Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Acton/Thriller. (Available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £27.99)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Olga Kurylenko, Beau Bridges, Donal Logue, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Amaury Nolasco, Marianthi Evans.
POLICE officer Max Payne (Wahlberg) returns home to find his wife Michelle (Evans) and baby daughter slain by an intruder.
Unable to rest until he unmasks the killer, Max scours every open case file and draws inspiration from his mentor BB (Beau Bridges), who urges patience. A tip-off from a snitch leads to a nightclub where Max meets Natasha (Kurylenko) and her sister Mona (Kunis).
The former dies in an alleyway and police units discover Max’s stolen wallet at the scene, fingering him for the crime. While the cop tries to clear his name and outrun Internal Affairs Detective Jim Bravura (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), the real culprit – tormented soldier of war Jack Lupino (Nolasco) – seeks out the people closest to Max, determined to inflict more pain.
John Moore’s tiresome video game-to-movie adaptation plods wearily through a plot that straddles reality and drug-induced fantasy on the crime-riddled streets of New York City.
Fans of Max Payne will recognise characters and certain plot elements, like the conspiracy surrounding an experimental drug. The film also employs the slow motion bullet time effect, which was a key factor of the video game’s appeal.
However, Moore’s vision is a poor substitute for the visceral thrill that comes from grabbing a game controller and taking charge of the hero. We don’t feel engaged with any of the characters, nor do we sense Max’s simmering rage.
Wahlberg is inexpressive as the eponymous good cop on a mission, shooting first and thinking later, if at all, as Moore’s film builds to a lacklustre final showdown.
The lack of dramatic momentum makes the 94-minute running time feel considerably longer.
The DVD and Blu-ray include a harder cut of the film and an animated graphic novel detailing the story of Michelle Payne.
Mad Money (Cert 12, 99 mins).
Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Comedy/Drama/Romance. (Available to buy DVD £15.99)
Starring: Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson, Roger Cross.
WHEN her husband Don (Danson) loses his job, leading to the shocking possibility that they could lose the house, resourceful mother Bridget (Keaton) takes a mundane job as a cleaner at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.
Here she is immediately intrigued by the banknotes, which are due to be taken out of circulation via the shredder. She hatches a hare-brained scheme to steal these old banknotes with the help of fellow employees Nina (Latifah) and Jackie (Holmes), who form two vital links in the money chain.
The first theft goes as planned but the haul isn’t as large as the three women expected so they try again, gradually succumbing to greed. Don begs her wife to stop, but she and her accomplices refuse to listen, eventually attracting the attentions of the authorities.
Debuting on DVD and deservedly so, Mad Money is a generic crime caper which squanders the potentially winning chemistry between the leads, albeit with Holmes woefully miscast as the ditz in the mix opposite an ever-solid Keaton and Latifah, who both possess the acting chops and comic timing to make something out of their two-dimensional heroines. Glenn Gers’s screenplay has neither the subtlety, nor the intelligence, to probe the (im)morality of the female protagonists’ actions, whiling away the blessedly brief running time with pointless romantic subplots. To rent or buy, Mad Money would be a crime.
Lewis - Series Three . (Cert 12, 372 mins)
(ITV DVD, DVD £24.99, Thriller/Drama)
FOUR-disc box set comprising the latest cases for Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately) and his partner DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) as they follow in the footsteps of Lewis’s mentor Morse, solving tricky cases in and around Oxford. In this series, Lewis comes face-to-face with the man who killed his wife, Hathaway receives news of a surprise promotion and the cops probe murders connected with C.S. Lewis and Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice.