Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Max Payne (Unrated Blu-ray Disc)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13 and Unrated

Starring:
Mark Wahlberg as Max Payne
Mila Kunis as Mona Sax
Beau Bridges as BB Hensley
Chris ‘Ludacris' Bridges as Jim Bravura
Chris O'Donnell as Jason Colvin
Donal Logue as Alex Balder
Amaury Nolasco as Jack Lupino
Kate Burton as Nicole Horne
Olga Kurylenko as Natasha
Rothaford Gray as Joe Salle
Joel Gordon as Owen Green
Jamie Hector as Lincoln DeNeuf
Andrew Friedman as Trevor
Marianthi Evans as Michelle Payne
Nelly Furtado as Christa Balder

Directed by John Moore

Special Features:
Disc One:
- Includes Both the Theatrical Version and Unrated Extended Cut of the Film
- Audio Commentary by Director John Moore, Production Designer Daniel Dorrance and Visual Effects Supervisor Everett Burrell
- Featurette: Picture Documentary
- Michelle Payne Graphic Novel

Disc Two:
- Digital Copy of Unrated Extended Cut of Max Payne for Portable Media Players

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Spanish and French Language Tracks
Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, and Mandarin Subtitles
Running Time: 103 Minutes

The Movie:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Experience action and excitement to the Max with this explosive Special Edition of 'Max Payne' - featuring a shocking extended cut not seen in theaters, plus hours of thrill-packed special features!

Hell-bent on revenge, maverick cop Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) is determined to track down those responsible for the brutal murder of his family and partner, but as the mystery deepens, Max is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world... and face an unthinkable betrayal that will drive him to the edge of his own sanity! "

The theatrical version of "Max Payne" was rated PG-13 for violence including intense shooting sequences, drug content, some sexuality and brief strong language.

Mini-Review:
I never played the "Max Payne" game, so I'm basing this review purely on the merits of "Max Payne" as a film. You won't find any video game bias here.

First and foremost, "Max Payne" is a good looking film. The production design is impressive and the cinematography makes everything look cool. John Moore made the most out of his sets and locations. I also liked the angel and demon effects. I kind of wish there had been more of them.

The cast of "Max Payne" is also noteworthy. Mark Wahlberg is pretty much the same as he is in every film he's in, but the supporting actors are a bit more notable. Olga Kurylenko from "Quantum of Solace" has a brief but sexy role as Natasha. Chris O'Donnell also has a brief role as Jason Colvin, the harried scientist of a pharmaceutical company. Brea Grant, the speedster girl from "Heroes," even has a non-speaking cameo as a junkie. Mila Kunis was also an interesting choice as Mona Sax, the Russian crime lord hottie. Being mainly familiar with her comedy roles on "That '70s Show," "Family Guy," and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," it was a little hard to take her seriously as a gun toting tough girl. But as the movie progressed, she grew on me. Beau Bridges is also pretty good in a key role as BB Hensley.

Being a big fan of Norse mythology, I was interested to all the references to it. You hear about Valkyrie, Ragnarok, Balder, Aesir, and more. I was also intrigued by all the demons and angels. I wasn't sure how they were going to explain all the supernatural imagery in an otherwise real world cop drama, but the ultimate explanation was satisfying to me.

So what's wrong with "Max Payne"? Well, the story's just 'eh.' Not bad, but not all that memorable either. And though I've never played the video game, it became quite apparent to me just which part of the film was based on it. The last 15 minutes descend into your typical first person shooter and a lot of the character and intrigue that builds up to it is lost.

I'd recommend "Max Payne" to fans of the video game, anyone up for a cop murder mystery, and fans of Mark Wahlberg. It's not great cinema, but it's a decent popcorn flick to check out when you've run out of movies to rent.

There are a number of bonus features included on this Blu-ray Disc. You get the unrated version of the film which is a whopping 3 minutes longer than the theatrical version. (I have no idea what's added.) You'll also find an audio commentary, notably without Wahlberg. An interesting addition is the Michelle Payne graphic novel which details the initial circumstances leading up to her murder. There is a 'making of' documentary that really puts you in the trenches with the cast and crew. There's some interesting stuff here, but I had to start laughing when they interviewed 'Mark's Team' i.e. his entourage. It's hard to take a featurette seriously when they interview a guy who's profession is to hang out with a movie star. And this isn't done just once - there are at least three of 'Mark's Team' interviewed. Rounding things out are a few more mini-featurettes covering the making of the movie. Each are a minute or two in length.

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