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Action -Shoot-em Ups

Max Payne (2008)

Duration1h 40m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, Spain: 18 
Source of storyThe video game “Max Payne”, now in three series.
DirectorJohn Moore
Writers/ScriptBeau Thorne
StarringMark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Chris O’Donnell, Olga Kurylenko, 
RatingsIMDb: 5.4 by 122,719 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 16% by 135 reviewers..

Elevator Pitch: Max Payne is a detective whose wife and child have been murdered and so is devoting his life to finding out who and why. He crosses paths with Natasha who is murdered and dismembered in the street and as a result joins forces with her sister Mona and he seems to be being helped by BB Hensley, the head of security in the Aesir Corporation, an organisation which had developed a drug which, when taken orally caused ordinary grunts to become super soldiers, and for whom Max’s wife had worked. Unfortunately the drug “Valkyr” is addictive and causes horrifying hallucinations. As Max digs deeper he finds his life is under threat.

Content: No sex or nudity. Max takes on some villains in the Metro. Max is briefly involved with Natasha who is murdered by a former soldier now a Valkyr addict. Because Max’s wallet is found in her possession he is being investigated by Internal Affairs, but with Mona, a machine gun toting moll, he takes on a variety of villains using hand guns, and his firearm of choice which is a pump action shot gun. We see that the people taking the drug hallucinate in the same way, seeing winged humanoids who seem to attack them.

A View:  This film was not popular with the critics for lack of character development and a looney plot. Players of the game particularly disliked it because really the only similarity to the game was the name, and they thought that there were not enough slow motion fire fights, apparently a feature of the game. Olga Kurylenko got an “and” even though her contribution was just an extremely glamourous walk on. But cutting to the chase, I actually understood what was going on, and liked the idea of a drug which was both beneficial and destructive. And despite Mark Wahlberg’s Razzie nomination I thought it was OK. You could watch while having a few beers.

Additional Info: One of the few critics to like this outing was James Christopher of the London Times.       

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



  1. Pingback: Taken (2008) | A MOTION PICTURE LIST - August 5, 2022

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