibly at play here

    1. Successful video game leads to movie deal
    2. Movie studio/producers decide to pitch out key aspects of video game franchise
    3. Movie comes out, pleases no one - least of all the video game fanatics that were seen as a built-in audience
    4. Hollywood scratches its head as to why the movie lost money

    I completely understand that often times, Hollywood knows what it's doing. Blue and yellow spandex on Wolverine would not look good on a movie screen, no matter what the comic book geeks say.

    However, Hollywood has, pretty much every single time, changed key aspects of the video game franchise and it (as far as I can remember) hasn't worked yet. Why do they keep doing this?

    (of course the problem with the Max Payne movie could be that maybe it did follow the video game a lot and despite what we would like to believe, this doesn't make for a good movie)