Once again a film adaption of a game – meanwhile almost every successful PC game may have seen the light of screen. It was a relief when the name of John Moore for directing appeared – finally the outrageous Uwe Boll got the short end of the stick....even though Moore staged anything but blockbusters until now, his previous movie impressions have been so far quite acceptable and for action fans absolutely suitable. Unfortunately he always had problems with his producers, who never had supported the realization Moore had projected. In his debut feature BEHIND ENEMY LINES it appeared that the severities were radical shortened. The same fate is suffered from MAX PAYNE, but much harder. More on that in a minute. The movie itself is atmospheric suitable and can beam the look of the game onto the screen. Also is Mark Wahlberg as main character acceptable, because major skills are not required. The supporting roles are as well fine casted, whereas newcomer Olga Kurylenko (HITMAN / A QUANTUM OF SOLACE) has only a short – but sexy – appearance and then suddenly meets her maker. Chris O' Donnell in his also short time on screen brings some profoundness and Beau Bridges (called BB in the movie....how inventive) obvious having fun being it. Indeed it remains to state: no one is much challenged – no one has expected to. Unappreciative is the role for Milas Kunis, who in fact has the defined female leading role but is hardly seen. What remains, is a potential hit, which falls far short of its own opportunities.
What is the reason for this? It’s the missing severities. Unfortunately the producers had targeted a PG 13 right from the beginning. That cannot work with such a topic. Therefore the attention was turned to the psychological issue what the base however do not intend in special. In principle the fan wants to see blood spraying action - which does not exist, at least not in the theatrical version. To receive the aspired rating, all blood scenes had to be removed from the final movie. Already few and far between, the movie however gets a rated R at first. After a flood of protests the MPAA finally gave in to the requests…..
Meanwhile in the US the realization on DVD took place, whereby the theatrical version and the rougher unrated version both on the same DVD. Now the audience is demonstrated the absurdity of censorship: In almost all shots, with just a little smell of violence, the blood was removed. Sometimes there are only drops or splatter, which can only be seen in single frame operations. It begins to dawn on the audience that the here as unrated promoted version is probably the targeted original version Moore tried to get a PG-13 of! That’s just anyone’s guess. As conclusion it can be stated: The unrated version is a little bloodier, but that does not make the movie harder or even better. The in an interview announced "Gamer Dedicated Cut" does not appear to be this version also!
Finally some more hints: All frames were brightened up respectively edited. However the theatrical version is more contrasty in many scopes, probably a result of the additional digital processing. According to Moore it wasn’t only the blood what really rankles the MPAA but alos "the movie felt dark". The cutting times refer to the theatrical version and are in NTSC runtime.
When the junkie is steamrolled by the train on the tracks, it happens in different settings. Whereas 2 super short takes of him are shown in the theatrical version, there is only one take of the rushing train in the unrated version. The following shot of the skyline in the unrated version is first colored blood-red and changes to the normal view. On the other hand there is only the normal view in the theatrical version. There is no running time difference.
At the club Max runs after Natasha and peers through a door. There are three more additional shots: Two girls kissing each other, close-up of an open mouth and a blurred reflection of the wings.
( 6 sec. )
A close-up of Natasha with a vial in her hand, counter cut on Max.
( 4 sec. )
When Max detects the dead body of his former colleague, this is partially shown with alternative frame material. At first, when the mirrored door opens showing a view on the head of the victim. In the theatrical version the head is still on the torso, in the unrated it looks like the head lies detached on the carpet. Therefore there is a zoom onto the mirror in the theatrical version and the following zoom onto Max is also longer so that the theatrical version at total is longer in that scene.
Unrated version = ( 22 SF )
Theatrical version = ( 36 SF )
Total difference: ( 14 SF )
Super fast shots. When Max is struck by a knee at his face, only in the unrated version blood splatters against the wall.
And while the head (still on the shoulders) of the dead body is shown in the theatrical version, Max gets another kick and again some blood splatters in the unrated version.
Max walks backwards through the alley a little longer.
( 11 sec. )
More having an idea than to view is when Max gets the second hit with a stick into his face only in the unrated version some blood splatters again.
In the unrated version Max and Mona are walking through the dark house a little longer before they stopped at Greens door.
( 26 sec. )
An additional shot of the tied up junkie as well as a knee shot of the scenery.
( 6 sec. )
Lupino throws the first vial away and conjures up the second. Now again a close-up of the junkies face begging for more stuff, Lupino yells at him.
( 8 sec. )
Another shot of Lupino stepping on the junkies hand plus counter cut.
