Max Payne (Video Game 2001) Poster

(2001 Video Game)

James McCaffrey: Max Payne


  • Max Payne : In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  • Max Payne : One thing you can count on: You push a man too far, and sooner or later he'll start pushing back.

  • Max Payne : I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings.

  • Max Payne : He was trying to buy more sand for his hour glass. I wasn't selling any.

  • [opening narration] 

    Max Payne : They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark on everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger, and it was over.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  Life was good. The sun setting on a sweet summer's day. The smell of freshly mowed lawns, the sounds of children playing. A house across the river on the Jersey side. A beautiful wife and a baby girl. The American Dream come true.

    Max Payne : Honey, I'm home!

    Max Payne : [narrating]  But dreams have a nasty habit of going bad when you're not looking. The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding.

    Max Payne : Michelle? Honey, anybody home?

    Max Payne : [narrating]  I didn't like the way the show started, but they had given me the best seat in the house: front row center.

  • [Max is still hallucinating on Valkyr, and encounters the same note as before] 

    Max Payne : There was something disturbingly familiar about the note on the desk. The handwriting was all pretty curves.

    Michelle Payne : [the note reads]  You're in a computer game, Max.

    Max Payne : The truth was like a green crack through my brain. Weapon statistics floating in the air, glimpsed out of the corner of my eye. the repetitious act of shooting, time slowing down to show off my moves. The paranoid feeling of someone controlling my every step. I was in a computer game. Funny as Hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of.

  • B.B. : You can't win this one, Max.

    Max Payne : No, but I can make damn sure none of you do either.

  • [after shooting a speaker in an elevator that is playing cheesy music] 

    Max Payne : Thank you.

  • Max Payne : Vinnie Gognitti. Just the man I've been killing to see.

    Vinnie Gognitti : Payne! Freakin' Fed! I knew from day one there was something screwy about you! What d'you think you're doing? You're a freakin' cop, you ain't got squat on us! You can't just come in here wavin' your piece like it meant something!

    [Gognitti shoots at Max, Max dodges and fires back] 

    Vinnie Gognitti : Yeeaargh! Oh my God! Oh God! You shot me, aaaahh! You're dead Payne! What the hell are you waiting for, ya apes? Kill 'im! KILL 'IM!

    Mobster : With pleasure, boss!

    Max Payne : [Narrating]  Gognitti bailed. I made like Chow Yun-Fat.

  • Max Payne : Turn around, walk away, blow town. That would have been the smart thing to do. I guess I wasn't that smart.

  • Max Payne : No Payne, No Gain.

  • Frankie Niagara : Pleased to meet ya. I'm Frankie "the Bat" Niagara.

    Max Payne : "Niagara," as in you cry a lot?

    Max Payne : [narrating]  He had a baseball bat and I was tied to a chair. Pissing him off was the smart thing to do.

  • Max Payne : Collecting evidence had gotten old a few hundred bullets back. I was already so far past the point of no return I couldn't even remember what it looked like when I had passed it.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger. And then it was all over. The storm seemed to lose its frenzy. The ragged clouds gave way to the stars above.

    NYPD Deputy Police Chief Jim Bravura : [over megaphone from helicopter]  Max Payne, this is Deputy Chief Jim Bravura from the NYPD. We've got the building surrounded. Throw down your weapons and lie down with your hands behind your head!

    Max Payne : [narrating]  A bit closer to heaven.

  • Max Payne : You play, you pay, you bastard.

  • Nicole Horne : [On the P.A]  It will be a cold day in Hell before I let a Narc Cop stop me. Ms. Sax, do your job.

    Mona Sax : Relax, Max. You're a nice guy. I don't kill nice guys.

    Max Payne : You're not bad yourself.

  • Max Payne : Everything ripped apart in a New York minute.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  Punchinello wanted Payne? He'd see the pain.

  • Max Payne : [Narrating]  Gognitti ran out of steam in a dead end valley with steam boiling out of the sewer grates, like all the fires of hell were burning high beneath us... It was shakedown time.

  • [jumping out the window of an exploding office] 

    Max Payne : It was an impressive floor show, but I decided to leave early anyway. It was only a one story fall. Lucky me.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  Punchinello was burning to get me. The feeling was mutual. He was trying to put out my flames with gasoline.

  • Max Payne : [voiceover]  Colder than a walk-in fridge. Cold as a gun.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  I had a bullet with Nicole Horne's name on it. I had ten thousand bullets with the hag's name on them. She had ultra high-tech security systems, enough mercenaries and weaponry to start World War III. There was no fear.

