Video Game Movies: What Makes Them Work? Image

Video Game Movies: What Makes Them Work?

By Film Threat Staff | November 9, 2021

Just like video games originating from books, it didn’t take long for movies to start adapting games to the big screen. If the game is popular, why not try and make a movie out of it? A lot of movies tried their best to adapt a game story, some tried to recreate it perfectly, while others just took inspiration from the source material. Just like it is risky to try and make a movie based on a book, the same applies when it comes to vide-games. Fans of the games usually try to not get their hopes up, because sadly, there aren’t a lot of good movies that did the game justice. So why is it so hard to make good movies, and is it even possible?

Movies That Didn’t Work Out

Nowadays, whenever it is announced that a movie adaptation of a game is going to be released, instead of getting hyped, fans usually already prepare for the worst. Some games are extremely hard to bring to life, especially if it is an RPG game or something with complex monsters. Let’s use one of the latest movies that came out as an example, the Monster Hunter movie. The movie wasn’t well-received by fans, as it tried to bring different elements, and trying to recreate the crazy weapons, armors, and monsters from the game is a huge challenge, as most of it is CG, and it ends up looking weird. 

These movies usually don’t try to recreate the exact story from the game and end up trying to create something completely new. A movie that did that in a somewhat successful manner, was the Resident Evil movies. It introduced a completely new story, with a brand-new protagonist, and it made use of the game’s universe and characters. Some fans didn’t like how some characters were represented, but the movies overall are fun to watch, and it did well enough that it released six movies in total. 

In 2021, a brand-new Resident Evil movie was announced, and this time it looks like it will tell the story of Resident Evil 2. However, the game is such a staple for the series, that fans expectations were extremely high, and many hoped that this would be the first faithful movie of the game. However, fans didn’t enjoy what was shown in the trailer, and many were disappointed with the cast, and how the zombies and monsters look. Another movie that didn’t do well, was the DOOM movies. Even though the movie took very little inspiration from the game, fans were confused as to why even call the movie that, when it has nothing to do with the game. We don’t have the amazing DOOM Guy as our protagonist, or the high-paced action-packed feeling that the game has. Surprisingly, another DOOM movie was released, and just like the first one, it was a major failure. 

Another movie that was a major failure, is the Assassin’s Creed movie. It completely missed the mark of what the game is about, and it is clear to see that the director just took the basics of the game, and attempted to create a terrible story over it. There are so many bad movies based on video-games, that nowadays everyone is extremely skeptical whenever a new one is announced. To recreate a story that can go over forty hours, and attempt to tell it in one and a half to two hours is extremely hard. 

Movies That Worked

Sadly, until now it is impossible to say that a masterpiece was made. But there are some movies that did a good job and are enjoyable to watch, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan or not. A movie that took everyone by surprise was Detective Pikachu. A Pokemon live-action already sounds pretty bizarre, but it got even weirder when it was announced that Ryan Reynolds would be voicing Pikachu. However, it ended up being one of the best parts of the movie, as seeing Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu is hilarious. Not only that, but the movie has a pretty solid story, but it did a great job bringing the pocket monsters to life, and overall, it is a good movie.

A movie that took everybody by surprise was Sonic The Hedgehog. Fans of the game loved the movie, Sonic was extremely well made and kept true to the character that we see in the games, and Jim Carrey did an incredible job playing Dr. Eggman. When the first trailer for the movie was released, everyone was taken back over the fact that sonic looked extremely weird. He looked extremely weird, and looking at him was unsettling, as he didn’t look anything like the character we see in the games. Surprisingly, the studio heard the audience and completely redid how Sonic looked and made him look more similar to his original design. That alone was enough to make fans happy, and the movie ended up being really good!

One of the most recent movies based on games was Mortal Kombat. This wasn’t the first time that Mortal Kombat was on the big screen, as two movies were released back in the ’90s. Back then it wasn’t that well-received, so fans’ expectations were high with this new movie since it showed in the trailer that it attempted to faithfully recreate every character and that it was going to be as violent as the games. The movie introduces a brand-new character, and it does take some inspiration from the game’s overall story. Overall, the movie was able to deliver a good movie, and while all of it wasn’t great, all the fight scenes were well-made, and some characters were perfectly cast. The movie ends leading everyone to believe that a sequel will, and we can expect to see a new one in the future.

In the end, good movies based on games is something hard to make. Most of the time it is clear to see that there was no love involved with the creation of the movie and that it was made as an attempt to make money. However, some movies were able to create something great, and it is expected to see more and more movies based on games in the future. Perhaps we will see books about games that recently blew up, the likes of New World that has its own currency New World Coins that is talked about everywhere, same with Runescape and its RS Gold.

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