EVER since Mark Wahlberg earned himself an Oscar nomination for The Departed, he has tried his best to consolidate his place among the Hollywood big boys.
Shooter gave him a chance to re-establish his action man credentials but lacklustre reviews deadened its impact. One could entirely understand why he then teamed up with M Night Shyamalan for The Happening but got caught up in the ongoing backlash against the director.
Now, though, he only has himself to blame for thinking he could possibly benefit career wise from playing a video game character in a picture which so far hasn’t generated a single positive word in its favour.
So poorly received has director John Moore’s lifeless effort been, it can’t even make the most of having current Bond sensation Olga Kurylenko in its cast - possibly because it is in a minor role while the leading lady slot is taken by Mila Kunis from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
The plot, what there is of it, seems to start off with Payne tracking down the killer of his wife and daughter but ends up dealing with a drug that can turn men into super warriors.
Moore, however, is of the view that as long as you use minimal light and keep everything on screen as gloomy as you can get away with, nobody will notice just how bereft of ideas, story and character this failed attempt at creating a new franchise truly is.
STAR RATING: *
MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL (12A) (All major cinemas; midweek previews)
RISING US comedy star Dane Cook agrees to a request from best pal Jason Biggs to take Biggs’ former girlfriend Kate Hudson on a date from hell so she realises how great her ex always was. But guess what happens? Previews of this rom com take place ahead of next Friday’s official release.