Monday, December 1, 2008

MAX PAYNE - A BADASS MOVIE REVIEW


Recently a friend of mine was looking at this blog. He asked me point blank if there are any movies I like. I had to think for a second. Is this Mediasaurs blog that negative? I am merely trying to tell it like it is.
We are in a time where there is a LOT of crap coming down the pipe. We are in a time where the ugliest of movies are heralded as breakthroughs. I really want to go forward twenty years and do a search online and find out what really resonated in this time as "decent." Movies are sucking harder and harder these days, and sometimes it is good to watch a movie that does what it is supposed to do. Max Payne follows the classic rules, and it is like walking the same route home every day for several years. You know how it works, and it isn't really bad, or specatacularly good for that matter. You might see something that you haven't seen before and you still have to look both ways before you cross the street.
When Max Payne dropped, it got destroyed by the critics. So horrendous was the destruction that I didn't bother to even watch the thing. I have always had a problem with Marky Mark, and I just chalked this up to some more of his ROCK STAR/SHOOTER/PLANET OF THE APES bullshit.
Well, I have now seen Max Payne, and I have to tell you all something: This is a good movie.
Production values are at the top. The plot is secure, and the acting is where it needs to be. Furthermore, the effects in this film are so far over the line that you will be mesmerized every time they wake up the effects machine.
THIS IS WHAT VIDEO GAME MOVIES SHOULD BE.
This is a franchise that was obviously respected by the powers that be.
Now I have to hit you upside your head with a caveat before you start buying serious stock in Marky Mark and this rendition of a Playstation 2 game. The caveat is that this movie is completely predictable. There is a definite template that they are using, and they stay within the lines of the objects that they are coloring within. You have seen this story before. You won't be able to count how many times that you have seen this one before, and you will find yourself in the middle of a mind-set that you have explored for as long as you have been watching movies with drama, angst and guns.
Max Payne is a loner. His wife and kid were killed and something inside of him broke. The case went cold, and since he is a cop, he blames the system that he is working within. He is doing his own detective work on the side, still trying to put the whole thing together.
As he does all of his research that he is told not to do by every sane-looking person in his life, he gets closer and closer to the truth. This movie is tedious until this point. What we are all waiting for is the snap. When Max Payne finally snaps, it is a sight to behold. There is a moment when he is flat on his back, freezing with a bullet in his leg. There is one thing that he can do, and as a viewer, you really hope he reaches into the right pocket to do what he needs to do. And I will be damned if he doesn't do just what you are hoping he will do. This is when the bodies pile up and the effects take off. I am dancing around this because I don't want to spoil it.
In retrospect, the snappage that Max Payne goes through is on the PG-13 side, but it is satisfying. Slow motion bullets and snow blister your eyes, and in the end a sequel could come your way.
I have no idea why Max Payne was crucified by the critics. This is a video game movie, and it adheres to the rules like an anal-retentive librarian.
If you go into Max Payne expecting something new, you will be disappointed. If you go into it expecting a boiler-plate action film with bullet-ripping special effects, you are going to get one. On my most serious note, I have to wonder: What were they expecting? This is a good movie.
Yeah, I said it.
-Mediasaurus Rex