Detective Max Payne hasn't been the same since his wife and son were murdered. Especially seeing as how one of the perpetrators is still out there. When Max's ex-partner finds a connection between the death of an assassin's sister and Max's family, he ends up dead with Max as the prime suspect. Now Max must team up with this assassin to bring down a company responsible for a conspiracy dealing with a military weaponised drug called Valkyr.
Ahhh, Max Payne. I never really got into the games as I'm not much for the first person shooter types. I did watch a roommate play a bit though and was immediately drawn into the dark, brooding monologues which connected the game's chapters together. When I'd heard about the movie, I wasn't surprised but when I heard (Marky) Mark Wahlburg was playing Max, I got excited. I only kid him, cause I love him. He's one of the best actors of today, and that ain't too shabby considering he came up from the music world. The trailers looked great, the soundtrack was bang on and then it happened. I read they were "toning it down" from a hard "R" to PG-13 fluff with frightening scenes. I nearly punched a hole in my monitor. What a fucking waste. I mean, it was so blatantly obvious and ridiculous. You could see a splash of blood hit the wall in the trailer after some junky gets hacked to death by a machete, but a bare wall in the actual movie. Unbelievable. And this betrayal didn't go unnoticed by the fans. Nobody I talked to liked this film. Not a one. I'm speaking of the cut version of course, I'm getting to the unrated part, though for some reason, I'm assuming the damage is already done for poor Max.
I watched the unrated version because I knew it was the version they'd originally intended for theaters. Had this version hit theaters instead of the cut one, I think people would have sung a different tune. When people get shot in this version you see a spray of red mist, not to mention a hole. We got some naughty language, a couple chick making out and I even saw some side boob. Why the hell was this stuff cut? It's a cop flick for God sake, when a guy gets shot you need to see blood, pure and simple. "Street Kings" with Keanu Reeves and "Assault of Precinct 13" with Ethan Hawke, now THOSE were kick ass cop flicks. I was expecting the same thing from "Max Payne" and got it with the unrated version but as I said, I think it's too little too late to save face here. The people have already spoken, and most aren't willing to re-watch a flick just cause it says "unrated". Only the few hardcore fools like myself (and probly the sort of people reading this review) are guilty of such tolerence.
Because I think so highly of Mark Wahlburg, I would have watched this movie regardless. I sat through "The Happening" because of him, I could really care less about M. Night Douchebag but I would be happy if he made the sequel to "Unbreakable" he's been babbling about for the past few years now. I honestly have been a huge fan of Wahlburg since "Fear", not to mention his other project "Entourage" is one of my favorite shows. So, either way, I watch his movies and most times walk away happy. I knew I'd love this version mainly because the cut one wasn't a bad film to begin with. I was just angry at the system. I'm a sucker for unrated, extended or director's cut versions of my favorite films. Not to say "Max Payne" is a favorite but it is indeed worth seeing in its true form. Being a video game movie, it will never get the applause it's due simply because the games always have at least six to ten hours of storyline which is impossible for a movie to compete with. Even with sequels. This is why you see novels turning to Television a lot lately. Maybe it's time video games followed suit. "Max Payne" as a twelve episode series on HBO or Showtime would have been a much better presentation. Of course, you don't see it as often cause there's a hell of a lot more money in movies. My argument there is, why risk a shitty movie and make "OK" money, when you can do it right by the fans and material and still make a decent amount of money the first go around? Season one ends, you leave the audience begging for more, on comes season two and more money. This isn't quantum physics here......or maybe it is.
Catch the Max Payne trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVA7Pvn0t18&feature=related