Running time: 99 minutes. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Amaury Nolasco, Olga Kurylenko, Donal Logue, Marianthi Evans. Director: John Moore.

“I DON’T believe in heaven. I believe in pain, I believe in fear, I believe in death,” growls the titular, gun-toting hero in voiceover at the beginning of John Moore's tiresome video game-to-movie adaptation.

Audiences will certainly believe in pain — and boredom and frustration — as the vengeance-seeking cop plods wearily through a plot that straddles reality and drug-induced fantasy on the crime-riddled streets of New York City.

First-time screenwriter Beau Thorne sketches a familiar tale of murder and redemption without any of the excitement or relentless, adrenaline-pumping action of the small screen source material.

He opens with the supposed drowning of the main protagonist then flashes back one week to chart events leading up to Max's tumble into the frozen water.

The twists, if they can be called that, are signposted so far in advance, it becomes laughable that characters can't see what is staring them in their blank faces.

Mark Wahlberg (left) is inexpressive as the eponymous good cop on a mission, shooting first and thinking later, if at all, as Moore's film builds to a lacklustre final showdown.

Fans of the Max Payne games will recognize characters and certain plot elements..

The film also employs the slow motion bullet time effect, which was a key factor of the video game's appeal, bending time and the laws of physics to achieve the most visually arresting results.

However, Moore's film is a poor substitute for the visceral slam-bang that comes from grabbing a controller and taking charge of the hero yourself.

We don’t feel engaged with any of the characters, nor do we sense Max's simmering rage over the slaughter of his family.

Supernatural elements drawn from Norse mythology necessitate a blitzkrieg of computer generated special effects which provide a welcome respite from the eternal gloom of the cinematography.