Max Pain

By Alec Meer on July 10th, 2008 at 8:09 pm.

Max Payne: The Movie: The Trailer: The Hilarity.

(Embedded version beneath the cut. Because you shouldn’t ever have to leave our ever-lovin’ URL, oh no you shouldn’t.)

Hmm. If Marky Mark’s trying to restore his broken reputation after The Crappening, he’s perhaps picked the wrong Semi-Ironic Action Film With Inexplicable Angel O’Death Cameo for his next project.

Admittedly, it evokes the games’ knowing super-cheese, but, well, doesn’t seem to have translated terribly well back to the celluloid the games originally pilfered from. It could work, in a Grindhouse kinda way, but the trailer… No. Yeah, it’s a Youtube-friendly giggle in and of itself, but my problem is I tried to picture that approach spread over two full hours and saw only brain-ache. I am a hopeless cynic, of course.

Thanks to “the_incredible_bohemian” for the tip. Which is certainly something I don’t type every day.

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98 Comments »

  1. Pavel says:

    What teh fcuk? I found it awesome, and very true to games.An others reaction from what I could read was quite positive as well..
    It may be cheesy, but compared to that Hitman movie abomination, this is masterpiece (the trailer, that is).

  2. Tarn says:

    I was actually pleasantly surprised. It’ll still probably be awful, of course, but it doesn’t look nearly as terrible as I was expecting. There actually seemed to be some decent filmmaking involved with some decent cinematography evoking a decent atmosphere…maybe the bar’s just been set so incredibly low that anything that shows a slight bit of style seems like a breakthrough?

    But yes, as you say, Max Payne isn’t exactly the best material for game->film translation, given that the game was a silly mash-up of movie cliches. It just about survived in a game environment, but if it’s put back into movieland it’ll just be a comedy excercise. He’s called Max Payne, for christ’s sake!

  3. Vagrant Farce says:

    I thought that looked pretty good actually :) It’s silly to expect anything but super-cheese when your protagonist is called Max fucking Payne.

  4. Pavel says:

    Whats wrong with Max Payne name? His parents had a sick sense of humour, so what? : ).

  5. Faust says:

    I have to agree with the above comments…. I really liked the look of that trailer.. it really evoked the sense of Max Payne to me, which is ridiculously over the top film noir.

    As far as the Angel of Death cameo, I’m hoping that it’s just part of a massive Valkyrie trip that he has, and not some wierd alternate universe bs as is the want of Hollywood in recent years.

  6. Neuromante says:

    Well, I just hope the movie has some argument. Max Payne was not only the bullet time, Max Payne was the narration, the “tempo”, the way to sell you a 6-hours game in a time of 20-hours games and end it saying “Yes, it’s excellent. No more levels for the narration as it built”

    Oh, and of course was that awesome Matrix mod :P

  7. SwiftRanger says:

    The angel stuff seems like tripping idd, rest looks pretty good for a Max Payne product.

  8. Al3xand3r says:

    Matrix mod wasn’t that awesome… Its most awesome parts were other people’s mods, like Kung Fu mod (the only one I would describe as AWESOME).

  9. Bob Arctor says:

    I liked the stunts etc. I thought it looks enjoyable in a trashy way. No more trashy and brainless than either Transformers or Indie IV though.

  10. CannedLizard says:

    Have to agree with SwiftRanger: looks Max Payne-y, but why the angel of death?

    Although I see I’m the only person who found any semblance of enjoyment in the Hitman movie….

  11. Bema says:

    It’s all based on a true story you know…

  12. Al3xand3r says:

    I’d hope the winged angel of death was some sort of illusion brought by painkillers…

  13. Jon says:

    Looked pretty good to me. As long as the angels aren’t supernatural and are drug induced then I’ll be happy. [Now there's a sentence I couldn't see me writing when I woke up this morning....]

  14. Buch says:

    I actualy thought it looked ok aswell. I realy like Sin City and i thought that was very Max Payne-ish. This looks of a simelar ilk and makes me happy in my pants.

  15. Thomas says:

    All of this concern over the angel of death seems to be ignoring the strong element of Norse mysticism (and general occult goings-on) that pervaded the entire game. While Max never found himself swept out of a window on black wings, he did come to the realization that there were forces at work that were far beyond the ken of mortal men. He was working for Wotan (Woden), after all. And while he was a one-man revenge machine with a dead wife haunting his heart, many of his enemies were not just bad men, but devotedly evil (“The flesh of fallen angels!”).