  • Max Payne : After Y2K, the end of the world had become a cliché. But who was I to talk, a brooding underdog avenger alone against an empire of evil, out to right a grave injustice? Everything was subjective. There were only personal apocalypses. Nothing is a cliché when it's happening to you.

  • Max Payne : When the darkness fell, New York City became something else, any old Sinatra song notwithstanding. Bad things happened in the night, on the streets of that other city. Noir York City.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  The cardinal rule in going after someone with an intention to kill was not to make it personal - which it almost always ended up being anyway. It did with me.

  • Max Payne : So what does B.B. stand for anyway, backstabbing bastard?

  • Max Payne : [running into Mona Sax, Max's gun pointed]  Lisa Punchinello?

    Max Payne : [narrating]  Lisa Punchinello was the Don's Wife

    Mona Sax : [also packing heat]  Mona Sax. Lisa's evil twin.

    Max Payne : Your safety's off, Evil Twin. You could hurt somebody with that gun of yours.

    Mona Sax : Lisa's the damsel in distress. I'm the professional. I'd blow you away without batting an eye.

    Max Payne : Sure, and you can check out my credentials splattered all over this joint.

  • Max Payne : [narration]  She was a nice girl, not really a stone-cold killer, and now she was stone-cold dead.

  • Max Payne : Up on that rooftop I was a Ninja, my Kung Fu was strong. I wasn't kidding anybody. At best I was Superman on kryponite, about to fall into where it all went down.

  • Vinnie Gognitti : You - you can't just kill me in cold blood!

    Max Payne : You just keep telling yourself that.

  • Vladamir : Bang! You're dead Max Payne.

    Max Payne : [narrating]  I would have laughed, if I could have remembered how.

    Max Payne : What's this supposed to be, Cops and Robbers? Look, you want something with me, get in line.

  • Angelo Punchinello : [on the Charon's ship phone]  Dime? Angelo Punchinello here.

    Max Payne : [chuckles]  Angie! Tell me, how much did Dime cost you? I bet it was more than his name.

    Angelo Punchinello : Max Payne?

    Max Payne : Right the first time.

    Angelo Punchinello : You're dead, punk!

    Max Payne : You sure you're not confusing me with Boris here? But you are right, of course. Pretty soon we should get together and have a talk.

    Angelo Punchinello : You son of a - !

    [Max hangs up] 

    Max Payne : [narrating]  Pissing Punchinello off was a dangerous game. But when people get mad, they make mistakes. I should know. That's where I wanted Punchinello, mad enough to trip over his own feet, preferably into a grave.

  • Max Payne : [Last lines]  Woden was there... in the crowd, standing by the sidelines. It wouldn't be over till the man with the patch would say so. He'd say the right words. I knew he would. He'd better. He was grinning smugly. It was the grin of a winner.

    Max Payne : [is pushed into cop car]  That made two of us.

  • Max Payne : It wasn't about how smart or how good you were. It was chaos and luck, and anyone who thought different was a fool.

  • Max Payne : Vlad was one of those old time bad guys with honor and morals, which almost made him one of the good guys. None of us was a saint.

  • Max Payne : An urban legend come true. You complete the jigsaw puzzle to discover it is a picture of yourself, finishing that same puzzle. A mad, green-eyed killer behind you.

  • Joey Finito : Ladies and gentlemen, it's the pain in the butt.

    Virgillio Finito : Pain to the Max!

    Max Payne : You're killing me. Did you make that up yourselves, or did you get some wino downstairs to come up with it? Don't answer that. A rhetorical question. I got something for the boss. Lupino around?

    Joey Finito : That kinda depends who's askin' - a friend or a junk squad plant! But don't answer! It's one of them... ah... how'd you put it... rhetorical questions.

    Virgillio Finito : Lupino ain't here, but he says "Bye!"

  • Max Payne : The shadows rushed me, bruised mug-shot faces hungry for revenge. They knew my weak points and closed in for the kill. The floor turned into a vortex of green blood. I fell.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  There was no glory in this. I hadn't asked for this crap. Trouble had come to me, in big dark swarms. The good and the just, they were like gold dust in this city. I had no illusions. I was not one of them. I was no hero. Just me and the gun, and the crook. My options had decreased to a singular course.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  Lupino thought he could get to us by taking out Alex and leaving me to take the fall for it. All he had gotten was my attention.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  Collecting evidence had gotten old a few hundred bullets back.

  • Max Payne : Valkyr had been meant to be a white-winged maiden that would lift you to a warrior's heaven. But it turned out to be a one-way demon ride to hell. The devil was in the drug. I knew. I had met him.

  • Max Payne : And now I was going to kill her - the queen of the underworld who had tried to lift herself a bit closer to heaven with her drug money. No begging, no bribes. She knew better. Honor among killers, "we who are about to die." Both of us knew how this would end: in pain and suffering.

