‘Max Payne’ just OK

David Wiens

“Max Payne” was OK. I’m not saying that because I lack of a more descriptive word, OK just fits. While I can’t say it was an especially bad movie, it just didn’t grab my attention. The latest in the ongoing string of video game movies, “Max Payne” was slightly better than most, but it still seemed a little stale to anyone who wasn’t already a fan of the game. The film almost couldn’t decide its style and switched from film noir to suspense to action. Though it began with narration from the main character, that dropped out at some point and never came back. The story, from what I can understand, does follow the plot of the first installment of the game. Max Payne, played by Mark Wahlberg, is a cop working to find the third man who was responsible is the murder of his wife and baby. When a string of people are killed, all having Max as the last person who’d seen then alive, his investigation becomes more difficult. His investigation eventually leads him to the pharmaceutical company his wife worked for and his long time friend B.B. Hensley, played by Beau Bridges, comes under scrutiny. The paranormal element played up in the trailer is actually the result of a drug that’s killing many of the characters in the movie. It builds up to the revealing of the killer, and one of the first post-credit scenes I’ve seen all summer. Still, as I said, the movie wasn’t really bad by most standards. The cast is by and large well received and with a little more experienced direction, I think this movie could have been pretty good. The only place the movie can really be said to have gone wrong is the action sequences. They are deliberately shot in a very disorienting, blunt style that the sound mixing editors didn’t bother to fix and every time someone is attacked, so is the audience. Overall, I suppose this movie is really pretty heavily geared towards the people who play the game, and probably won’t do much for you if you haven’t. The only thing that really caught my attention about it was the uncanny resemblance of every audience member to each other.