by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
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
Olga Kurylenko as NATASHA SAX
Rated PG-13 and Unrated
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: John Moore
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Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) is a New York cop who works in the cold case office. He uses his resources in the police department to track down the men who killed his family. However, as he gets closer to the truth, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous drug ring. To make things more dangerous, the drug in question has a mysterious quality that allows the users to see valkyries, spirit-like creatures that take souls of violent deaths to the afterlife.
Max partners with a sexy Russian mobster named Mona (Mila Kunis) to uncover the mysteries behind the drug ring, which lead him to answers about his family’s death... and into the arms of the valkyries.
WHAT I LIKED
Two words sum up my favorite parts of this film: “Olga” and “Mila.”
Sure, neither Olga Kurylenko nor Mila Kunis are going to win any acting awards, they are both very enjoyable to look at on screen. Sure, Olga’s not doing nude scenes since being cast in “Quantum of Solace,” but I’ll settle for her in a bra and panties any day.
Okay, I’m done with being a chauvinist pig... for now.
Other things that I enjoyed about this movie was the utter badassness of the picture. Mark Wahlberg is great as the vendetta-driven cop. Even though he’s not necessarily an imposing figure, you definitely get the feel from him that he could kick the crap out of anyone. And with this DVD including the theatrical PG-13 cut as well as the bloodier, more profane and more violent unrated cut, this can be a great guy movie.
Oh, and the Norse valkyries are pretty sweet as well.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As cool as this movie was, I’ll admit the plot was really goofy at times. The style of the film also bridged the gap between a normal movie and one that is going for an over-the-top visual look, like “Sin City” or “The Spirit.” Sometimes it just didn’t bridge that gap very well.
Still, a lot of this is forgivable to me, considering this is a video game adaptation which, considering the others that came before it, allows it to be a bit goofy and crazy at times.
Oh, and Ludicris as a police detective looked... well, ludicrous.
In addition to both the theatrical version of the film and the unrated DVD cut, there’s commentary by director John Moore (who generally comes across as a jerk, just like he did in his behind-the-scenes material on “The Omen”), production designer Daniel Dorrance and visual effects supervisor Everett Burrell.
There’s also a lengthy behind-the-scenes documentary called “Picture” as well as a graphic novel telling the story of the last day of Michelle Payne.
Presumably, there’s additional features on the two-disc special edition, which was not available from the studio for review.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who likes guns, shooting and lots of slo-mo shots... and Olga Kurylenko.