  • Max Payne : Mona, looking good.

    Mona Sax : Max, we've gotta stop meeting like this.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  I had taken on the role of the mythic detective: Bogart as Marlowe, or as Sam Spade going after the Maltese Falcon. To unravel all the mysteries, following a path of clues to that final revelation, even if it would take me down to the cold, cavernous depths of a grave.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  No minotaur lurked in this labyrinth, but somewhere out there, on the clanking deck of his cargo freighter, the skipper of the Charon was waiting, like the ferryman of the River Styx.

  • Max Payne : [narrating]  Sooner or later it was going to catch up with you.

    Nicole Horne : Mr. Payne, it's time to show you the benefits of my brew. Be a good boy now.

    [she injects him with a syringe of Valkyr] 

    Max Payne : [narrating]  You'd find that Lady Luck was really a hooker, and you were fresh out of cash.

  • Max Payne : Where's Lupino?

    Vinnie Gognitti : Screw you!

    Max Payne : Bad start, Vinnie.

    [punches him] 

    Vinnie Gognitti : Aaaaagggh! Police brutality!

    Max Payne : I rate pretty high on that.

    Vinnie Gognitti : Y-y-ya can't just hurt me in cold blood!

    Max Payne : Uh-huh, just keep telling yourself that.

  • Max Payne : Judging by the detonators, the crooks had brought enough explosives to send Lady Liberty into orbit.

  • Vinnie Gognitti : Book me, take me in, haul me to the freakin' jail, just don't hurt me!

    Max Payne : Your rights will be read at your funeral.

  • Max Payne : So much for being subtle.

  • Vladimir : You get everything you need?

    Max Payne : Check.

    Vladimir : I owe you. Anything you need.

    Max Payne : This is my solo. When I'm through, Punchinello won't be anybody's problem anymore.

    Vladimir : Clear as vodka. But anytime you get between a rock and a hard place, just whistle. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

    Max Payne : You really get a bang out of this big-time gangster act, don't you?

  • [as B.B. escapes in a getaway car] 

    Max Payne : [narrating]  B.B. turned out to be another cardboard cut-out bad guy. A bad cop on the take. A cowardly right-hand man fleeing from the scene, leaving his paid thugs to do his dirty work.

  • Max Payne : [Narrating]  Alex and I had a few moments of glory between us. Crime fighting comrades, the best in NYPD-DEA collaborative team... Good-hearted macho bullshit like that. I would have given anything to have him here as my back up. No such luck. No luck at all.

  • [Max has forcibly overdosed on Valkyr, and is not thinking at all straight] 

    Max Payne : There was something disturbingly familiar about the note on the desk. The handwriting was all pretty curves.

    Michelle Payne : [the note reads]  You're in a graphic novel.

    Max Payne : The green light washed the lies away. My whole life was just frames, words hanging in the air like bubbles. I was in a graphic novel. Funny as Hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of.

  • [last lines] 

    Max Payne : Woden was there in the crowd, standing by the sidelines. It wouldn't be over till the man with the patch would say so. He'd say the right words. I knew he would. He'd better. Woden grinned smugly. It was the grin of a winner.

    [Max is pushed into a squad car] 

    Max Payne : That made two of us.

  • Max Payne : [Examining books dealing with the occult and witchcraft in Ragna Rock nightclub]  The room was stacked with light reading such as "Necronomicon," "Witchcraft," and "Paradise Lost"... Old exotic titles like 'Malleus Maleficarum' and 'De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis'...

  • DEA Agent Alex Balder : Hold it... Max! Jesus, you almost gave me a heart attack! I nearly shot you!

    Max Payne : Alex... am I glad to see you.

    DEA Agent Alex Balder : What the hell's going on? There are more corpses here than at the City Morgue!

    Max Payne : It's an armed robbery. A tunnel job straight through the Roscoe Bank vault through the old station wall. Is this why - ?

    DEA Agent Alex Balder : This is Lupino's gig? This is Lupino's doing? Lupino's men? Really?

    Max Payne : You sure know how to pick a place. Can you get through?

    DEA Agent Alex Balder : No, it's locked. We've gotta get outta here. If it's Lupino, it's - !

    [Alex is shot down by an unknown gunman who proceeds to vanish into the night] 

    Max Payne : Alex? Alex!

    Max Payne : [narrating]  There was nothing I could do. He was dead. I could tell by the empty accusing stare of his eyes.

  • Max Payne : Snow was falling like ashes from post-apocalyptic skies, but that was outside. Things would soon get hot in the Don's restaurant.

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

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