The trailer was released recently some weeks ago, and it was that that put the project back firmly in my sights. Quite frankly, beyond the initial rumours before the film was actually shot, I had not followed it at all. In fact, I thought it died a not-so-gracious death in development, like a lot of other films.
After all, video game adaptations tend not to do so well. The likes of ‘Resident Evil’ might stand out as having enough box-office legs, but the rest of the lot simply didn’t bring in enough money. ‘Hitman’, despite all the hoopla, didn’t do the business for the box office (or for me: Tim Olyphant looks really, really weird with a bald head, for some reason). And you can pick any of Uwe Boll’s recent filmography to see how they didn’t really set things on fire (although having said that, it probably also highlights the fact that the idea and its execution need to go together hand in hand).
A part of the reason is actually the reason for the production to begin with: its gaming roots. There are better articles out there looking at this issue (here’s an excellent one), but simply put, the target market of video gamers is not a big enough market to sustain a film’s box office appeal. For a film to be a (financial) success, they’ll need a bigger crowd of people to come to the cinema with their hard-earned bucks, ringgits and wons. Things, however, may yet change (‘Prince of Persia’ is an interesting project), and if they do, ‘Max Payne’ may well be one of the films to change that.
I’m keen, for one, to see Mark Wahlberg back in action. Though he’s propped up his resume with a fine number of films that extends himself as an actor, and challenges the intellect a bit…I just want to see him kick some ass. 🙂 My favourite movies of his tend to be his action ones (‘The Italian Job’, ‘Planet of the Apes’), and though he misfired a bit with ‘Shooter’, I think this could be one film that will put him firmly back in the action genre. The rest of the cast (or crew) doesn’t really inspire too much in me, though I am always interested to see Mila Kunis in action (as I do of all of ‘That 70s Show’ alumni). And what do you know…Robin is here! Not content with his doctor guest role on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, you can also see him sharing some screen time with Mr. Payne.
I did, however, save the best reason for last. And that best reason is…I loved playing the game. When it was first released, I remember that there was a big fuss about it. The main thing is the ability of the playing to slow things down, and be able to react faster than everyone else (ala ‘The Matrix’). A bigger reason of playing the game, I have to admit, was to actually play ‘The Matrix’ (which didn’t come out until a few years later). I then settled for Max Payne, and enjoyed the hell out of it. As a bonus, in addition to the bullet time technology, I can also shoot different parts of someone’s anatomy, and get a different reaction (which seems more realistic compared to someone dying from being shot in the arm). Also, how you progress in the game depends on how you play it: you can sit back and eavesdrop for someone to finish their conversation, or just go in guns blazing and blow everyone’s heads off. Such great fun 🙂
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, I never got round to finishing it. My computer kept on crashing at that stage, and I realise that PC gaming (more specifically, keeping up with it) costs a lot more than just buying the game. From that point on, I fell back mainly into playing ‘Championship Manager’ over and over again (for the record, the second best game of all time. The best? ‘Tetris’ 🙂 ).
Perhaps now I’ll have the chance to exercise the demons…
Fikri used to enjoy turning on the vibrating beds in the seedy hotels of Max Payne. It was amusing to him. The film opens October in the U.S.