Movies based on video games are historically terrible. They often end up being the film equivalent to whatever Harry Dunn left in the toilet in the famous “Turbo-Lax” scene from Dumb and Dumber. And they don’t stop. Recently, an official release date was announced for a Warcraft film and I feel like that have more potential for failure than success. Now I am in no way a WOWer, but I honestly HOPE that the movie will be good. The source material makes me think that if they approach it the right way it could be a more brutal and barbaric version of Lord of the Rings. Plus, being a metalhead, I’m aware that the lead singer of Cannibal Corpse is into Warcraft and I feel like making a bad movie out of something that is beloved by a guy whose nickname is “Corpsegrinder” might inadvertently put you on his shit-list.
Also recently, a trailer was released for the feature film version of Need for Speed, staring the brilliant and talented Jesse Pinkman. Aaron Paul! I meant Aaron Paul! (Sorry, I’ve not yet accepted that Breaking Bad is over.)
I’m in Aaron Paul’s corner, so I’ll see it regardless of how nothing-like-Need-for-Speed it is. But frankly, this just looks like another car-revenge movie that they slapped the “Need for Speed” logo on. I mean, just because I put on a Miami Heat jersey and shoot hoops in the driveway with my kid (and selfishly forsake a professional sports team in the state I was born and raised in, thus forsaking the entire state itself) doesn’t mean I can call myself Lebron James.
I don’t feel like any movie based on a video game has totally nailed it yet, with maybe the exception of the Resident Evil films which I’ll leave off this list as they really need no defending due to the fact that the franchise is VERY successful and probably the only real representation of how to make a quality video game movie. But, I feel like not ALL video-game-based films were as horrible of abominations to humanity as they get labeled, and I’d like to take a minute to give those few some deserved credit, in no particular order…
I remember seeing this movie in the theater at the latest showing and me and my friend were creeped out walking to our car afterwards. The creature designs here were incredibly morbid and the scene where Christabella is murdered by haunted razor-wire… that still goes down in my book as one of the most horrible cinema-deaths of all-time. (If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.)
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
While not quite being as financially successful as the first one, the Tomb Raider sequel was infinitely better and, in my opinion, is a much better representation of how great Angelina Jolie is at being an action hero. (Although, Wanted is by far her best action film.)
I love Mark Wahlberg. I think the dude can do anything. Does this movie have some flaws? Sure. Is is loyal to the plot of the game. Absolutely not. But it’s fun to watch. The special effects and cinematography are great, and this is one video-game-film you can watch with your mother. (Say “hi” to her for me.)
Time magazine listed this movie in their “Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies of All Time” list. But, I love this movie so my gentlemanly response is “f— Time Magazine” (cause they’re worried about my opinion right?). And, granted, pretty much everyone else who’s seen this movie also passionately loathes it, but f— them too. I’m probably just biased to this, relentlessly awful, film because I watched it so much as a kid and would pretend to be Jimmy and make my brother be Bo Abobo and I would kick him in the head. Basically, I just love this movie because it gave me a fantasy reason to kick my brother in the head.
Mortal (f—ing) KOMBAT!
Just like Double Dragon, my sentiment for this movie is what keeps it on my favs list. Oh my god, the make-up effects for Goro made him look so unbelievably cheesy but when I was 10 I didn’t care one bit. I love every fight scene in this movie. I wanted to be Johnny Cage SO BAD. Every time me and the dudes in my neighborhood would play Mortal Kombat I would always be him. I remember recreating the Johnny Cage – Goro fight scene in the woods by our house. There was this big ditch there and I would kick this dude Lucas down into it (he was a douche-bag so we always made him be Goro).
None of these movies are perfect. Pretty much all of them are FAR from it. And you could argue that most of them would have been better had they been rated R, but that didn’t help video game movies like House of the Dead and BloodRayne be better films so who’s to say. Hopefully the future of video game films proves to be much brighter than it’s past but even if it isn’t, we’ll always have this…