It's a fact, films are rarely better than the books they are based on. Films like Max Payne prove the same for video games made into full length features. I honestly don't understand why there has been such a push to make video games into full length features. The charm of video games is the fact that you can control the characters. This is completely lost on the big screen.
I remember playing Max Payne in High school and I was amazed that I could play a video game version of The Matrix. In all, that is the glory of Max Payne. For it to make it to the big screen is too little, WAY too late. The Matrix was made before the Video game was even thought about. So why make a film about a video game based on the special effects of a film that was released a decade ago?
The highlights of the film are definitely the Cinematography. The narration and Plot lends itself to Nihilism and the scenes and lighting compliment the story elements very well. However, I do think there was over use of Karsh lighting. The special effects was also very impressive. Then again this is never in question with big Hollywood productions.
What is in Question is the choice of Rapper Ludacris as Lt. Jim Bravura. Ludacris is a gifted and creative rapper from my hometown of Atlanta, but he is not a great actor. His role was not convincing. Mark Wahlberg did a great job of portraying the dark hero but the talent around him drags him down. The plot also drags his performance down C'mon, Mythical viking Angels? I thought this was a hard boiled crime detective drama!
Another problem I had with the film was its portrayal of Drug users. It seemed like the film came from Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No to Drugs" campaign. This film has many cliche's, but this one is the most outlandish and over the top.
In all, I can not complain too much about this film... I had the opportunity to watch the advanced screening for free (good looking out Ramo!). But thank god it was free...