January 2, 2019
(The Channel Awesome logo and the title sequence (still 2018) play. Open on a shot of the new location, which has labels placed everywhere: "Green Room", "Kitchen", etc. A door opens and NC walks out into the main room)
Narrator (Doug): A new location, a new year, a new mystery to solve.
NC: Oh, no, we're not doing that.
Narrator: I... thought this was a review of Max Payne.
NC: It is.
Narrator: Doesn't Max Payne have a voiceover narration?
NC: (scoffs) That's only for the silly game. This is the movie; (holds up fist) we need to be a lot more serious! (suddenly looks up with a start) Oh, my God!
(From his view, he sees a wall of fire and behind it, an angel (played by Tamara) floating in the air)
NC: That dark, creepy angel I've been hallucinating!
Narrator: Wait, what?
NC: It must be related to that drug that makes people super-powerful!
Narrator: So...how's the narration too silly again?
NC: Enough with the jokes, voice! We have absolutely no sense of humor in this at all!
Narrator: Really? Because this already looks totally ridiculous.
NC: It can't be, because it's dark, and grey, and frowns, and grey, and dark coats, and grey! In fact, it's so grey, (runs off to his left to open the door to last room in the hallway) even the walls are grey!
(It is revealed that NC's desk and chair reside in a separate room again. Its walls are grey-colored)
Narrator: Uh, you think that's such a good idea? People weirdly take their wall colors very seriously.
NC: Exactly! Everything must be taken seriously! And now, I must move on to the incredible mystery of what happened to Malcolm.
Narrator: Why? What did happen to Malcolm?
NC: (face close to camera) He got lost because our studio is too big.
(The camera travels all through the studio: the main room, the hallway, the door on the left, the door on the right, the costume room, the huge prop room...and then the costume room again, stopping at the sign on the wall that says "Damn, This Place Big". Back to NC)
Narrator: I bet you're gonna kick a lot of ass and take a lot of names.
(He sits behind the desk)
NC: If you mean sitting around and doing a lot of talking.
Narrator: I did not. How did you confuse the two?
NC: I'm sorry, voice, but this is how Max Payne is done now. (scoffs) What'd you think, it'd be a lot of one-liners, shooting in bullet time?
Narrator: Exactly that, yes.
NC: No! But we do have a PG-13 rating.
(Suddenly, a sound of somebody hanging up is heard, followed by a long beep)
NC: (bewildered) My head has a landline?
(The title for the 2008 movie Max Payne is shown, followed by clips. The footage from the original 2001 video game is also shown)
NC (vo): Based on the third-person shooter from 2001 about a detective getting revenge for his murdered family, Max Payne tries to capture the graphic novel style and story that made this one of the most kick-ass games when it came out. It had film noir dialogue, comic book artwork, a great sense of humor, and even bullet time when you could slow down the action whenever you wanted. Nowadays, that doesn't sound like much, but back then, it was a pretty big deal. A mere seven years too late, the film adaptation was released. And from the trailers, it looked like it was right on track. It looked over-the-top, dark, kind of goofy, but all badass. Is that what we actually got in this movie? Well, let's get this meme out of the way.
(Cut to an infamous scene from The Happening)
Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg): What? No!
NC: Let's see how Max Payne went to Max Pain...it's funnier if you see that spelled out...
(NC's word play appears as a caption)
NC (vo): Ha-haaa!
NC: Let's take a look at Max Pa-
(We abruptly cut to a parody of the game's loading screen, with NC in the foreground instead of Max)
NC (vo): Oh, sorry. I gotta wait for a second. (The loading line fills up)
NC: There we go. ...Payne.
(The film starts with a black screen)
Max (Mark Wahlberg): (narrating) I don't believe in heaven. I believe in pain.
NC: (giddy) Ooh! Someone saw (poster of...) Welcome to Marwen.
(It fades to the titular character, Detective Max Payne, drowning in the river water in slow-motion. More corpses are shown underwater)
NC (vo): To the movie's credit, it starts out pretty solid, with a voice-over narration, beautifully cliched dialogue, and a setup so overly dramatic, even (A clip from 1950's...) Sunset Boulevard will be telling him to buy a puppy.
Max: (narrating) I could feel the dead down there. Just below my feet.
(Fade to show a skyscraper of New York City Police Department, with sign (yes, sign) noting the following events had happened one week earlier)
NC (vo): You'll find it's a slow burn to assness, though, as we cut to the "One Week Earlier" building.
NC: I never get my packages on time there.
(Sergeant Adams and Lieutenant Jim Bravura (the latter played by Ludacris) enter the room, with another sigh "Cold Case Unit" hanging above)
Adams (Philip Williams): This is the cold case office.
NC: Thanks, movie.
NC (vo): The sigh didn't tip me off.
NC: You can give me more hints if you want!
(Adams and Bravura look at Max Payne working at the office behind a glass window)
NC (vo; as Adams): That's a pen. That's a "Det. Max Payne". That's a file holder.
(Cut to a clip from Howard the Duck showing the people in the bus driving away staring at the titular character)
Bus Passenger 1: That's a duck!
Bus Passenger 2: Who is that face?
Bus Passenger 1: That's a duck, man!
(Back to the movie; Bravura and Adams speak in the background while the tired Max gives instructions to the fellow police officer)
Bravura: So what's his story?
Adams: His wife and kid were murdered. They never found the guy.
NC: (chuckling) Wow! That was so much more powerful than...
(The footage of the gameplay, showing Max rushing to his bedroom to find his wife Michelle murdered, is shown)
NC (vo): ...showing it to us in the intro of the game! I got chills when he said that!
