Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!


Max Payne October 17, 2008
Max Payne
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG-13 for violence including intense shooting sequences, drug content, some sexuality and brief strong language.

Mark Wahlberg stars as the title character in "Max Payne." Taken from the video game of the same name, Payne is a cop whose wife, unborn child and partner are all murdered.

He transfers to the Cold Case unit, working on dead end crimes. But what he's really doing is staying on the hunt for the man who killed his loved ones.

Max is soon joined in his quest by an assassin named Mona Sax (Mila Kunis). She's also looking to avenge a murdered loved one. Her sister, shortly after visiting with Max, dies a gruesome death.

Together Max and Mona follow the trail and it leads to a new drug that may have powerful side effects.

Although the story in "Max Payne" doesn't break any new ground at least its told with good acting and without a bloated script. Wahlberg is appropriately dark as the cursed Max and Kunis, although not very believable as a killer at least looks good in her various assassin outfits.

As a matter of fact, it is the production design on the film that makes it so watchable. I'm overlooking a complicated and somewhat confusing plot because the visuals are original and compelling.

Besides the unique style that sets an appropriate mood, director John Moore really knows how to stage an action scene. There's plenty of gunplay through snowy and rainy weather as Max deals out his vengeance.

Rounding out the cast, Beau Bridges plays Max's retired cop mentor cleverly named "BB." His new job is with the pharmaceutical company where Max's dead wife once worded. Rapper-turned-actor Ludacris is an internal affairs detective suspicious of Max but also trying to find the truth.

On my rating scale, "Max Payne" earns a Double.


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