Lights, Camera… Awful.
To my knowledge, there are no good video game movies.
The few which didn’t suck so badly I wanted to murder the director and use his skull as a drinking goblet went on to be so badly milked it just got comic – I’m looking at you, Resident Evil…
Why is it that Hollywood is incapable of producing a video game movie which doesn’t blow? Is it some incompatibility between the mediums, or have the efforts of terrible directors like German tax-loophole-exploiting oddball Uwe Boll (Far Cry, Alone in the Dark) ruined the hopes for video game movies forever?
I hope not, because there’s so many video games out there that are begging for a movie adaptation – tales from a familiar world that are just begging to be told.
And that’s where the difficulties lie. Gamers are still not given the recognition they deserve as consumers, and big-time movie executives don’t usually believe in funding films which won’t sell millions of dollars for sure, unless they’re sure-fire-hits.
So, naturally, we get cinema nightmares like Tomb Raider (which inexplicably got a sequel), DOOM and Hitman – flops which then reinforce Hollywood’s impression that videogaming movies are the Hamlet of the silver screen, while simultaneously giving longtime fans a firm middle finger.
Secondly, the widespread nature of a gamer – and the fact that each and every gamer has his or her own impression of the world the game springs from – is a bit of a nightmare for screenwriters.
Take Resident Evil, for example – one of the minor offenders. In an effort to tie the movie into the (incredibly confusing) canon of the RE series, writer/director Paul Anderson produced an Umbrella Corporation-scale biological nightmare of confusing plot holes, terrible acting and hours of non-stop, incredibly dull action.
And bad CGI. Did I mention the bad CGI? That Licker looked so plastic that I could have melted it down and turned it into an ashtray.
If it were me, I would have treated the audience with a bit of respect. Just imagine – you start with a bit of back story, setting the scene – the battle of Raccoon City – but steer clear of the main characters.
Sure, show the world-changing around the main cast (who are made up of the best Hollywood has to offer, of course) as a result of the character actions taken in Resident Evil 2 and 3, but don’t reference them directly.
Instead, tell the story of a group of civilians caught up in the horror of Racoon’s downfall – focus on the human factors, the things that people need to do to survive. Make the movie an exploration of a beloved, terrifying world – a counterpart to the game, not an imitation.
You can stick my Oscar in the post.
So, what are the worst offenders, when it comes to video game movies? What movies drove you to walk out of the cinema, or hurl the disk from your window like God’s own shiny Frisbee? Comment, and share your pain.