Bad news for fans hoping to finally see a videogame movie that doesn't suck: Max Payne apparently does.
Critics have savaged the film, missing no opportunity to turn its name into increasingly tiresome plays on the movie-going experience. Max Payne has thus far earned a Metacritic score of 30, better than any Uwe Boll film but still lower than Doom. The best score recorded thus far is a 67 from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which called it "A dumb film with a great conceptual hook from a director who visualizes better than he dramatizes," but from there things get ugly.
"Stylishly made, armed to the teeth and ludicrous in the extreme." - Variety
"A grindingly inert death-wish thriller." - Entertainment Weekly
"This stylish-looking but derivative, vacuous and bullet-riddled movie inflicts maximum pain." - USA Today
"Miserable, in every sense of the word." - Los Angeles Times
It goes on from there. And while it's sometimes easy to dismiss movie critics as out of touch with audiences, user voting hasn't been much better. 18 user votes have added up to a score of 6.3, but based on the comments it's not too much of a leap to assume that fanboy voting is carrying the day. Of the five commented votes, there have been scores of 2, 3, 5 and two 10s.
Which isn't to suggest that you should throw up your hands in despair and pray for Prince of Persia; fans of the Max Payne games may very well find something to like, and dismissing a movie out of hand based solely on reviews is a surefire way to miss out on some hidden gems. If nothing else, you'll certainly feel like you got your money's worth in quantity, if not quality: As Ain't It Cool News said, "The damn thing's 85 minutes and you swear you've been in there for about two and a half hours by the time it's over." That's sort of good... right?
Max Payne hits theaters today, and if you actually do want to see it, I suggest you move quickly.