NC: In fact, if only the game could go back and incorporate that style to that big reveal!
Max (Game): (devastated) No, no, no, God, no, please, Michelle... (Fade to a still shot of Max screaming...) NOOOOOOO!!!
(Cut back to the adaptation)
NC (vo; as Adams): He said, "No." It was sad. You want a coffee? We're out.
Adams: Remember when you were a kid and you'd hold your breath when you went past the graveyard?
NC: (winces in confusion) I think only you did that.
Adams: Just, uh...leave that man alone.
NC (vo): Hey, it's what the game designer said when they read the script!
(Cut to Max walking in a subway. The shot is slightly green-filtered. Max goes to the restroom to wash his hands, but he is followed by three gang members)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, in the...Max-trix, we see Payne is trying to get mugged so he can get some answers on a lead.
Pawnshop Man (Jay Hunter): Yo, homie. That's a really nice watch. Kinda reminds me of the one I lost.
Max: You pawned it up on 128th a few hours ago.
Pawnshop Man: (holds up a gun) You a cop or somethin'?
NC: ...Most thieves just rob people, but I find...
(As NC speaks, Max knocks the gun out of Jack's hands and fights the gang)
NC (vo): ...these guys give interesting and pleasant conversation. Though they do take a long amount of time to actually commit the robbery, increasing the chances of getting caught and/or distracted, so your personality-less protagonist can kick your ass...
NC: ...I'd still give four stars on Uber Thugs. (An pictures of the Uber app screen appears, showing the photo of Jack edited and four stars below with a caption "OK, but had an issue")
(After killing the Pawnshop Man, the guy called Kid runs off. Max holds the third member named Doug, played by Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, at gunpoint)
Max: (takes out a photo of his wife) Open your eyes. Have you ever seen this woman?
(Doug mutters something)
NC (vo; as Max): (as the photo of Michael Alig, played by Macaulay Culkin, from Party Monster is shown) By the way, I loved you in Party Monster.
NC: Seriously, underrated.
(Kid runs into a dark tunnel and becomes terrified upon seeing large shadows of winged creatures)
NC (vo): One of the thugs tries to run, as we see we're just beginning this terrifying journey into the world of probate, beneficiaries and goblins...
(Cut to a clip from The Critic episode "All the Duke's Men")
Lawyer: Mr. Welles.
Orson Welles (Maurice LaMarche): Fine, fine. No goblins.
NC (vo): These monsters are hallucinations in his head, as well as a good distraction from the train...
(Kid is promptly killed by a train coming. Next, we're shown Max knocking on the door. He is greeted by a man named Trevor (Andrew Friedman) dressed in fashionable glasses and a costume, and it's revealed there's a party going on inside)
NC (vo): ...as Max drops by the sleazeball from every movie you've ever seen in your life. Just call him Leisure Suit Lazy.
Max: I'm a little offended I didn't get my invitation.
Trevor: Well, I didn't send out invita...look, I told you. Go find Bill's partner.
NC: God, I love those parties...
(The shot zooms to a girl shaking her body on the left)
NC (vo): ...where people kind of dance and kind of talk. (as a girl) So it's a nice beat, right? Not full-on dancing, but "just kind of moving my shoulders" music. God, I need a boyfriend.
Max: (threateningly grabs Trevor by the ear) Listen. If you don't give me a new name, I'm gonna start frisking everyone of your friends.
NC: You noticed, by the way, Mark Wahlberg is operating at...half-Wahlberg?
NC (vo): He's not disinterested, but he's not really all that into it either.
Max: (various scenes) He's still out there somewhere! / What do you mean, "no"? What happened to her then? / It means that when you follow up on an unsolved murder, I don't have much hope for that girl in the alley.
NC (vo): He's somewhere in-between Planet of the Apes and that AT&T ad.
Max: My partner was killed, too. We're both looking for the same person.
(Cut to the 2017 commercial for AT&T showing Wahlberg walking in the street, with a big transformer robot, Jason Voorhees, college students, cheerleaders, and even Gumball Watterson from The Amazing World of Gumball walking together with him)
Mark Wahlberg: Our shows and movies? We want them when we want them. So they should go with us.
Mark Wahlberg: You got that right, kid show thing.
NC: If I'm more interested in him talking to Gumball about cable service, we have a problem.
(Trevor's acquaintance, Natasha Sax, comes to him and Max)
Natasha (Olga Kurylenko): I thought I knew all of Trevor's friends.
Trevor: Max, Natasha. Natasha, Max.
NC: She is... (shrugs) Sp-Russian.
(Natasha's sister, Mona, is shown speaking to Trevor)
NC (vo): But they're interrupted by her sister, played by badass Mila Kunis...
NC: (laughing) Sorry. I can't say that without the giggles. (points at the camera) Don't act like you can!
NC (vo): Don't get me wrong, Mila Kunis can be a very good actress, even a great one. But like any performer, she needs to be cast in the right role... (A shot of The Wicked Witch of the West from Oz the Great and Powerful appears briefly) what the fuck?!...and trying to be an intimidating weapons expert at three-foot nothing, looking like Aubrey Plaza voicing Grumpy Cat, sounding like Meg Griffin, isn't gonna cringe any spines.
Mona: (in a later scene, to Max) Kneel down. Kneel the fuck down! We need to talk about my sister.
NC: Though, I'm not gonna lie...she does look pretty cool...
(The 2015 ad for Jim Beam bourbon is shown, with Mila Kunis in a room full of barrels)
NC (vo): ...next to a Jim Beam barrel.
