Max Payne Film Shows at Comic-Con, Fans React

20th Century Fox's film adaptation of the Max Payne video games made a big showing on the first day of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con. Along with the release of two freshly printed one-sheet posters (above), actor Mark Wahlberg took to the stage for an open panel with co-star Mila Kunis and director John Moore.

An extended version of the recently released trailer was then shown to fans, as well as several clips from the film.

Garth Franklin at Dark Horizons broke down the series of events:

Director John Moore says that the video game adaptation uses a lot of subjective viewpoints with the camera to make the audience feel like they are Max Payne, thus they "kick the s**t out of the camera" throughout. The film uses a hard drive camera system called Phantom which can shoot up to 1000 frames per second, allowing for super slow motion shots.

Mila Kunis says she did some weapons and baton training for the film and she gets to beat Mark Wahlberg up in the feature. Kunis also got to speak various swear words in her native Russian language. Ludacris, taking on a role originally written for a older white male, plays a smart internal affairs agent who's on Payne's heels throughout the film.

The panel showed three clips, the first has an old car pulling up to an apartment building. Mark Wahlberg enters, gun up, looking for someone named Alex. He finds a body dead on a floor and an unseen attacker dressed in black proceeds to thrash him.

The second is set in a subway station where three hoods follow Payne (Wahlberg) into the bathroom and try to get his watch. Payne however tells them details of what they were up to earlier in the day. This pisses them off, thinking they've been followed. Wahlberg knocks one out, proceeds to shoot the stalls as one crim tries to crawl away, and the third runs off along the subway tracks.

The third is a special Comic-Con exclusive trailer/clip set to the 'Whole Lotta Love' song. The primary scene is Payne engaging successfully in a shoot-out with a SWAT team. There's also glimpses of demons, "Prison Break" star Amaury Nolesco with interesting facial tattoos playing some kind of crime lord, Wahlberg doing a flip backwards and firing off a rifle.

Mr. Beaks over at AintItCool didn't like what he saw:

..while MAX PAYNE looks like ten tons of agreeable silly, the major action sequence Fox proudly unspooled played like Brett Ratner's remake of DIE HARD: basically, it's a huge office shootout in which glass is shattered, sprinkler systems are triggered, and Payne sustains a good bit of damage. The major difference is that, in DIE HARD, there was a reason for Hans Gruber to order the random destruction of glass (McClane's bare feet); in MAX PAYNE, it's just an aesthetic consideration for the filmmaker (i.e. John Moore).

They also showed us a special, extended-for-Comic-Con trailer that was cut (badly) to an alternate Led Zeppelin recording of "Whole Lotta Love". Put me off the movie entirely.

But FreeScreeningWhore thought the film seemed faithful and fun:

The Max Payne footage was great, very much like the games. (definitely saw some graffiti of that drug logo. Can't remember the name, starts with a "v") Mila Kunis seemed uncomfortable. The panel ended with some sweet super-duper-digital-something slow motion footage, and everyone's heart was a-twitter. Fun.

Finally, Slashfilm chimes in with this recounting:

If you're a fan of the game, you would be excited of what we had the privilege to witness. For instance, one scene involved Max Payne following some junkies into a subway system. As he passed them, they were sitting on a bench, he took a right into the bathroom. The next thing we saw was Payne looking into the mirror, he noticed the reflection behind him were the junkies. A shootout soon took place inside the bathroom. If anyone has played just the beginning of the game, the set where this taking place will seem very familiar.

Some other perks from the game, has Max Pax Payne narrating how he feels, using very dark metaphorical dialogue, but making it as simple sounding as it can, giving the feeling like you're listing to someone read a comic book.

The last thing we were shown was a 3 minute highlight reel of the movie. It started with a zoomed shot of a barrel of a handgun, then with the same single shot started zooming back, until you saw Mark Wahlberg standing holding the gun in in a alleyway while it was snowing. It went on with Led Zeppelin's "Candy Store Rock" blasting in the background and seeing quick clips of various gun fights and showing different characters Max Payne will encounter, including dream sequence that are involved with the game. It ended with with a scene showing Max Payne holding a hostage in a office with an swat team of about ten, holding guns pointing to Payne. He throws the hostage to the ground and a fire fight ensues. Payne on one side of the room, the swat team on the other. Max Payne then tries to sneak to the other side of the room, ducking and dodging bullets by using the office desks as cover. At one point the emergency sprinklers go off, giving the firefight a little beauty to the scene.

At the end of the firefight, we see Max Payne dive, while shooting at a door to unlock it. The clip then slows down, using a bullet time effect much like what the game does. John Moore briefly discussed how they achieved bullet time. by Using a hard drive called Phantom. Phantom is a machine that can record video at 1000 Frames per second, which gives the effect of slowing down time time to the thousandth degree. The effect gives a smooth rendition of what the game does so well.

All in all, the movie has beautiful cinematic shots but the question remains, will the story be worth watching? Again, they seemed to keep the simple dialogue from the game, I'm not sure how well that will translate for a full movie.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 25, 2008 1:51 AM

    I am loving the first poster, but I remain confused about these winged dudes :/

    • reply
      July 25, 2008 1:57 AM

      Apparently it's part of a dream sequence.

    • reply
      July 25, 2008 2:29 AM

      The Flesh of Fallen Angels.

      Mirrors are more fun than television.

    • reply
      July 25, 2008 3:50 AM

      I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings.

    • reply
      July 25, 2008 4:02 AM

      One-winged Angels. Apparently Sephiroth is helping Max Payne in the movie.

    • reply
      July 25, 2008 5:01 AM

      I love that second poster.

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