My other job in life is to watch movies and review them. I know, I live a hard knock life full of movies and videogames. Having recently viewed Max Payne and written up a review for it, where I discussed how the film is an insult to the game and loses all of the interesting aspects of the game’s intelligent and thought provoking plot, I went online to see what my fellow film critics had to say about it. My main concern was that most critics would blame the poor quality of the film on the fact it was based on a videogame. I could have handled that, but most of them seemed to blame the poor quality of the film on the poor quality of the film. A very intelligent response if I do say so myself.
However, after a few minutes of clicking around I was confronted with one of the most insulting and ignorant statements about gaming I have ever read: “As good as a couple of its action beats are, Max still suffers from the heartlessness that makes games emotionally inferior to movies. Nobody ever shed a tear over a video-game character’s death.”
That is from Roger Moore, the film critic for the Orlando Sentinel and, judging from the rest of the review (go yell at him), a totally ignorant man when it comes to gaming. Clearly he hasn’t even played Max Payne itself let alone one of the plethora of games out there that have heart wrenching deaths in them. I’ll have you know that plenty of people have cried at a death in a videogame Mr. Moore, I’m one of them and I’m damn proud of it. What I’m not proud of is my fellow film critics taking a holier-than-though stance on gaming. It wasn’t that long ago that films were considered pieces of trash, meant only for a thrill. How quickly we all forget, huh?
The saddest part though, and I mention this in my review, is that Max Payne the game does a lot of amazing stuff aside from just being an entertaining shooter. The melodramitic story presented in comic style panels is well exectued and the surreal and metaphysical elements of the game elevate its story far beyond that of the standard game and even most of the best games out there. It’s far smarter than the film, using Norse mythology to represent its themes and ideas. Max Payne is not a stupid game and it isn’t for stupid people and yet because of reviews like this and the idiocy of the film people will instantly think it is. Statements like Moore’s not only show an ingonrance about modern gaming, but also lack of wanting to actually learn somthing about it. Depressing at best.
I dont’ even want to talk about hyphenating the word videogame.