Many of us were chronically un- and under-employed during the year or two following the release of Max Payne, the video game. So we attained a level of intimacy with Max Payne’s story of violence, addiction, betrayal, violence, loss, isolation, violence and violence that some might find … disturbing. And thus, it is with mixed excitement and trepidation that we approach the task of scoring Mark Wahlberg’s venture into noveau-noir in the film adaptation.
Here are our findings.
- Max tells us he believes in pain. Also fear. And death—he believes in death. = +12pts (For establishing the movie’s tone instantly.)
- The cop giving the rookie a tour is Dennis Franz, only cheaper. = +3pts
- Max opens bathroom-stall doors with bullets. = +6pts
- The drug dealer is David Paymer, only cheaper. = +7pts
- Every criminal in Not-Gotham City has a drug addiction that makes them hallucinate homicidal bird-monsters, then die. = -5pts (+20 in 1983; -25 in 2013)
- Max’s ex-partner is Donal Logue, only chea—nope, that’s Donal Logue. = +12pts
- An answering machine? In 2008? This movie, like Billy Pilgrim, is unstuck in time. = +10pts
- Ludacris(!)plays a detective named “Bravura.” Because, y’know, all those Italian plantation owners. = +18pts
- How many Not-Gotham City cops does it take to break down Donal Logue’s office door? All of them, for some reason. = +15pts
- We don’t know how big a gun it would take to make Mila Kunis intimidating, but that one’s not even close. = -4pts
- Max Payne’s rented storage locker almost certainly houses the Ark of the Covenant. = +10pts
- Oh, his wife and child were killed on Christmas. We thought a bit more melodrama was needed. = +20pts
- We can finally make a decent gluten-free pizza crust, but our best super-soldier formula drives 99% of test subjects insane? = -10pts
- “Valkyr gives you wings!” So it’s like Red Bull, only more homicidey. = +15pts
- There’s a way to win a machete vs. shotgun fight. Using the shotgun as a club is not it. = -25pts
- Sending Max to “sleep with the fishes.” You can’t beat the classics. = +10pts
- Putting the super-soldier formula in the protagonist’s pocket BEFORE you weigh his feet down. = 10pts
- Max kills the mastermind, the uber-villain, the Final Boss … with one bullet. Fuck you, movie. = -50pts
- So the lady that’s president of the big corporation is the real villain? Sequel? Hold on, where’s our shotgun. Allow us to club you with it. = -5pts
Available on: TBS at 3:00 AM on a Tuesday. Probably.
We believe in pain. We believe in fear. We believe in death.
And we believe in watching better movies. Max Payne is a film that you will forget in a Not-Gotham minute.
Score Technician: John Ormond