By Chris Wood
“Max Payne” the film is based on the 2001 video game of the same name. As a movie it is a competent action film that one can munch popcorn to. Comparing it to the game is difficult because the movie differs so much from the original. It’s as if writer, Beau Thorne, wrote down the names of the major locations and characters and used them to write his own generic, gritty, cop epic. This is great if you a fan of action films in general but is infuriating to the fans of the game, who will probably be the ones lining up to see the film.The plot of the film begins when our hero’s family is murdered and the search is on for the killer. A lead opens up in the case and he follows it all the way to the source. These include a drug known as Valkyre, an evil heartless corporation known as Aesir and inexplicably Chris O’Donnell.
The film as a movie is generally OK. The cinematography and overall look of the film is spectacularly done. Director John Moore must be given credit for making Ontario look like New York City in the winter. The action, when it happens, is nicely done though a bit sanitized for the PG-13 rating. As a service to fans of the epic game, there a couple brief “bullet-time” sequences, but the acting is a bit stiff.
It should be mentioned that this film, much like the film adaptation of DOOM, has had the majority of its Christian symbolism removed. The pentagram was removed from around his murdered wife. His hallucinations did not include the vivid symbolism of his family being sacrificed to the devil that was Valkyre.
Overall the film is OK, but if you’re a fan of the original game you will find yourself with only a greasy-fingered dissatisfaction.