Mila Kunis: ...for a true Kentucky straight Bourbon.
NC: (shakes head) Christ, why is that hot?
(Seeing a police badge on Max's belt, Mona walks away. While searching through the place, going past the green laser lights, Max finds some vials with blue powder. A bald, bulky man (played by Amaury Nolasco) appears in front of him)
NC (vo): Kunis sees he's a cop and backs off, as he continues to search the Riddler's party and find some people taking...ooh! Raspberry Slow-Mo! He comes across this guy, though.
(The man and Max stare at each other while the club music plays. NC, confused, waves his hands around as if to say, "Well...?". It goes on for some seconds)
NC: Are you waiting for him to kiss first? DO SOMETHING!
(For some reason, the camera is focusing on Natasha's rear as she walks to embrace Max. An audio clip of a man saying "Did you see my butt?" is played)
NC (vo): She saves him from Fernando's advances, but she feels something is up on her way back home.
(Natasha walks in a snowy street while the man from before looks down at her from her roof)
Natasha: (calling somebody) Owen, it's Natasha.
NC: (as Natasha) For God's sakes, bring pants. Frank Miller's snow is surprisingly freezing!
(The winged, shadowy creatures appear again and chase Natasha)
NC (vo; as Natasha): No! I won't be in I, Frankenstein!
(Natasha screams as the big paw covers her...and cut to Max preparing coffee at his home)
NC (vo): We then cut to a shot of Max Payne putting on his coat. (Max does exactly that...and back to the NYPD) Thank God for that shot of Max Payne putting on his coat.
NC: What the fuck was that...?
(An undercover cop and Max's former partner, Alex Balder, played by Donal Logue, gives him a ride in his car)
NC (vo): So he's called over by another cop named Alex.
Alex: I need you to look at something. (turns up a police siren that's on the hood)
NC (vo; as Alex): That's my siren. Ain't it neat? Okay, get out.
(Max and Alex walk to the corpse of Natasha)
Max: What happened to them?
Alex: Her. Just one.
(Max lifts up the blanket that covers the corpse and discovers a wing tattoo on Natasha's arm)
NC (vo): It looks like Natasha's found in pieces, but because this is PG-13, all we see is the arm of Laura Palmer.
(The man who was looking down at Natasha that night (named Jack Lupino) is seen watching at the crime scene from a roof)
NC (vo): As you probably noticed by now, there's no longer any narration, absolutely no humor...honestly, there's not even any personality. It's just Max going from scene to scene performing run-of-the-mill cliche after run-of-the-mill cliche.
NC: Now, don't get me wrong. The game was cliche after cliche, too, but it was over-the-top, and it tried to really push as many of them in there as possible.
(The cutscenes of the original game, stylized as a comic book, are shown)
NC (vo): That was part of the fun! It was go big or go home! (The still shot of Max screaming after finding his wife dead appears again) Well, maybe not home, but...
(Max walks out of Alex's car)
Alex: 'Cause you hear all the questions I get about my old partner.
Max: Oh, good thing you got my back then, huh?
Alex: I did everything! Everything!
NC: (as Alex) I did Grounded for Life, man! Those were some rough reviews I've read!
(Cut to show Mona receiving the information about the party guest she saw that night from a police officer)
NC (vo): I'll give Kunis credit that her best acting is when she's not talking and she's shooting her death glare.
(Seeing that the scan of the driver's license which Natasha was carrying belongs to Max Payne, Mona looks up angrily as a dramatic drum hit is put over this)
NC: (frozen in shock) I'm sorry. I didn't do anything! How'd she do that?!
(A limousine with Max inside drives into an alleyway the next night as it is shown that the snow is falling now)
NC (vo): Dude, wasn't it just raining? Like, that very same day? This movie's like the game of Sim Weather. (The fake cover for "Sim Weather: The Ultimate Simulator" appears) Is that a thing? Oh, never mind, it will be.
(Going to Alex's home to give him more info on the case, Max hears some noise and draws out his gun)
(He finds out the corpse of Alex, and someone starts attacking him, throwing him around the room)
NC (vo): He walks into Alex's place to find he's been murdered, and someone else is trying to kill him.
(As Max is attacked, with the shot going red after each hit, we briefly cut to Alex's head)
NC (vo; as Alex): Still dead.
(Max regains consciousness at the hospital the next morning to find B.B. Hensley (Beau Bridges), his father's former partner, sitting next to his bed)
Hensley: (as the camera focuses on Max while he is blurred) When dispatch couldn't raise him, they found out from Christa where he'd gone.
NC: (takes off his glasses, reaching for a camera) I do hate it when a movie forgets to put glasses on.
(The glasses cover the shot, and it focuses on Hensley now)
NC (vo): There you go.
Hensley: The whole force has you pegged as the prime suspect.
Max: And you tell them where to find me?
(At Alex's funeral, Max confronts Alex's wife, Christa)
NC (vo): We dissolve from bored and angry Wahlberg to bored and confused Wahlberg, as he attends the funeral of Alex and gives his condolences to his wife.
(What Max gets is a slap from Christa)
NC: Daaamn! That slap sounded like Indiana Jones punching a Nazi!
(The clip is repeated, followed by a clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade of the titular character punching out the German conductor on a blimp)
Christa (Nelly Furtado): (in tears) What have you done, Max? What has Max Payne done?
NC: (as Max) I don't know. This movie's so boring, it's hard to follow.
