Max Payne Movie Tries To Beat Videogame Curse
Will Max Payne turn out to be the videogame hero that finally breaks the bad movie curse?
Opening Friday, the Mark Wahlberg action picture is being touted as the weekend's likely box office champ, but critics are severely underwhelmed and fan reaction is mixed.
To help Max Payne (trailer embedded) break Hollywood's losing streak with videogame movies, producer Julie Yorn and 20th Century Fox execs listened to pitches from scores of screenplay writers before hiring first-time scribe Beau Thorne.
His take? Strip the videogame down to its essential elements, then craft a compelling story.
"The game is very visually cinematic, but it also takes eight to 12 hours to beat, so there was way too much material and information for a movie," Thorne said in a studio briefing. "I tried to learn everything about what was in the game and then tried to figure out ways to simplify and streamline it. The challenge was to figure out how to stay faithful to the original material, but at the same time propel it forward so it works as a taut thriller."
Payne follows a long line of Hollywood stinkers that failed to translate such interactive thrills into awesome cinema. Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider came close in 2001 to cracking the code, but since then, videogame-based movies like Resident Evil, House of the Dead and Hitman failed to win over skeptics.
Even worse, Uwe Boll's