    That being said … I just don’t see how Wahlberg is going to maintain the noir sensibilities and wry gallows humor of Max.

    Also, I have my doubts that Wahlberg will realize suddenly that he’s just an actor in a movie ….

  16. Tak says:

    It’s bound to be better than Hitman. But then, I didn’t really enjoy the only hitman game I played either (Blood Money, for the inevitable bashing I’ll recieve) and did enjoy Max Payne, so I’m probably going into this one with a bit higher tolerance level.

    Jon, I’d say be careful what you write because JT may end up trying to use it in court to prove that gamers are all evil devil child things, but we probably don’t have to worry about that anymore.

  17. Al3xand3r says:

    I don’t remember seeing any “forces” at work, just lunatics, raving mad men and fanatics… Unless we count game mechanics and point out bosses take more bullets to kill… Dream sequences etc could just be considered Payne’s illusions, he did go through a lot of tough shit…

    If I recall correctly, the sequel had even less mentions of the mystical (and was also a damn good game but lacked a mod as great as Kung Fu mod for MP1 was).

  18. Citizen Parker says:

    At least they got the font right, I guess.

    About on par with “Krug. Savage, armed Krug.” but still more inspiring than the trailer for another video game movie.

  19. Gilzor says:

    Sorry Alec but… what /exactly/ is wrong with that trailer? Apart from WALL*E*Berg screaming in front of a CG New York, I think it’s pretty sweet. Well, apart from the fact it looks a bit like Constantine. Bear in mind I also have the script for the film and found it surprisingly good – hence am a little biased.

    Surprisingly good, but with more than a few key omissions. For example, Italian mobsters have mostly been replaced with Voodoo-spouting Haitans and the cheesy noirish narration bookends the film, rather than playing throughout.

    The demons are very much a sympton of a new drug that seems to make everyone see them, rather than just one person.

  20. Andrew Wills says:

    Heh! I’m the same, I saw this earlier over at ShackNews and was pleasantly surprised. The cast is well chosen, the acting seems pitched at the right level, and the whole thing smells of Sin City, which can only be a good thing. I was initially dubious about this, but as they’ve retained the comic book format, and clearly gone for a Frank Miller look… My hopes are high, and the trailer wasn’t half bad.

  21. Gilzor says:

    FYI, anyone wants the script just pop your email up and I’ll skidoodle it over.

  22. MetalCircus says:

    Looks alright, but then so did Hitman. Don’t get your hopes up.

  23. Al3xand3r says:

    If you really have access to stuff like that, why would you spoil it for people who would rather watch the movie to find out? To show off or what?

  24. tmp says:

    It seems to capture the cheese overload of games very well. Not sure if they can make it work over length of the complete movie, but piqued my interest unlike any game -> movie conversion to date.

  25. Gilzor says:

    Because Max Payne 2 is one of my favourite games ever, and I wanted to see how the filmmakers were going to translate it. That and the fact this film was announced about 8 years ago, and all that time for them to fuck it up would have annoyed me more than any other typical videogame adaptation.

  26. Optimaximal says:

    I was definitely interested…

    The music (despite being composed by Marilyn Manson) was quite close to the games, the characters all looked right (especially Mona Sax) and if the angels are (hopefully) just an hallucination, then its definitely in a better position than anything that’s come before it.

    edit: Scratch that, Bravura is played by *spit* Ludacris… What the hell?

  27. Dyrwen says:

    Well, it oughta be watchable, which is more than I can say for most video game films. As long as they get the revenge story right, then the rest oughta fall into place.

  28. Paul S says:

    Interweb fame! Sort of. I feel all warm and toasty.

    It looks like nonsense, though. Mark Wahlberg looks like a big wuss at the best of times, rather than a grim faced hopped up vengeance monger with a nice line in simile. Someone somewhere compared it to Constantine, which makes sense. They’ve beefed up the occultism and lost the Max Payne-ness. Much like the Doom movie, except the other way around.

    I predict crap.

  29. Lacero says:

    I always thought the occultism was the central focus of Max Payne, and the background of Max was just his window into it all. A plot hook rather than the plot.

    It looks awesome to me, I’m sold. When’s it out?

  30. Erlam says:

    I released my finger from the trigger…

    As soon as I heard Marky Mark was Max Payne, I said no. I’d nominate Sebastian Spence, myself. Meh, guess we’ll see.

