October 16th, 2008

Max Payne Now In Australian Theaters; first reviews not so good

Published at 10:10 PM PST

The Max Payne Movie hit cinemas down under today and has so far not had great reviews. The film has been labeled 'horrid', 'sub-standard', 'dull' and 'dodgy' in many reviews published online today. Many say that the film lacks quality, and that the action is great but it takes a primary role in the game, with the story (which has always been terrific in the Max Payne games) sluggishly behind the action.

Now we aren't much fans of critics, as you may have noticed over the last year, but we do respect that they have an opinion, as does everyone. We have yet to see the film, however we find some of the reviews so far to be very harsh, take this one from Empire for example:

Come on. It’s too easy to review the latest videogame movie blowout by just repeating its title in a sarcastic yet kinda funny way. Surely you can put more thought into summing up how dreary and dopey this revenge rubbish is, although that might be more mental energy expended than was used in the making of a payne-ful (sorry) picture.

Many reviews listed the film as dull and boring and also said that the action was without cause; meaning there was more action then a story to really back it up. While other reviews mention some of the positives of ths film also:

There are guns blazing, mysterious winged creatures, a symbolic tattoo, an elusive blue elixir, an unresolved murder and big stunts, yet Max Payne is surprisingly lacklustre. (note: lacklustre means lacking brilliance or vitality)

Then there's the less subtle, like Ain't It Cool News who reviewed the film earlier this week, and well, they trashed it all the way down to the last minute of the film:

Then the reality of the film began to seep in. Horrid dialogue, surprisingly bad acting across the board, and some really dodgy sound editing — have you ever noticed sound editing before? ...me neither — helped to drive an already sub-standard plot further into the ground...

Nobody comes out of this thing looking good. The damn thing's 85 minutes and you swear you've been in there for about two and a half hours by the time it's over. All the buzz you've been hearing about how this film is good is coming from people whose jobs depend on it making money. Do not give it the time of day.

There are plenty more hard-hitting reviews, the Sunday Morning Herald said "there are plenty more stupider [game to movie adaptions] than Max Payne" and San Jose Mercury News said "It hides its video-game roots reasonably well, better than it hides its Toronto-subbing-for-New York locations."

While first reviews aren't making the film look to be that terrific, I wouldn't let it change your mind about seeing the film. Remember that while it may not have impressed the critics, it may impress you. Possibly the smartest thing any of the critics today have said is this:

I suspect there is a legion of fans who will get a lot more out of Max Payne than me, and they'll no doubt sigh with relief at the ending. I just sighed.

In other words, if your a fan, maybe the film will interest you more than it did the critics. We still intend to see the film, and should be seeing it tomorrow. We'll let you know what we thought of it then.