Monday 12 January 2009

A rant about Max Payne and videogame-to-movie adaptations...

Movie adaptations of videogames ... there's not much of a history of quality there really. Sure, I enjoyed Mortal Kombat a fair bit when I was a teenager - but that was the last time I saw it (I should re-watch the video I have of it, come to think). Doom momentarily entertained me, but then my mind came around and realised it was mostly naff - even if the much-talked-about FPS sequence was interesting.

The thing with the Doom movie though, is that even though they cut out all the Hell-related schtick (goodness knows why, Americans in the bible belt can't get enough of describing how hideous hell is should you dare do a single thing that might prove entertaining or pleasurable - meanwhile those not in the bible belt aren't bothered about religion, so they're not disturbed by the notion of hell) ... they still kept it to an "R" rating with swearing and gore and bouts of manliness ... and a chainsaw.

Silent Hill, too - which I maintain as the current best when it comes to videogames adapted into movies - stuck with an "R" rating and delivered on the juicy, gory horror in a film that, while perhaps a tad overlong - and not particularly deep - at least presented a good stab at bringing a videogame to life on the silver screen. That said, I'm not a Silent Hill gamer, so I wouldn't know the first thing about how it translates - but at least to me, a layman of the Silent Hill franchise, thought it was a decent effort.

Now - Max Payne ... the game was (and still is) a fantastic outing, and likewise Max Payne 2 was another slice of gaming gold, and with such a strong story behind it (and the added help of Hollywood-inspired action bursting from its seams) you'd have thought (and I certainly did) that Max Payne the videogame, would turn into a good Max Payne movie.

But what have we learned from videogame-to-movie adaptations (especially when they're connected to Uwe Boll's name) from the past? Yep - they're generally not much cop at all, and at best cater to teenagers who haven't developed their cinematic taste buds yet, or adults who still think like teenagers. Max Payne is no different, with the added insult of being rated PG-13.

It's all pathetic from the off - even if the visual look of the movie impresses/stays generally faithful(ish) - the original story is buggered about from all angles, with the added insult of this daft demon motif (if I dare attach such a high-falutin' word to something as basic as this flick) ... and since when was Lupino a buffed up marine ... and what happened to Vlad ... and what's Beau Bridges' character doing in it at all ... and why the fuck is Jim Bravura - an old white guy - being played by fuckin' Ludicris?!

It's all a fist-fuck to the fans from the off, especially with the briefly-used-but-then-shafted-forever-more flashes of red to denote violence, which they cannot show because it's a fucking PG-13 ... and speaking of fuck, that's something they can't use in a PG-13 either. To think, you can run around beating people up and shooting them - in a really stylish, romanticised and 'cool' way - but heavens forbid if little Johnny hears a tough guy in a shitty job, or a smacked-out crook say on itty-bitty "fuck"!

It's like Terminator 3 - absolute bullshit, and rated PG-13 having come from an "R" franchise. Same for Alien VS Predator, same for Die Hard 4 ... and what on earth is the point when in America any child or "minor" can be escorted before the silver screen by an adult regardless. Stop fucking off the fans of the franchise that made it popular in the first place, and leave the source material alone.

It really is a complete waste of time from start to finish, and a hugely missed opportunity. Goodness knows what Sam Lake and company could think to say after it had been previewed for them (after a special screening of the new Alan Wake trailer, I might add - another sure-fire critical-and-commercial-smash for the developers coming soon), because if I was in their boots I'd have struggled to escape the theatre without brandishing the movie-makers a bunch of charlatans for raping my creation.

Wahlberg could have carried off the character properly under better direction and unrestrained by a pathetic PG-13 rating. Mona could have been better utilised, and really required a better suited actress who actually looked something like Olga thingymybob from Quantum of Solace ... the sinister Valkyr was skirted around too much with this silly demon motif ... the plot was all over the shop, we couldn't give a buggery about any of the characters (unlike in the game where they were fully realised people - despite being CG creations), and while the gunplay was at times close to achieving that sense of flair that the videogame possessed, it oftentimes ended up flapping around in the world of "meh" or the land of "lame".

Max Payne the movie - it didn't come together, what a shocker - yet another videogame to movie adaptation that fails to live up to the source material, and yet another jaded sigh collectively released from another fanbase. When - for the love of decency - is there going to be a proper videogame adaptation?!

If any Hollywood type with a sense of wanting to produce a GOOD movie, rather than some vague box-ticker bag of bolts, is sat there reading this - gimme a pile of dosh and the rights to STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl - and then gimme the Directing reigns and I'll gladly do my bloody-fisted best to wrestle a proper adaptation onto a silver screen.

And I'm deadly serious. I'd gladly do my level best.

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