  31. Bunny Mazonas says:

    Oh my… that is really quite tragic.

  32. Paul S says:

    Well, that didn’t last long…

  33. Eddie Aitken says:

    Max Fail.

  34. Locust says:

    Blood, tits, guns and fire. Needs more fire.

    I’ll probably need a strong drink for this one.

  35. sinister agent says:

    “It’ll be better than Hitman” is hardly praise. 99.99% of everything in the world is better than the Hitman film, and that includes several forms of torture.

    It looks faintly watchable, but I see absolutely nothing to do with Max Payne in it, and nothing to distinguish it from eleventy billion other stupid stunt/tedious slow motion on wires action flick, and it’s about eight years to late to jump on that bandwagon anyway. Even the gravelly voice over didn’t have the brilliant metaphors that made the game’s narration such fun. Meh/10.

  36. Sax says:

    @Optimaximal

    I disagree, Mila Kunis is much to young for the part of Mona. And she hasn’t got that fatale-style like the original.

  37. RiptoR says:

    http://www.payneandredemption.com/

    This is THE Max Payne related movie to wait for. Too bad Fox got so scared of this project they threatened to shut it down and drive them into the ground…

    So P&R lost the Max Payne reference, and they’re reshooting scenes atm to remove any leftover references that could be met with legal mumbojumbo…

  38. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Not even a cameo by Marlo Stanfield (hamming it up around the 30 second mark, The Wire fans) can save this one.

  39. Fat says:

    Looked good to me. I think people automatically assume computer game movies will suck due to things like Hitman and Uwe Boll scarring them for life.

  40. CryingMinotaur says:

    Did anyone else think the music at the beginning was a bit reminiscent of “Threads” from the new Portishead album?

    Of course it’s nowhere near as good as that song (or anything else by PH for that matter), but….

    *goes off to give Third another spin*

  41. matte_k says:

    Where the fuck is Vladimir Lem in this film? No mention in the cast list on imdb… and wasn’t the head of the corp that made the drugs a middle aged woman (Mrs. Petrelli from Heroes, maybe?)

    Still…looks better than most game movies, have to wait and see.

    edit: Hmmm. The official site synopsis mentions Max “battling enemies beyond the natural world”. So, that doesn’t bode well for the angel bit then…

  42. Simon says:

    I’m sorry, but the only good Max Payne movie they could possibly make would just be a Fraps recording of all of the first game. It is intentionally cinematic. The angel thing going on looks awful. The Valkyrie plot and the Aesir corporation stuff was a goldmine. Please God, don’t let this happen

  43. The_B says:

    I thought Shooter was pretty good. Was I alone in this?

  44. Sum0 says:

    “The truth was a burning green crack through my brain. Cameras shot my every move. The room was a sound stage, the walls built of thin wood. I was speaking another man’s words, hammered out in black ink against a white page by some Hollywood hack. I was in an action movie. Funny as hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of.”

  45. Nick says:

    “I thought Shooter was pretty good. Was I alone in this?”

    I thought the screenplay was, at times, brilliant but let down by a rather lackluster.. rest of the film.

    Some of the dialogue was fantastic though.. “Still got the shovel” had me in stitches.

  46. Pidesco says:

    Considering how awful the writing was in the games, I have to say that this trailer seems quite fitting.

    crap writing+bullet time=Max Payne, which, going by the trailer, is exactly what the movie will give us. Max Payne fans should be rejoicing.

  47. FredrikFtw says:

    Max Awesome

  48. Stuk says:

    I wouldn’t say the writing was awful, I think it completely suited the noir/melodrama of the game. I mean look through these quotes. Some of them are fantastic!

    Re: the trailer: Mona Sax looks good, Payne less so, and the angels scare me. They better be part of a trip. Overall: definitely want to see, but will probably be average.

    And Sum0, is that from the script, or an adaptation of the game’s?

  49. Radiant says:

    Maybe he is fighting old nick’s army?

    Marky Mark
    Marlo
    Luda
    Hot Chick
    Bum on Seat [at home on dvd]

  50. Radiant says:

    ALSO!
    This marks the triumphant return of Chris ‘where’d he go?’ O’Donnell.
    And the screen debut of Nelly ‘She’d definitely get it’ Furtado.

    *edit* and that wet noodle mexican dude from Prison Break!

    This film is attaining next level status

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