Lionsgate Films declined to screen Saw VI for critics, but perhaps they should have. Despite employing the same media-blackout strategy for prior sequels to the 2004 original, time and an increasingly lackluster on-screen product seem to have finally caught up with the franchise. The latest installment has underperformed at theaters, where horror fans are embracing a fresher alternative, Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity.
Max Payne isn’t about to win any popularity contests. He’s a brooding, self-centered avenger with a badge, obsessively working a single cold case – the murder of his wife and child. He greets the friendly advances of a new co-worker with an icy stare. And he’s lousy at parties.
Payne came into existence as the star of a bestselling series of video games, and he is suitably fleshed out here by Mark Wahlberg, who flashes his menacing scowl as often as he lays waste to a gang of tattooed thugs. Though he is joined from time to time by Mila Kunis, on hand as a leather-clad Russian assassin, Max Payne is mostly a one-man show, and a rather confusing one at that.