Talking about wasted potential. The video games featuring Max Payne are not just popular because of they are action filled games but perhaps more so because they play like a modern film-noir, with its atmosphere, story and characters. All of those elements got suddenly for some reason totally changed or abandoned and what is left is some confusingly bad written movie, with some average action in it.

I don't get it why movies based on video games often feel the need to feature a new and original story, that deviates from the video games. Seriously, the story from the first two Max Payne games would had been compelling and great to see on the silver screen. The story that we have instead now for this movie feels like it got written for a totally different movie at first. On top of that, it just isn't a very solid or original story to begin with. It doesn't make the movie a very compelling watch, also because it can get confusingly bad at times.

I still really liked the dark visual style of the movie though, that also was really in style and tone with the video games. But however this also forms a problem at the same time. The visual style makes this movie seem like a film-noir, while it's story, although it tries hard, just isn't noir. It's lacking all of the required ingredients and also the characters are not well written enough for that.

It's also a poorly and just wrongly cast movie. I'm not a Mark Wahlberg hater but he just wasn't right for this role at all. He's not tough looking enough for that and also doesn't have the right acting skills to convincingly sent out all of the emotions and complexity of the Payne character. Same goes for Mila Kunis as Mona Sax really. And remind me, why was she in this movie again? Her character actually doesn't add anything at all and might as well been left out entirely. But Kunis also just isn't right for the role. Mona Sax is supposed to be the definition of a femme fatale. A girl you can easily fall in love with but always need to be careful that she won't be putting a knife in your back. Kunis however is far too soft and friendly looking for that. No way it's believable that she is a girl that can kill without remorse and in the blink of an eye, though she can most likely still beat me in a fight.

Guess good thing you can say about this movie is that it's not a boring one to watch. There is always something happening and luckily there also is plenty of action. You however most likely won't ever be very taken by any of it, simply because you won't care about the story or characters enough for that.

But like most other people I'm still hopeful for a reboot. All of the potential and material to make a great movie series is there up for the grabs, hopefully to be picked up by a more capable writer and more suitable cast next time.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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