"Remember when you were a kid and you'd hold your breath when you run past a graveyard?"
"The Devil is building his army. Max Payne is looking for something that God wants to stay hidden. That is what makes him more dangerous."Max Payne
is a Film Noir
action film from the year 2008. Based on the video game series of same name
, it was directed by John Moorenote
and it stars Mark Wahlberg
, Mila Kunis
Unlike the game, in this adaptation the framed fugitive undercover detective Max Payne is a cold case detective obsessed with finding the killer of his wife and child. His personal investigations gets him involved in the killing of Natasha Sax and his fellow detective Alex Balder (who has been on the case of the preceding) by the ex-marine Jack Lupino. Natasha's sister Mona, convinced that Max is the perpetrator, sets her sights on him.After the things clear up between them, they form an alliance to solve Natasha's murder and it's link to the new drug Valkyr which has been flooding the streets.
Reception of the film was generally negative with its plot and its cast's efforts being most criticized aspects. The false marketing
that made the film seem like a supernatural actioner a la Constantine
didn't help much either.
The film provides the examples of:
- Above the Influence: The Bond girl from Quantum of Solace more or less throws herself at Max. Max is...less than interested.
- Action Girl: Mona Sax in the Unrated Version.
- Adaptation Induced Plot Hole: In the games, Valkyr is taken via injection, hence the commonly seen "V" graffiti tags which feature a syringe. In the film the drug is taken orally, yet V tags identical to those in the game are seen several times.
- Ascended Extra: B.B. is upgraded from being a minor character and just another boss enemy in the game (albeit the last one you fight in a straight fight), to being the main antagonist of the film, with Nicole Horne being moved to a more hand-off, Bigger Bad role.
- Ax-Crazy: The people who can take Valkyr without succumbing to the hallucinations, like Lupino and later Max.
- Bald of Evil: Lupino.
- Big Bad: Lupino, natch. Later, B.B. though you should know this by now.
- Big Bad Friend: B.B. Hensley
- The Big Rotten Apple: New York city is a cold and an unpleasant place in this film.
- Bottled Heroic Resolve: Max uses the Valkyr to this effect after his dip into the waters of New York harbor.
- Bullet Time: Appears only twice in the film, despite it being the main selling point in the games.
- The Cameo: James McCaffrey, who voiced Max in the games, appears as an FBI agent.
- Car Cushion: One Valkyr victim jumps from his window and lands on a car.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: B.B. and Nicole Horn.
- Dirty Cop: Aesir corporation has an access on a squad of them.
- Disc One Final Boss: Lupino is not the Big Bad. But anyone who's played the game should already know that.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Over half of the movie is spent building up a major climax between Max and Lupino, but when Max finally runs into him, Lupino is unceremoniously shot in the back.
- Guns Akimbo: Max, while under the effects of Valkyr, mows down mooks with two guns.
- It Is Not Your Time: Max sees a vision of his wife telling him, "Not yet, Max." when he is about to drown, giving him the strength to swim to shore.
- Karma Houdini: Nicole Horne, though the stinger suggests otherwise.
- Knife Nut: Lupino.
- Lady in Red: Natasha.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Max and Mona briefly before forming an alliance together.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers focused on brief moments of CGI hallucinations and misleading snippets of dialogue to make it seem like the film has a supernatural edge, which would have been a literal extension of the first game's Norse mythology themes.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
- Thank you, B.B., for talking too much and putting Valkyr in Max's jacket pocket. Had it not been for you, Max would've died on the docks from hypothermia.
- This goes even earlier moment when he saves Max in Lupino's lair.
- Pistol-Whipping: Max beats Colvin with his pistol to get info out of him
- Protagonist Title
- Psycho Serum: Valkyr.
- Race Lift: Caucasian Deputy Chief Jim Bravura from the games is turned into African-American Internal Affairs Lieutenant played by Ludacris.
- Sequel Hook: The Stinger shows Mona Sax approaching Max in a bar and handing him a picture of Thorne, suggesting that they are going after her next.
- Signs of Disrepair: Lupino is shown at one point standing on the roof of a building with a broken neon sign for "Raglan and Brock", which is a reference to the Ragnarock club from the game.
- Villainous Rescue: Just when Lupino is about to kill Max, B.B. shows up out of nowhere and shoots him in the back.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Lupino, who doesn't seem to mind the coldness of the winter around him. Even in the middle of a snowstorm when he's sweating.
- The War on Terror: The reason why the Valkyr was developed in the first place.