(Max returns to NYCPD, not paying any attention to his colleagues scolding him, and locks himself up in Alex's office)
NC (vo): So everyone thinks Max killed Alex and Natasha. That's why an entire building of cops stand up, yet none of them actually stop him from going into Alex's office.
Detective: Back up! Back up!
NC (vo; as all of the detectives): But we stood up. / We stood up. / Couldn't we have done more than stood up? / Even if we could, I still want to stood up.
(At the same time, the detective kicks on a door while Max is kicking a drawer on Alex's table to break it open)
NC: Ah, I understand your editing there. It's symbolic that they both like kicking.
(The detectives break the door open, but discover Max has taken the papers he needed and escaped through the window. The wind blows the snow inside an office)
Detective: Son of a bitch!
NC (vo; as a detective): How much Hallmark movie snow can the city get?!
(As Max enters another alleyway with a gun, we're shown that while it's still snowing, the water is dropping from roofs)
NC (vo): So, wait. It's snowing, yet it's hot enough to melt the snow into falling water? (The picture of a drunk woman is shown with Storm's face from the X-Men movies edited in) Did Storm get drunk and decided to anal-fist Mother Nature?!
(Mona's hand pops out and puts a machine gun to Max's head)
Mona: Drop it, shithead.
NC (vo; as Max): That's Max Shithead!
(Max kneels down, putting hands behind his head)
Mona: We need to talk about my sister. (slaps Max with a club)
Max: Owen was probably the last person who saw her alive.
Mona: Except for the guy that left his wallet lying by the body.
NC (vo; as Mona): (in a whiny tone) My mommy says this is my angry voice, and I'm not afraid to use it!
Max: Look, Natasha called...
(Before Mona can slap him again, Max grabs the club, still in her hands. Mona walks closer to Max)
Mona: Don't say her name!
NC: You know, for two relatively cool actors, that was some dorky staging.
NC (vo): He stops her club just to pull her gun closer to him, like he's thinking, "Ha-ha! Oh, yeah..."
(Mona is inside Max's car)
Mona: You know what I do for a living. You try anything and I'll kill you.
NC: (makes a short laugh) Oh, sorry. I thought that was a line read...
NC (vo): ...for The Spy Who Dumped Me.
NC: Uh, yeah, that was really intimidating, mm-hmm.
(Mona looks at Max menacingly, accompanied by a dramatic drum hit again)
NC: (startled) Okay, she's got the glare! We established that!
(Inside the building, Jack is standing on the staircase with a machete in his hand, looking down)
NC (vo): They go inside to find a lead to Natasha's killer.
(Meanwhile, Max kicks the door open and enters together with Mona, as they find Owen Green (Joel Gordon), who is under the influence of the drug and acts crazy)
(Owen is yelling like a lunatic and waves his arms around)
Max: Just relax.
NC: (as Max) It looks like you're acting with passion. None of that here!
(Owen stands in front of a broken window, slowly walking back to the edge of it)
Owen: (whispering) They took her.
(We get a moment with suspenseful music, as Owen is ready to fall of the building. Once Max has realized that, he makes an effort to save him, as the movie shifts back into slo-mo...and becomes completely silent for some reason)
NC: Oh, yeah, go silent. We need it for this incredibly dramatic moment of...
NC (vo): ...guy we've known for seventy seconds dying.
(One of the winged fiends is grabbing Owen's shoulders with his claws and drags him out of the window, so that it looks like he jumped to his own death)
NC (vo): Or maybe it was just done to show of this effect, which, looking back, kind of looks like a 90s anti-drug commercial.
(The scene of Owen's death is played again, but this time some strange music is played over it to make it look like an anti-drug commercial)
NC (vo; as an announcer): So your friends say marijuana's gonna take to places? They're pulling your back.
(The caption "Partnership for a Drug-free America" is placed over Owen's fall. After that, Owen crashes into something, making a loud noise, as Max looks down from the window before leaving. We then fade back to Jack, still standing on the staircase and still doing nothing but looking down)
NC: Why is this guy's entire...
(We get a montage of Lupino's recent scenes of looking down from something, finishing with his scene where he was standing in front of Max)
NC (vo): ... performance just looking down at shit?! Is it because when he gets down to eye-level, he's like, (in an idiot voice) "Duuh, what me do now?"
NC: Who trained you? (We get a picture of a Big Boo hiding from Mario from Super Mario World) One of the Mario ghosts?
(In a tattoo shop, Max and Mona are asking a tattoo artist about a specific tattoo consisting of two wings)
Max: I want to get this tattoo.
Mona: What does that mean?
Tattoo Artist Owner (Stephen R. Hart): That's a Norse Valkyrie. Valkyries fly over the battlefield, picking out the righteous dead. A soldier's angel.
NC: (his right hand on his check) You know, if you were to tell me the most interesting guy in a Max Payne movie would be...
NC (vo): ...the tattoo artist, I'd ask if someone from Miami Ink ghost-wrote this.
Tattoo Artist Owner: The only way you get to go to heaven is to die in violence.
NC: Which, by the way, forty minutes in, we've had NONE OF!
NC (vo): There's a short fight and a guy who jumps off. That's it. We never see anything else, it's all offscreen. (Cut to footage from the game) You know, it's called bullet time because actual bullets are seen. I guess it'd make more sense if you were like...
(Another scene from the game plays, where the action freezes every time Max shoots. We then cut to the movie's scene of Max sitting on the chair from the beginning)
NC (vo; as Adams): He missed. It was sad. You want a bagel? Out of those two.
(The next scene shows that Lupino has someone tied up on a chair)
NC: (Has his left hand on his temple) Christ, even when he's interrogating a guy...
