Video game movies don't need to suck

Nov 21st, 2007

To state that most movie adaptations of videogames thus far have been crap is akin to pointing out that napalm doesn’t make a very good sandwich filler. It just doesn't need to be said.People don't even try to defendStreet Fighter: The Ultimate Battle and nor do Subway do a footlong Vietnam Special.But it didn’t have to be this way.

Not the napalm thing you understand. That stuff’s always been a bit too spicy. No, the fact of the matter is that in several cases brilliant movies could have been made from some of the videogame IPs we’ve seen dragged through the dirt of the Hollywood hills. Think back to before you got too cynical to care about these things. Go on. Go to your happy place and try to remember. You got excited about videogame movies once, before the years of cinematic horror took their toll on your poor, ravaged mind. And there was a reason for that.

You imagined your favourite games brought to life. The action sequences, the characters, the fights, the weapons, all ‘really’ happening, right in front of you. Who hasn’t wanted their own BFG9000 or wished they could see the effect of a real life dragon punch on someone’s face? We’ve lived in our favourite game worlds for years, so to see themunhindered bysprites or polygons would be a dream come true. What we’ve usually got though, is a cheap-looking, cobbled together nonsense with as much in common with its source material as The Incredible Hulk has with tapioca pudding. And it could have all been so different if the producers had just followed some simple rules.

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.