I was being a little facetious with the simile there, and let's not forget that Max Payne 2 opens with the line "The past was a gaping hole." But then Max asserts that the only thing to do is turn and face it. Not to mention the last line: "I had a dream of my wife. She was dead, but it was alright."
The writing in the first two games played with the hard-boiled style even as it offered up some legitimately poetic lines of its own. The writing in Max Payne 3 goes for a serious imitation of that style without any irony, and falls flat. The blunt, repetitive nature of Max's monologues wears thin really fast, and the character established at the end of the second game is nowhere to be found. It's not a terrible game but Max's journey into the night has taken a drastic turn for the mundane.