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Movies based on videogames, to make a blanket generalization, are effing terrible. It’s no secret that Hollywood thinks of gamers as a massive collective of emotionally stunted mouth-breathers who’ll pay to watch anything with guns, and that the films it produces reflect that attitude. For years we’ve ranted and railed against awful crap like Super Mario Bros. and Alone in the Dark, but our protestations have done nothing to stem the tide of cinematic diarrhea.
Fun fact: Bob Hoskins didn’t even know he was in a videogame movie until his daughter told him
Friends, it’s time to stop the hate. Game movies aren’t getting much better and they aren’t going away. Instead of ripping on them for ruining beloved franchises and feeding the notion that we’re idiots, maybe we should try embracing them for the hilariously awful trash they are. To help you along, we’ve pulled together the most over-the-top, entertainingly terrrible moments we could find from 16 mostly awful game movies. Go ahead and laugh. Give in to the horror.
Also: SPOILERS AHEAD. Assuming you even care.
As crappy videogame movies go, DOA: Dead or Alive is probably one of the better ones. It’s an entertainingly dumb king-fu comedy with a few decent performances, and compared to most of the other films on this list, that’s actually pretty good. Plus, it’s got Eric Roberts playing a villain whose evil doomsday weapon is a pair of sunglasses that predicts his opponent’s moves in one-on-one martial arts fights.
We’re not sure what nefarious purpose these could possibly serve, unless it’s rigging UFC matches. But whatever. It’s probably a threat to world peace somehow.
DOA’s most ridiculous moment, however, comes right at the beginning, when we’re introduced to Princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki), who’s begged by Ryu Hayabusa (Kane Kosugi) not to leave her clan’s enormous ninja mountaintop ninja castle.
Above: “Look, I’ve got better things to do than stand around in a lavish tribute to the films of Zhang Yimou, OK?”
Storming out past the dozens of guards who do nothing but stand around all day in her courtyard wearing period armor, Kasumi is threatened by her friend, White Girl Who is Somehow Also Japanese (Natassia Malthe).
Above: SO JAPANESE
And then this happens:
And then this:
Above: OK, sure
Look, it’ll make more sense if you just watch it:
Another surprisingly tolerable game adaptation, the Hitman movie told the story of Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) and his attempt to escape both his own turncoat assassination syndicate and the sexual advances of Olga Kurylenko (Olga Kurylenko).
Above: NO MEANS NO, LADY
For the most part it’s a fairly straightforward action-thriller, but things start to get stupid when 47 runs into three of his fellow bald, bioengineered assassins, at which point a four-way Mexican standoff erupts for no reason other than that it looks cool.
Above: Wait, why are they drawing down on the other guy?
47 suggests that everyone in the group try “dying with a little dignity,” at which point the other agents nod and everyone empties their guns.
And then we find out that “dying with a little dignity” means having a sharp hunk of metal jammed through your torso.
Here’s the whole ridiculous spectacle in motion:
Essentially just a really lame, teen-centric version of Top Gun in space, Wing Commander dished up an unpalatable mashup of the series’ various mythological elements and recast Lt. Christopher “Maverick” Blair as bland, lifeless Freddie Prinze Jr. Also, this is what the tiger-like Kilrathi aliens look like in the movie:
Above: Yes, they’re that hard to see, mainly because of the “toxic gas” that is used to “cover up shitty special effects”
Probably the silliest moment in the movie is an over-dramatic jump to lightspeed, which contains what may be the worst-ever use of the circular bullet-time camera effect made famous by The Matrix. It also tells you everything you need to know about its main characters, Maverick and Maniac (Matthew Lillard):
Above: Maniac acts like a damn monkey all the time
Above: Maverick stands around and is boring
Here, just watch the damn thing already: