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Review: Max Payne

india Updated: Nov 29, 2008 21:10 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Max Payne


: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis


: John Moore


: **

Once, there was the classic jawbreaker Mad Max about a leather-suited Mel Gibson seeking revenge against the punk killers of his wife and child. Now there’s Max Payne incarnated by Mark Wahlberg going through the same motions of scowling, frowning and staring hard into the camera lens.

Directed by John Moore, this adaptation of a video game brims over with clichés, complete with dark alleys where any form of danger could strike at any moment. And, there’s some kind of nightmare drug which gives birth to bullet-proof ghouls and turns the opposition into ninnies. In other words, anything goes.

Ten minutes into the travails of Max and we want to ask -- what’s going on? Bad question actually. Because the answer is that our eponymous Max Payne -- with a surname that’s very vulnerable to punning -- is prowling through fashionably dark and monochrome streets to blow the brains out of those who exterminated his family.

In this time-honoured task, he is assisted by a Russian woman of action (Mila Kunis) who has her own agenda. She’s desperately seeking revenge for the killing of her sister (Olga Kurylenko, the Quantum Bond girl). To appeal to the youth segment, rapper Luducris shows up as a top brass cop. Sorry but that really doesn’t help to make the film any more palatable or perky.

In effect, director Moore ends up saying that no one on this earth is free to just smell the roses or curl up with a good book. No way, everyone has a bloodthirsty mission on hand. That is the needless mantra of this movie, which was thrashed by the critics, but went on to top the American box office.

Be that as it may, in these times of shocking violence and unimaginable devastation, Max Payne doesn’t exactly make for recommended viewing.