NC (vo): ... he's still looking down on them. His chiropractor says he's gonna get (poster of...) Batman Begins poster syndrome.
Tied-up man: Ah, please!
(Lupino is forcing the drug down the man's throat)
NC: (as Jack) No one has ever had the squishy meat entirely of syrup.
(Jack kills the man with his machete)
NC: (as Jack, smiles and waves) If you survive, please come again.
(Lupino enters the hideout of a Haitian crime boss, Lincoln DeNeuf (Jamie Hector). There's a scar under Lincoln's lip)
NC (vo): Kunis visits a guy she thinks she can get some answers from, but how can you trust a person who can't even apply his own scar makeup convincingly?
Mona: See if they learn anything about a detective Max Payne.
Lincoln: Max Payne? He's looking for something that God wants to stay hidden. And that's what makes him even more dangerous.
NC: (slowly nods and speaks) Indeed. A cop looking for something is very rare. It's like...
(The photo of a highway full of traffic cones is shown)
NC (vo): ...a construction worker next to a highway construction site.
NC: We always hear about it...but we never see it.
(As Max is driving in his car, he remembers the phrases he's heard in the past)
Owen (vo): They took her upon her wings.
Doug (vo): The feathers only look black.
Tattoo Artist Owner (vo): A soldier's angel.
Homer Simpson: (audio, from The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail") I call the big one Bitey.
(Max then goes to take some of Michelle's belongings out of a storage with file cabinets. The lights go up one by one)
NC: (feigned amazement) Ho-ho-ho! Files! Things are really heating up!
(Max finds the documents of the Aesir Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which logo has a wing on them)
NC (vo): Ah. He notices the wings. Also that "Aesir" is a Nordic word, but...he's a detective. He can't figure that out.
(Max is standing in his old neighborhood, and we flash back to when his family was still alive. He comes home from work and fights the mugger shortly after, and everything is overly bright and yellow)
NC (vo): We finally get to see what happened to Max's family, but, again, seeing how they already mentioned it without showing it like in the game, there's nothing really shocking about it. I dare even say, it's kind of pointless to show now.
NC: The most shocking thing is Max's goshdarh...
NC (vo): ...happiest cop in the world demeanor! Coming home underpaid and overworked to a crying baby who's driving his wife insane?
NC: Let's be honest. If there was inner monologue in the rest of this movie, it'd be like...
NC (vo; as Max): I came home drunk as hell. Jack Daniel's is my Ovaltine. (Max happily looks at the picture of his child) "Eh, what's this horseshit?", I thought. Ah, they smile like that was elbow-deep in his shit, and he pissed in my mouth, in my goddamn mouth...eh, whatever. Just keep smiling. You know you're dead inside. What I wouldn't give to have my old life back- (Max discovers a broken window and rushes upstairs) Ooh. I'm making lemonade out of these lemons.
(Max breaks the door to the nursery open to see his wife and child dead. The sign hanging on the door reads "Baby")
NC: Aw. He named his baby "Baby".
NC (vo): It's like those dog owners. They have the word "Dog" randomly hanging up. It so esablishes their identity.
(The shot dissolves from a distraught and shocked Max in the past to the present day)
Bravura (vo): He was maybe...ten minutes too late.
NC: (sighs) Well, halfway through the movie, they're finally focusing on what motivates the main character. I guess we can start, too.
(NC suddenly turns his head to see Tamara dressed as Mona at the door, holding a rifle)
Tamara: I hear you're looking for Malcolm.
(NC stands up)
NC: I am.
Tamara: Well, let's get going, then.
NC: Wait. If we're gonna do this, we're gonna do it right.
(NC snips his fingers, and it starts snowing. Tamara just looks around briefly)
Tamara: It's snowing in here.
Tamara: I choose to have little reaction to that.
NC: You'll fit in fine.
(He takes out his trademark gun, and he and Tamara walk across the studio in small steps, each holding their weapon. They peek in one dark room)
(They go on walking through the studio's prop room, entering the warehouse)
(And they continue walking. They return to the hallway)
Tamara: (narrating) I couldn't believe it. How could Malcolm have gotten this lost? I didn't know how-
NC: Oh, hey, hey, hey! No inner monologue!
Tamara: But you had some in the beginning.
NC: Yeah. So did the movie, and then, they stopped, so we're stopping.
Tamara: It's not very consistent.
Narrator: I was just thinking the same thing.
Tamara: (narrating) Thank you.
NC: (annoyed) Everybody, shut up! Or...shut in. Whatever inner voices do.
(They return to stepping and spot...Devil Boner eating chips in the kitchen casually. He notices NC and Tamara and draws out his gun)
Tamara: Devil Boner. We should have known you were behind this.
DB: (mouth full) I'm sorry! I can't have just one!
Tamara: No, Malcolm, you dumbass.
DB: (menacingly) Oh, I know where he is.
NC: Yeah? Where is he?
DB: (grins) Oh, wouldn't you like to know?
Tamara: Yes. (tries to load her rifle, but fails) Chhk-chhk. We would.
DB: Well, then... (loudly clicks his gun) ...let's find out toge-
(The scene is suddenly interrupted by another loading screen, showing NC looking down, saddened. The bar fills up (the final "push" is actually held up for some seconds), and we're back)
Tamara: You've got guns, we've got guns. There's only one way to settle this.
DB: Yeah. And we both know what it is.
(Jump cut to...three of them eating snacks at the table)
DB: (munching) So I told him, "The bathroom isn't down that way. You have to make a left." And he didn't believe me, and so he made a right. I ask you: Do I look so untrustworthy?
