20th Century Fox said over the weekend that revenues from the new Mark Wahlberg-starring game-movie Max Payne hit $18 million in North America, topping the box office.
Reviews have been roundly terrible, however. Even Scott Miller, CEO of 3D Realms, the producer behind the Max Payne games, found the flick straying significantly from its source material.
"There are several fundamental story flaws … in the film that have me shaking my head in bewilderment," Miller told Edge.
For instance, he said that one of Max Payne’s enemies, the drug distributor Jack Lupino, is "lamely killed by one of the film’s non-action characters."
In the first game, Max Payne finishes off Lupino.
Miller elaborated, "…The entire time we’re told that this drug makes 1-in-100 people super-human, yet Lupino doesn’t demonstrate this in the least. It should have taken a hail storm of bullets to bring him down, plus it should have been Max that kills him."
Miller, whose company is best known for Duke Nukem, also took issue with the portrayal of the character B.B. Hensley, a colleague of Max Payne who ends up betraying the titular character. He also thought the character of Max Payne himself fell short of the game series’ standards.
Miller also disagreed with the direction of the movie’s narrative. In the game, players know that Max Payne seeks revenge on the drug circle that murdered his family. But moviegoers wouldn’t know this critical point until well into the film.
Miller said, "A big problem with the film is that we do not really know what is driving Max until we see the flashback scene showing him coming home and finding his family murdered. In the game, we put this scene right at the front of the story for a reason!
"Saving this scene until mid-film is a narrative blunder, because the audience needs to empathize with Max in order to like him and understand what drives him."
Miller added he "could go on and on" about problems he had with the movie, which was directed by John Moore.
A film adaptation of Duke Nukem is also reportedly in the works.