Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Max Payne

There are numerous problems with this latest of Mark Walhberg's dramas.

The camera is in love with action, slowing it down to a snail's crawl to show us just how Max is able to get into the perfect position for his shot. And how the guy attacking him can get off three shots to Max's one, which is already in the air -- which is impossible. Stick figures run rampant in this movie adaptation of a video game. And the plot, while an interesting take, is presented in a confusing way.

Still, it's shot beautifully. It's Gotham City in its snowiest. Its scenes take on that black-and-white, caught-in-the-headlights kind of glow.

And the actors are interesting, if not terribly emotional in playing these paper-thin roles. It's great to see Beau Bridges, who is very good here, as the man Max appeals to when he's being framed for a murder or two, including his long-time partner on the force.

And Mila Kunis has come a long way from That Seventies Show. She's no buffoon here, and I predict a nice, long future for her in acting.

It's an interesting movie with a new slant on an old plot, and the actors are worth watching. But there are obstacles along the way. This movie could've benefitted from a more coherent story, a sense of humor here and there, and fewer characters, which would help the confusion factor. The Fan Boys will love it, but the rest of us will notice the missing parts.

Thumb's up, minimally.



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