( 5 sec. )
An additional close-up of Lupino, followed by an extreme close-up where the junkie licking up the stuff.
( 6 sec. )
The murder of the junkie is also different recorded. In the theatrical version one can only see two strokes with a machete as shadow play on the wall. This scene is improved with blood splatters in the unrated version besides there are three more hits to look at. All in all the unrated runs about 2 seconds longer.
( 2 sec. )
After the two Goodies have left the dealer the background of the shot where the car drives over the bridge is different.
In the unrated version the shot of Max walking to the storage depot runs much longer.
( 33 sec. )
Only in the unrated version there is an additional sequence of Max buying a ticket before he stands at his old home. The cross-fade has been also removed to catch up with.
( 24 sec. )
Cut-back. Max hurries upstairs shooting down the first burglar. The theatrical version contains the first two hits, however they are a little bloodier in the unrated version. Furthermore only in the unrated version there is a third shot right through and that’s why it runs some more frames longer.
( 8 SF )
The second burglar is attacked in different angles and dies much more bloodier in the unrated version.
There is no running time difference!
Max finds the dead body of his wife. Only in the unrated version she lies in a pool of blood.
Again one or two more blood spatters on the bed sheet (have a closer look).
Once again a shot of the dead body.
Also the bassinet is stained with some blood spatters in the unrated version.
And the final pan-shot around Max is insofar censored that again the blood spatters (which only can be guessed and one must know) are digital removed or added.
Max slaps Corvin in the face - who finds the difference?
Max plants a backhand in Corvins face, guess what is missing in the theatrical version?
Oh oh, now a bursting eyebrow, or a nose ? But only in the unrated version.
And another hit in the face.
Corvin is being shot in different settings. There is no noteworthily difference.
When Corvin sinks to the floor, needless to say that he has a bloody hole in his chest in the unrated version.
Once again a different shot of Corvin.
Now Max strikes a member of the S.W.A.T. – in the unrated version the gun smoke has a light touch of rose.
Now also Payne is hit at his arm - and again only in the unrated version a red cloud flies up. I see, two shots but only pictures from one!
Close-up of a knee strike, same old game!
Only in the unrated version Bravura calls out something to the S.W.A.T. team.
( 5 sec. )
The security guard at Rag Rock gets a flourish with the shot gun from Max.
When Max shoots the two Baddies at Rag Rock, on the one hand this takes a little longer in the unrated version (that means the side shot starts earlier) and also bloody gun smoke is inserted.
( 1 sec. )
It is obvious that all further takes have been edited.
The shooting of Lupino is also a little bloodier in the unrated version.
Another shot of Lupino touching the wound with his finger plus counter cut on Max.
( 6 sec. )
The shot in which BB is turning towards Max is filmed a little different.
BB still tells him something and starts walking around Max. For this reason the following close-up of Max is a little different.
( 12 sec. )
In the unrated version BB then indicates that he although killed the baby plus counter cut on Max.
( 9 sec. )
BB tells his colleague to keep cool plus two more takes.
( 8 sec. )
Only guessable in single frame mode: When Max hits BBs head some blood spatters have been inserted.
At the parking garage the first two guards being shot a little bloodier.
The guy near the car is shot too.
The next too.
Now again two guards being shot and of course more blood.
And for change some additional violence. Max bolds down 3 more guards in the corridor.
( 4 sec. )
And again some more guys being shot, this time the settings have been also edited.
When Max walks by the dead bodies, these are lying in a blood pool in the unrated version.
Another guard being shot, again bloodier – and an alternative take.
The next guard is being shot alternatively.
As well an alternative as Max is hit.
In the unrated version Max breaks the leg of the guard. This shot is better visible also the following shot can be seen in a closer alternative.
As well as the final execution is filmed different in both versions.
And yet another frame which has been designed with a little more blood.
Also more blood when Mona shoots the boss of the securities.
In a close-up view Mona kills a guard. Therefore as alternative the long shot starts earlier in the theatrical version.
( 1 sec. )
Again colored rose gun smoke.
When Mona shoots the approaching guard out from the elevator only in the unrated version you can guess the colored rose cloud.
An additional close-up of Lincoln dies, spitting blood.
( 4 sec. )
And the knee-shot which exists in both camera angles has to offer some more blood spatters in the unrated version.
BB shoots at Max. Here too, you must have a closer look to see the added blood spatters.
Max is shooting on BB. On the one hand the tracking shot is shortened (you can see the bullet approaching), on the other hand the shot right through is much clearer and bloodier in the unrated version.
( 3 sec. )