Tamara: No, not at all.
NC: You know, I'm so glad we sat down and talked about this. Can you imagine if we just came in, guns a-blazing, shooting at each other and a thrilling action sequence?
DB: That's all I ever think about, actually.
Tamara: Well, Critic, you continue the review, and I'll continue being this side character that's completely useless.
NC: Max Payne would be proud of you. Only if you could do the Mila Kunis death stare.
Tamara: Oh, you mean like this?
(She abruptly turns her head back to shoot an angry glare at the camera)
NC: (nods) Not bad. Not bad.
(He gets up and leaves to the review room while Tamara continues glaring. Back to the movie)
NC (vo): So after slowly morphing into John Cena, we cut to...
(Jason Colvin (Chris O'Donnell), the Aesir executive, is walking in the rain with no umbrella, covering himself with a paper)
NC: (annoyed) In one week, it went from snow to rain four times?!
NC (vo): Climate change, my ass! This is goddamn climate roulette!
(Nicole Horne (Kate Burton), CEO of Aesir, drives up to Jason)
Nicole: What is it, Jason?
Jason: I just thought you should be aware.
NC: ...Wait. Is that Chris O'Donnell?
Jason: No. No, I...
(NC is perplexed)
NC: What a random appearance.
NC (vo): He does so little in this role, so I'm not entirely sure why he's here. It's so out of nowhere and makes so little sense, I half-expect the dialogue to be...
Dick Grayson: (audio from Batman & Robin, dubbed over Jason) It's Batman and Robin, not Robin and Batman!
(Nicole closes the window and drives away. We cut to Bravura speaking to Hensley inside a building)
NC (vo): It's like seeing someone as random as Ludacris pop up... (abruptly realizes, stuttering) What the fuck-
Hensley: You should hear the kind of things Max is saying. None of it makes any sense. He has gotten in his head that someone here at the company is responsible.
NC: (as Hensley) It's like cutting from...
NC (vo; as Hensley): ...one close-up of you to an almost identical close-up of you.
NC: (as Hensley) It's just madness. Or should I say...Luda-
NC (vo; as Bravura): Finish that, I'll kill you.
NC: (as Hensley) Okay.
NC (vo): To his credit, he has a slightly larger role than O'Donnell as another detective trying to find Payne, thinking he's gone AWOL. But much like Payne, he's a friggin' dumbass when it comes to identifying the obvious bad guy.
Hensley: I'm worried he's gonna...get into another situation before I can convince him to come in.
Bravura: So you really think he's...
Hensley: I think you need to find him.
NC: (as Hensley) Find him with bullets. Lots of bullets; in the areas that keep him alive.
(Max enters the Aesir Corporation, goes into Jason's office and locks the door)
NC (vo): Max thinks he can get some answers from O'Donnell's character, proving even his interrogations are on permanent..."Eh".
Jason: (on the phone) Jackie? Hi. Uh, Dete... (Max abruptly throws the phone away, leaving only the tube in Jason's hands)
NC: I know it's a nitpick, but even the way he threw that phone...
NC (vo): ...was kind of lame. (as Max) Grrr, I guess. I loved you in The Bachelor.
(Max tries to punch the information out of Jason. His receptionist, Jackie, knocks on the door)
Jackie: Mr. Colvin? Mr. Colvin, are you okay?
Jackie: Mr. Colvin, it's Jackie. (Max hits Jason again) I can hear you! Are you all right?
NC (vo; as Jackie): I can knock more! Should I knock more? I'm gonna knock more.
(Jackie picks up a phone to call Hensley)
NC: (as Jackie) I need cops to continue knocking!
NC (vo): O'Donnell explains that the drug being developed makes people super powerful, but also forces them to have hallucinations. (Beat) The exact same hallucinations, coincidentally.
Jason: (panting in fear) The rest suffered horrible hallucinations. Devils and demons.
NC: You know, it's that one chemical.
(Cut back to a scene of Owen being dragged by one of the winged creatures)
NC (vo): Weird Gargoyle-shit-oxide.
NC: Everybody always sees the same thing after taking that.
(Jason agrees to testify, and Max starts to escort Jason out of his office, but a SWAT team (actually, the disguised Aesir contractors) ambushes them, killing Jason and attracting Bravura's attention)
NC (vo): They send in the SWAT team, because a guy who barely shot a gun in this movie is a major threat, but they kill O'Donnell, proving that they're in on the scheme. Thank God they can't hit much else.
(An intense shootout begins, as Max escapes the corporation with the evidence)
SWAT Team Leader: All down! NYPD!
(The shootout goes on, and the SWAT team only manages to destroy the windows behind Max)
NC: (as a leader) Oh, hold on, hold on. How many of you guys have your guns set to "Hit Behind Him"? (offscreen, as the other members) I do. / I do. / Is that why I keep hitting behind him?
(The contractors search for Max below as the water sprinklers are activated. Their yelling and talking is really muffled)
NC: (amused) Are they speaking Tasmanian Devil?
(The scene is shown again, with the clip of Taz speaking his trademark gibberish from the Merrie Melodies short "Bedevilled Rabbit" played alongside. Back to the film, Mona is shown at the warehouse, looking around with her machine gun in her hands. When she turns back, she sees that Max is already here)
NC (vo): He gets away, and...ooh. Mila Kunis has a gun. Guess she's finally gonna be in on the action, and the...ha-ha! More talking!
