When his wife and young son are murdered, New York detective Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg) sets out to find the killer. Through his underworld contacts Max meets the sultry Natasha Sax (Olga Kurylenko) and her firebrand sister Mona (Mila Kunis) who he believes may have information on the case. After Natasha is brutally murdered, however, Max is falsely implicated in the killing and teams up with Mona to try to find the real killer. Coming to learn that a powerful hallucinogenic drug known as Valkyr is somehow connected to not only Natasha's death but the death of his family, Max sets out to wreak vengeance on those responsible.
Based on the hit 2001 video game most famous for its Matrix-style 'bullet time' mechanics, it's somewhat ironic that a game so heavily influenced by a film now has its own movie adaptation. Brought to the screen by fiery Irish director John Moore, best known for his recent remakes of The Omen and Flight of the Phoenix, Max Payne is most notable for its incredibly gloomy visual palette which seems to be made up of various shades of black.
Cutting a swathe through the murk is a bemused looking Wahlberg, who comes to life in the stylish slo-mo gun battles, with an underused Kunis - recently seen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall - showing promise as the feisty, gun-toting Mona. A film noir for the CGI generation, Max Payne delivers explosive gunplay and enjoyable gumshoe clichés by the bucketload, just don't expect Shakespearean dialogue and a sensible plot.