"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.