(Max and Mona watch a video that gives an explanation for the Valkyr project)
Announcer: Introducing Valkyr. The strength of freedom.
Mona: That's what this is about? A drug?
NC: (hand on his right temple, abashed) Well, yeah. A lot of crime-related things involve drugs.
NC (vo): It's like saying, (The photo of a couple making out is shown, NC talks with a more feminine voice) "That's what this affair was about? Sex?" (Normal voice) So he goes to a secret hideout named "Ragnarok"... (The neon sign on the building serving as Lupino's hideout reads "Raglan and Brock", and only the necessary letters are lit) ...brilliantly disguised, as you can see...as he's discovered by some guards.
(Two guards are searching for Max in Ragnarok. Again, in total silence)
NC: (hand on cheek) You know, I've never craved "naming your gun" dialogue as much as I have now.
NC (vo; as the first guard): Hey, you ever named your gun? (as the second one) Sure do. (as the first) What do you call it? "Dude"? (Max suddenly shows up and kills the guards with a machine gun. NC imitates the second guard) Nothing funny in this movie, ha!
(Preparing for action, Max jumps backwards...and him loading the gun is presented, once more, in silence, and VERY slowly. NC, really annoyed, slams the table)
NC: The slow-mo doesn't have to be that slow!
(The clip from Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior is briefly shown, with Shen scoring a goal with a well-performed kick)
NC (vo): The idea is, the slower it goes, the cooler the stunt should look. Falling backwards, weirdly enough, isn't that cool a stunt!
(This sequence is shown again)
NC: You know what? Let's have a race. Who'll win first?
NC (vo): Mark Wahlberg falling backwards...
(The famous clip from Zootopia of Flash the sloth slowly smiling and preparing to laugh at Nick Wilde's joke is followed)
NC (vo): ...or the sloth from Zootopia getting a laugh out?
(Both clips are shown back-to-back. After some seconds...)
NC: Sloth wins. (throws hand in annoyance)
(A sniper is shown shooting at Max (the slow-mo continues), breaking the vials with Valkyr)
NC: (covering head, not believing what he's seeing) How is it possible to miss that much?!
NC (vo): You have a friggin' sight on your gun. Use it, because you're mistaking a Kool-Aid stand for your main target!
(Max kicks out the door into another room that has candles and a torture chair in it)
NC: That chair looks reclined, but it's not. Like Wahlberg, it's just...
NC (vo): ...falling super slowly. Again, they just don't know the interesting things to slow down!
(Lupino jumps from above and tackles Max, sweating)
NC (vo): He's confronted by Baldy Von Nose-Sweat, and after all the build-up, we'd better get a damn good fight with this guy.
(Somebody appears and shoots Lupino in the chest, killing him)
NC: ...You know, he's just thinking to himself...
(The man is revealed to be Hensley)
(Hensley's assistant, Joe Salle (Rothaford Gray) knocks Max out, and later, he's brought to the ship)
NC (vo): He's saved by Bridges, but...what a twist...he was the bad guy.
Hensley: I had to talk to her. Show her my side before she took it to someone else. Once that happened, though, once I realized I could use the strength of my hands to keep one thing from being taken away from me.
NC: His acting is turning into Alec Baldwin from SNL...
NC (vo): ...when he's not playing Trump.
Hensley: Michelle was the first problem in my life, small enough to reach out and stop.
(Cut to a 2008 SNL sketch, showing Alec Baldwin mistaking Sarah Palin for Tina Fey and speaking to the producer Lorne Michaels)
Baldwin: Lorne, I need to talk to you. You can't let Tina go out there with that woman.
Michaels: (overlapping) Alec...
(Hoping to make it like a drug-induced incident, Hensley uncuffs Max so he can drown him)
NC (vo): So they uncuff him...you heard right...uncuff him so they can tie him to an anchor...
(Cut to a clip from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery)
Dr. Evil: I'm going to place him in an easily escapable...
(Max breaks free and dives into the icy river)
NC (vo): Yeah, that...as he, of course, escapes, but jumps into the freezing water, bringing us back to where we started.
NC: And, you know, having seen the story that led up to this moment, I think I can safely say I actually know LESS about him than when I started off.
(Footage of the game is played again)
NC (vo): Seriously. Before I, at least, knew the game character, who was a cool, poetic, one-liner spewing badass. And this guy was none of those things and replaced it with absolute squat! So we're actually in the red when it comes to what we know about him! Maybe that's where the phrase "negative personality" comes from, because it takes away more than it gives!
NC: He's the antimatter of character studies!
(Max considers suicide but hears the voice of his wife. He swims to shore and, to prevent hypothermia, consumes both vials of Valkyr)
NC (vo): But he refuses death by drowning to get revenge...because The Spirit is a great source to rip off...as he takes the drug to turn into one of those superhumans which always see all those crazy-ass visions.
(The sparks start coming out of everywhere, the Northern lights and the winged fiends appear in the sky, as Max makes a scream of pain and anguish...that is toned down)
NC: (smirking) That was adorable.
NC (vo; chuckles): That scream was so silly, I kind of wanna put other cartoony yells in there.
(Three famous screams are put over this segment: one of Tom's yells from Tom and Jerry, a Goofy Holler, and the Johnny Weismuller Tarzan call. Max follows BB back to the Aesir building and shoots his way through Aesir security employees)
NC (vo): So he goes on a killing spree...
NC: In Max Payne? That seems weird!
NC (vo): ...and he tries to get his revenge on Bridges.
(As Max is looking around for the security employees, the camera seems to be doing the...barrel's point of view)
NC: The drug also has a selfie stick, apparently.
