Wednesday, February 3, 2010

“Max Payne” – Continuing the dumb.

During one of my recent podcasts, I said that I was going to see “Max Payne” on Halloween. My cohost, Rachael West, predicted that I wasn’t going to like it; that she had heard nothing but bad things about it. In fact, I heard the same things, but I was determined that the critics just didn’t like these types of movies. I had seen previews that made the movie look a lot like “Constantine” and I really enjoyed that movie.

Rachael, you were right. I did not enjoy this movie. This was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in the last year and I’ve seen a lot of movies. On my scale of movie judgment, this one was on the same level of shit as “Jumper.”

The only good thing I can say about this movie were that the previews were excellent. They drew me in with the promise of supernatural beings in the form of Valkyrie, which are deities in Norse mythology who determine the victors and heroes of wars, and in some interpretations even decide who lives and who dies. I thought the Valkyrie in this movie were going to be controlling events somehow. In addition, Mark Wahlberg reminded me, somewhat, of Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.” In all cases, the previews depicted a completely different movie than what was shown.

Having never played the video game that this movie was based on, I had no idea what the story was supposed to be and I can’t imagine this was it. In a nutshell, Max Payne is trying to avenge his family’s death and uncovers a secret drug operation stemming from a military experiment. The drug, Valkyrie (seriously), makes the soldiers super strong, but also crazy in most cases. Max eventually discovers that his best friend is the murderer, so he takes some Valkyrie, and kills everyone. Not only is this plot incredibly stupid, it’s also pretty much the same plot as “The Incredible Hulk” (another completely inane movie). Sometimes, I think the writers are trying to see how stupid they can make the story before getting fired. Obviously, they haven’t found the bottom of the barrel yet.

Considering the previews played up the Valkyrie as being a major part of the movie, one has to wonder if the guys putting the previews together even knew what this movie was about. As it turned out, the Valkyrie (not the drug) were all hallucinations brought on by the drug. Everything we saw in the previews involving the Valkyrie were either people killing themselves or being killed by the demented soldier. Who’s that? I haven’t mentioned him yet? He’s the guy building an army with the drug while running around with a machete. I bet you’re sorry you asked, huh? I am.

There are so many other things, large and small, that led to this being such a bad movie, but I don’t have the time to describe them all. However, that doesn’t let Beau Bridges off the hook. What the hell was he thinking when he signed on for this? I can understand Mila Kunis (“That 70’s Show”) taking a role in this film. She doesn’t exactly get away from Fox Studios much. But Beau Bridges? Unless he’s gone bankrupt, a la Ed McMahon, this was one he should have skipped. I think he was jealous that his brother landed “Iron Man” and he completely lost his mind.

The good news for Wahlberg and Kunis, (Bridges character was killed at the end) is that this movie actually turned a decent profit; ensuring them both another paycheck, in the form of an inevitable sequel, and encouraging Hollywood to spew more crap like this. The bad news is that we funded it. Next time, I might just listen to Rachael and just stay home.

Rating: You should ask for all of your money back. If you were like me and ignored a friend’s advice, you deserve what you got.

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