I won’t say that directors and writers ever get a video game movie right; it would be a miracle if that actually happened. However, I do think that some of them do get close, and I can accept that. So here are five movies based off video games in no particular order, which weren’t all that bad; at least in my opinion.
1. DOA: Dead or Alive – Based off the fighting game series which is known for showcasing female fighters, this 2006 movie had an interesting cast (which included Jaime Pressly). Those who played the game noticed several characters shown but with minor rolls. The movie centers around four of the fighters from the game; Tina, Christie, Helena, and Kasumi; who start as rivals and end as friends trying to stop Donovan from his evil plan. Some of the funnier male characters have supporting parts and even Ayane (my favorite in the game) makes a few appearances. While the fight scenes are definitely unbelievable, they are entertaining to watch. Those familiar with the arenas in the game will also notice that many of them made it into the movie (including the beach scene from the failed Xtreme 2 game). The entire movie ranks as cheesy for sure but if you want a fun fighting movie with characters you can at, this one is for you.
2. Mortal Kombat – Another action film based on a fighting game. It released in 1995 and was directed by Paul Anderson. Taking characters from the game, the Mortal Kombat seemed to follow who was good and who was bad in the film. This one also kept a similar storyline with Shang Tsung attempting to destroy Earth. There was some Mortal Kombat II characters and elements mixed in. Despite critics bad reviews, fan loved the movie and a sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, was two years later. The CG in this one is bad in places, but considering when it was made you can’t complain too much. It also didn’t have graphic violence and gore like the games did but hearing Scorpion actually grab you and say “Get over here” made it worth watching.
3. Resident Evil – Another Paul Anderson game movie but this time based on a horror game. The 2002 film helped launch Milla Jovovich to action star status and she has appeared in every sequel since, including the one due in September; Resident Evil: Retribution. Alice (Jovovich) awakens in a house after the T-virus escapes. She has no idea who she is or why she’s there but when Umbrella Corp military takes her to the underground facility, she soon learns. The movie, based off both the first and second game of this never-ending series, had several creepy moments that the game had as well. Just like when the dogs broke through the glass in the first game, I jumped at some of the surprises in the movie. While the later movies have gotten stranger and stranger, with no way end the series in sight, the first one was decent enough to warrant watching more than once. Just don’t do it on Blu-Ray because the CGI baddies really stand out then.
4. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – This 2010 movie is based off several Prince of Persia titles but the main inspiration was the one named The Sand of Time. Dastan in the film does many things that are done in the game; jump high, climb with ease, battle the bad guys and make it look easy to win. Even the dagger, with the sands, which turn back time for one minute, are a main part of this movie, just like its namesake game. The story is similar to the Sands game too as Dastan is trying to stop them from being spilt and has the help of Tahmina. Being a fantasy movie, I don’t worry too much about complete accuracy but one scene made me cringe; when the sandstorm arises and they just put the horse’s head in the tent. Sand would still get in that way. Otherwise, it was an exciting story and decent transition from game to film.
5. House of the Dead – Uwe Boll, who adapted other games to movies such as, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, was the man behind this 2003 horror movie based on the arcade game of the same name. Despite the fact that I haven’t played House of the Dead in a long time, I do remember much about it. I think Boll actually captured the essence of the game with this title, even if it was a bit campy. Much of the game was played in and around a house but the movie only has the house as a means of escape for a while and then we find out its where the zombies came from. It is a typical horror movie though, which makes it worthwhile just to make fun of all the stupid kids doing things you know they shouldn’t which gets them killed or turned into the undead. It was even good enough to get a sequel a few years later.
Just like last week’s avoid list, I’m sure there are some you don’t agree with. Which ones, if any, do you think the movie makers got fairly close? Or do you think none are and none ever will be?