The story strayed significantly from the source material, according to Miller, whose company is given production credit on the two Max Payne games. (Ed note: Spoilers coming!) “There are several fundamental story flaws… in the film that have me shaking my head in bewilderment,” Miller told Edge Online, citing as an example the death of drug dealer Jack Lupino, who is “lamely killed by one of the film’s non-action characters” instead of by Max Payne himself.
“The entire time we’re told that this drug makes 1-in-100 people super-human, yet Lupino doesn’t demonstrate this in the least,” Miller complained. “It should have taken a hail storm of bullets to bring him down, plus it should have been Max that kills him.”
Miller also pointed out that while gamers are confronted with the murder of Payne’s family right from the start, this rather vital piece of information isn’t revealed until well into the movie despite it being the character’s primary motivation. “A big problem with the film is that we do not really know what is driving Max until we see the flashback scene showing him coming home and finding his family murdered,” he said. “In the game, we put this scene right at the front of the story for a reason! Saving this scene until mid-film is a narrative blunder, because the audience needs to empathize with Max in order to like him and understand what drives him.”
Miller, who’s clearly not a fan of the movie, said he “could go on and on” about the movie’s various faults. Despite his misgivings, however, Max Payne debuted at the top of the box office this weekend, although its $18 million estimated earnings, while enough to put it ahead of flicks like Beverly Hills Chihuahua and The Secret Life of Bees, isn’t about to set the world of cinema on fire.