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Max Payne

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Reviewer's grade: B

"Max Payne" begins in an act of violence, continues through zillions more, and ends on another one. So how can it be one of the most boring films of the year?

It's the same old revenge plot. Payne is a police detective whose wife and baby son have been murdered. Arriving home 10 minutes too late to prevent the crime, Payne killed two of the home invaders and the third one escaped. As soon as you meet the entire cast you'll know who the third man is. I'm not being cynical. You'll know.

Accompanied by a female assassin out to avenge the murder of her sister, Payne cracks the case in a week when the police department couldn't do it in months.

The script is by first-timer Beau Thorne and the direction is compliments of John Moore. Mark Wahlberg is Payne. A big payne. His attraction as a film star continues to elude me since he has no charisma and strides through his movies like an unsmiling figure animated by stop motion. He can be intense without being in the least believable, no mean trick. He's like the guy in semipro local theater who is described as being good because he's not quite as amateurish as everyone else. Mila Kunis is the assassin, Beau Bridges is the retired partner of Max's cop dad, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges is the honest cop, and Chris O'Donnell is the sniveling coward. Figured it out yet? At least the computer-game-based movies of German

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