(Hensley gives C4 to Joe so he could make a bomb and blow everything up)
Hensley: Take some C4.
Joe: Are you nuts?
NC (vo; as Hensley): Well, I was in Free Willy: Escape to Pirate's Cove.
(Everything starts falling apart in front of Max, transforming into hellish nightmare. Max tries to keep his composure)
NC (vo): Max Payne, everybody! Is it everything you thought of me?
NC: (leans head on his hands dreamily) Or even more?
(Mona kills a guard and corners Joe who has finished preparing a bomb)
NC (vo; as Mona): I fired a gun, did you see? I'm badass now!
Joe: (slowly taking the gun out of his coat) I'm sure we can work something out.
(Joe manages to grab his gun and to shoot once at Mona, but the shot missed her. Mona fires her machine gun simultaneously to Joe's gun and kills him)
NC: And in case you're wondering, no, that wasn't slow-mo. He was actually dumb enough...
NC (vo): ...to reach for his gun that slowly. Hares challenge people like you to a race.
(Hensley retreats to the helipad on top of the building, but Max confronts him)
(Max simply kills Hensley with one bullet. The next day, as he's surrounded, Max falls to his knees on the edge of the helipad, ready to die, but sees a vision of his wife and child, smiling)
NC (vo): The SWAT team circles around him, and... (The end credits roll) That's it. So much was gained, like an appreciation to spend your money better!
NC: (angrily) At this point, I'd much rather watch this Payne (The poster for the movie Major Payne appears on the right) over that Payne (The poster for the subject matter appears on the left) any day! (Beat) Actually, that one's not too bad. Everyone's like, "Oh, it's Damon Wayans. It's gonna be bad", but it's actually pretty good. You know, it's...it's...looking color-beige, you know. That Wayans was still pretty funny and everything, and just give this a shot, go in with an open mind- (suddenly angry again, pointing at the poster for Max Payne) IT'S BETTER THAN THAT!
(The film's clips play out once more as NC goes to his closing thoughts)
NC (vo): Max Payne doesn't give what fans are looking for, it's not unique enough to give moviegoers what they're looking for, and the majority of it is boring as sin. Had this movie been allowed to really go over-the-top crazy...I mean, not Legion-over-the-top crazy, but awesome action film noir over-the-top crazy, this could have been a very enjoyable stylish flick. As is, it's just a dull extra-sized snow porn, with an occasional good shot here and there. But what does that matter when there's absolutely no substance and no fun to back it up?
NC: The mystery still remains, though. Where is Malcolm?
(Tamara appears at the door, holding a phone)
Tamara: Um, I think this might explain things a bit.
(NC stands up, and him and Tamara hear an audio recording from Malcolm himself)
Malcolm: (audio) Hey, guys. It's Malcolm. I'm just giving a heads-up I'm not back from my vacation yet. I had a few things get in the way, so it's going to delay me getting back to film the next episode. I'll do my best...
NC: Huh. Good to know we were worrying about nothing.
(They throw their hands and leave NC's room, but Malcolm continues speaking on the recording)
Malcolm: (audio, offscreen) ...not so inconvenient. I've actually been kidnapped.
Tamara: (to NC) Well, the question still remains: are you gonna change that wall color?
(We cut to the phone each time Malcolm speaks)
Malcolm: (audio) They cut off a couple of my toes and sent it to those I loved most...
(NC and Tamara don't pay attention)
NC: I think I'll leave it how it is.
Malcolm: (audio) ...so I figured you guys wouldn't be in the mix.
Tamara: Don't you think the viewers might get upset?
Malcolm: (audio) They say if they don't get $20,000, they're gonna cut off my testicles with toothpicks.
NC: I know. Some people might get uneasy by it, but...you know, a lot of people have to realize that...change is a normal part of life.
Malcolm: (audio) I think there was even a talk about surgically giving me a third testicle, just so they can take away another one.
NC: You know, when they find a living with a new wall color isn't the end of the world...
Malcolm: (audio) Right now, they're gambling for who gets to chop off my buttcheeks.
NC: ...they'll learn to live with a lot of other things.
Malcolm: (audio) I know one of them really wants to wear them as a helmet.
(While NC continues speaking, Barney Walker silently appears behind him and Tamara, carrying a bucket of paint and a roller, and goes into NC's room)
NC: Perhaps discover a new level of patience, empathy, love. A new way of looking at everything.
Malcolm: (audio) He's so cute. He's gonna be adorable when he grows up.
NC: You know, the more I think about it, it's not just...my duty to keep that wall the same color.
Malcolm: (audio) I do miss my nostrils.
NC: It's my pleasure.
Malcolm: (audio) But, the more I think about it, I wasn't using them much anyway.
NC: (puts hand on Tamara's shoulder) And that, dear Tamara, is the essence of all life- (turns head to his room, abruptly realizes what's going on and rushes inside, annoyed) Goddammit! I was gonna change the world with that wall!
(Tamara looks at the camera and shrugs)
Malcolm: (audio, offscreen) I don't even have fingers to hold the phone.
Tamara: ("clicks gun") Chhk-chhk. (walks off in the same way as before)
Malcolm: (audio, offscreen) One of the kidnappers is doing it for me.
Kidnapper (Doug): (audio, offscreen) It's not too shaky, is it?
Malcolm: (audio, offscreen) Oh, you're fine, you're fine.
(Before the credits roll, we actually see an announcement to vote for the color of the wall (white or grey) in the comments)
Channel Awesome tagline - Aesir contractors: (muffled yelling and talking)