Often as a Film Commissioner, you have to explain to the custodians of some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth exactly why they don’t get more enquiries from major international blockbusters looking to film in their remarkable natural locations. Usually I point out that movies rarely require the terrorists to take over the nature reserve – though I actually did see a film in which that happened recently, on the Action Channel and it wasn’t worth reporting here. I mention this only because I sat through Max Payne on Saturday night, and the locations department clearly sourced every single grim and grimy back alley and tenement block in Toronto to play out this video-game to movie cross-over.
Mark Wahlberg – in a rollneck sweater, so what exactly is the point? – plays Max Payne, another maverick New York cop who’s investigating the murders of his wife and child. It becomes clear that there’s a link to the nefarious pharmaceutical company where is wife had worked – they’ve been making a drug called Valkyr that boosts the morale of battlefield soldiers. Plot spoiler from here on in: It also makes them nuts. And murderous. And sweaty. Although for the life of me, I still can’t work out what ripped the Bond girl to pieces in the first reel.
Max Payne does look impressive; it’s Matrix meets Blade meets Constantine – very Gotham – but poor scripting, and incomprehensible plot and really, really bad acting (Beau Bridges, what were you thinking?) make Max Payne a mere cypher of all of the above.