Two of the protagonists are both middle-aged criminals. One is a drug-addled psychotic loose-cannon who relishes in violence and the other is a "retired" heist-man with problems relating to his teenage daughter and an estranged wife. Where have I seen this before......?
Yes, this comparison is totally unfair. I'm just saying......Rockstar might actually do these kind of characters right.
Come on now. The actual characters of Kane and Lynch were fine (great voice performances from both at the very least), it's the gameplay surrounding them that was lackluster.
Hey Kane, I'm sorry I totally killed all those hostages duder. I forgot to get a refill on my prescription that if just happen to stop taking I get all gun happy and start murdering people when it's convenient for the plot.
Hey Kane. I'm sorry I totally murdered that woman we were supposed to ransom off in a totally not-creepy or rapey way. It's just that the writers needed to justify this fucked exercise of a game and justify the rest of the plot.
And Kane still works with this guy on a second game! A walking fuck-up that brings nothing but pain and misery in his life and he just signs right back up for another mediocre romp.
Do not get me started on the airport level in Kane and Lynch 2.
Yes, Lynch turning out to be a medicated psycho is convenient for the plot... but you can that about literally any plot device ever. In fact that's the whole point, that's how you usually move a crime story forward, you introduce new obstacles and complications to make things turn messy in a hurry. K&L was like a buddy cop movie, only you've got bad cop and really bad cop.
And the reason why Kane works with him in the second game is because he's clearly that desperate; he gets an offer for a score that could finally settle him and his daughter for good, so he took it. It obviously wasn't a smart decision, but Kane's evidently in a pretty fucked up state so he figured this could be his one final chance before who knows what. He's essentially what Max Payne would have devolved into if Max didn't decide to improve his life and try and do something productive with his life. And don't forget Kane and Lynch barely kept in touch after the first one after all, so it's not like Kane was best buds with the guy despite being well aware of how fucked up he is.
Now I'm going to justify the story of K&L2, because there barely is one of course, but again I think the characters of Kane and Lynch themselves are a little under-appreciated, or rather I find it unfair that they're automatically lumped alongside most of the mediocrity that practically defines the K&L game.