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One-Liner: Two Thumbs Down on Game and Player

One-Liner: Two Thumbs Down

Joseph G. Powell  //  December 6, 2009

Not everything looks better on the big screen.


ovies based on video games have been pretty bad. We can all remember those train wrecks we just couldn't look away from. Mario Bros., Street Fighter: The Movie, Double Dragon, Blood Rayne, the list goes on and on. There have been a few tolerable films based on games, but nothing Oscar-worthy or even hardly worth purchasing. Why do movie studios do this to us?

Gamers' prayers may be answered in the near future (as long as Uwe Boll doesn't get his hands on anything). The upcoming Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie looks like it's shaping up to be a blockbuster hit. Maybe, since video games are coming up on film full-force as the highest-grossing entertainment medium, Hollywood's starting to pay more attention. Maybe.

Do you think that, one day, there will be truly great game-licensed movies?

Jace // December 6, 2009 // 6:57 PM

With a very few notable exceptions, the writing in video games is laughable. I considered playing a drinking game during the campaign in Modern Warfare 2 where I took a drink every time someone said "history is written by the victors," but if I had, I'd be dead.

Until video games get some serious and talented writers, who know how to convey emotion and tell a story without resorting to camp or cheese, I don't think video game movies are going to get any better.

Michael Ubaldi // December 6, 2009 // 10:15 PM

It depends. Games without plots aren't likely to survive translation. But if, say, Halo: Combat Evolved were to be adapted to film — with fidelity to the minimalist narrative and lack of bombast seen in the sequels — it'd be worth at least an evening ticket.

Joseph Powell // December 6, 2009 // 10:45 PM

According to an article a while back in Game Informer there are some other movie adaptations in the works that could prove successful. Uncharted, inFAMOUS, and Gears of War come to mind.
The writing in the actual games shouldn't matter compared with their film counterparts. The writing for the film won't come directly from the game. If the movies would stay true to the world and backgrounds of the game and tell a compelling story with the characters & world its set in, the movie could be good.
Also, with movies based on comic books gaining popularity and becoming more well-produced and higher-budgeted in he last decade, perhaps game-based movies have a chance.

Jessica Johnson // December 7, 2009 // 12:14 AM

I think that as long as someone who cares enough about the game takes charge of it, Bryan Singer for example, then there is no reason for it to become a nightmare.

Joseph Powell // December 7, 2009 // 7:14 PM

So now I'm curious. What's everyones favorite game-licensed movie out now? Mine is probably Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. If only counting live-action films, most are so dismal it's hard to choose, but the original Mortal Kombat movie probably piqued my interest the most as a kid when I first watched it.

James Day // December 8, 2009 // 4:33 PM

Movies based on games that were influenced by movies to begin with don't tend to work, which is why game to movie adaptions like Uncharted will never be anything special.

Look at Max Payne for example. The games were clearly influenced by John Woo films and were some of the first to use The Matrix's bullet-time mode. It didn't make sense to translate that back into film form because we'd seen all that before on the silver screen. It ended up as a mediorce genre flick.

Alexandr Beran // December 8, 2009 // 7:25 PM

While each Metal Gear in the series is said to be inspired by whatever Kojima is watching at the time, few movies have touched on that game's insane palette of characters and bosses. Which leads me to believe that game to movie adaptations must be light-hearted affairs. And I'm NOT looking at you, Postal.

If you can imagine that Shaun of the Dead is an adaptation of Dead Rising, then you can see what I'm hoping for in future attempts.

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