Videogame Movies…Entirely Forgettable

I watched two films on the way back from America a few weeks ago…one was a reasonably okay drama called “A Bunch of Amateurs“, pretty standard plot by my reckoning but good enough to watch. Then there was…some other film. I am pretty sure I watched two anyway…I am sure it was something…had action, must have been action…ummm…

So it went when I returned and tried to remember something I had watched not the previous day.

The film? Max Payne…

Max Boring…

Egad, a travesty – one of the more memorable videogame plots (well, bizarre plots more like it, fun romps of noir I guess really) put to shame with one of the most generic and boring film translations ever. This isn’t unique – most of the videogame films I’ve seen recently enough to actually remember have been like this. Hitman is a similar vein of stupid violence with little or no actual plot to remember.

Max Payne even goes so far as to remove any notion of government conspiracy, bullet time (which is…old, but can still look pretty cool – it’s a motif of the series for goodness sakes!) and any semblance of actual sense. Max ambles around doing nothing while things are thrown at him to do, people die, things happen without his involvement, urg…a detective he is not. They did at least get him injected with the drug, although this just makes him into an insane killing machine for some reason.

There are hints of what Max Payne was, but it’s lost. Hitman fares slightly better – hey, at least he’s an actual bald hitman (in Max Payne, Max is…a desk detective…not anything like an undercover cop framed for murder with nothing to lose…). The actual trailer portrays the noir style and comic-book-cum-film visuals much better then the film does, heh.

I think that, in a word, videogame films – even when they take plots exactly (because the majority of vidoegames have really quite badly written plots…Resident Evil anyone?) – they are excruciatingly boring. Even comic book films get better treatment, sigh. Some of the slightly-less-boring translations have been ones like Doom, which started with no plot, so could only get better. Boring is the mainstay though, not that I think videogames need the film treatment, although some are built around cutscenes (Halo, Metal Gear Solid), just I do want to watch good films in general – and these don’t help in that respect.

At least I hope Max Payne 3 is the polar opposite of what this film was. At least, what little I can remember about the film…sigh.