I belong to the club known as the Give Mark Wahlberg More Worthwhile Roles Club, so I wandered into “Max Payne” with expectations set on medium.
I’ve never played the video game, and everyone that I went to has played the video game, so there was a lot of leaning over and going “I cannot BELIEVE they could f*ck this up” going on.
All in all, though, I had a decent time. I bet that most people seeing this movie will have a decent time, if they just sit back, relax, and watch shit blow up.
The tragic family montages appear to be spliced in from some old Vin Diesel debacle (not that I actually saw that debacle, but I imagine that it was a bit like this), but I enjoyed the occasional weirdness of this picture. I just wish there had been more of it. You know, enough to fill a film.
The beginning is great, fabulous, even; it made me think of Neil Gaiman and “American Gods.” The perpetual gloom hanging over the picture never quite lifts, it’s all wet snow and dark rooms, and I rather liked that.
Overall, it felt like there was a darker, stranger picture underneath the layers piled on top. It really came alive during the tattoo parlour, a quiet scene where nothing much happens, but which also happens to be my favourite one.
The villain isn’t particularly convincing and he gets lost amid all of the special effects fireworks and you never think much of him. His requisite villian speech isn’t bad, it simply should have been delivered by a different actor altogether. The idea of a man finally taking charge of his life by basically turning into a monster is an intriguing one – too bad that in “Max Payne” this idea is executed with all the grace and splendour of babboons during mating season.
Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg just doesn’t get to do much. And the sad thing is, I’m sure this role wasn’t particularly easy. There’s lots of work involved in such a role, regardless of whether or not it translates the way you want it to on the screen.
Wahlberg’s a great actor. I don’t care what the haters say. He can do more with a whisper than others do with a full-fledged fit.
Olga Kurylenko is pretty sweet too. She takes a role that’s as old as the movies – the doomed “slut” figure – and brightens it up through mischief. Maybe I’m just a sucker for satin slip-dresses and f*ck-me boots, but I liked her.
Mila Kunis fared much worse, but she had no material to work with. She might as well have been T-X in “Rise of the Machines.” Her eyeliner had more presence than she did, but, once again, I blame the script.
I have a dozen more complaints, but once again must go back to the fact that I had fun watching this movie. I settled into a rhythm and just went with it. It reminded me of being a kid again, and of being righteous, and wanting to fix the world, or, at least, a life.
I know it’s juvenile sensibilities are going to get slammed, and perhaps rightly so, but I damn near reveled in them.