Mark Wahlberg Is… Max Payne?!?

Videogame movie directed by John Moore

Mark Wahlberg Is... Max Payne?!?

by Tom Ambrose |
Published on

Ever since his Oscar nomination earlier this year for his scintillating turn in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, Mark Wahlberg has been busy making a whole bunch of ‘serious’ movies, as befits an Oscar nominee.

Films like Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, in which he plays a grieving and disconnected father. Or M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, in which he plays the patriarch of a family on the run from a planet-threatening crisis. Or Darren Aronofsky’s The Fighter, in which he plays… well, you can work it out.

After that triple dose of heavy, Wahlberg has clearly decided to have some fun. Which is why he’s signed on to play Max Payne, in 20th Century Fox’s movie version of the videogame of the same name, about a cop - haunted by the loss of his family – investigating a series of mysterious murders, and ultimately encountering an evil adversary.

Now, this is pretty big news. Apart, obviously, from Angelina Jolie and the Tomb Raider movies, A-list stars have given movies based on videogames a wide, wide, wide berth. Mainly because most of them, from the Resident Evil flicks to Silent Hill to, God help us, Super Mario Bros., are crapola of the kind that make you curse those who made them for cursing those who watch them.

Can Max Payne buck the trend? Well, Empire is pleased to note that John Moore – the ebullient Irish director whose remake of The Omen was better than it had any right to be – is on board to call the shots, so the film will at least look good. (Beau Thorne wrote the script – pre-strike, we’re guessing)

But we have to confess that we’re slightly worried about how Max Payne will stand out from all the other ‘cop on a rollercoaster rampage of revenge’ flicks we’ve seen over the years. Max Payne, the game, had a bullet-time gimmick that allowed you to slow down the action and take out multiple bad guys – but since that was inspired by The Matrix, it’s going to be very hard for Max Payne the movie to incorporate that.

Still, Wahlberg’s signature on the line that is dotted is a good sign. Shooting starts early next year.

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