One thing that makes “The Batman” different from other Caped Crusader characters is that Batman doesn’t feel like a professional yet. He tries to escape, he fires several bullets at the criminals he’s chasing, and he doesn’t use dramatic flourishes to read his status as a creepy mythological figure the way older iterations do. Let’s learn to do.
This is how the action should look in a “Max Payne” movie. Put the bullet-time aside — yes, it was a major selling point of the games, but on film, “The Matrix” was now two decades ago — and instead, read the tense, scary fights of “The Batman.” is offered, where you are never sure whether the hero will succeed or not. Max should get hurt almost every time. He must grunt, fight disorganized, and appear to be in over his head even when constantly pulling on him. And like “The Batman,” the world he’s in needs to feel dark and terrifying enough to justify his techniques.
Like Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) at the end of “Cop Land” or John McClane (Bruce Willis) in “Die Hard,” Max will come out on top at the end of the movie, but it will never feel like it was a must. There must be close calls and moments where he doubts and questions himself. This will keep him engaged with the audience, while also allowing the character to pop and some high-style shootouts along the way.
This is where a new “Max Payne” movie could easily top 2008’s failed effort, which combined exciting action sequences with a boring visual language — flopping on the two things it was supposed to. The game was praised so much.