The history of games to movies titles is quite often a highly debatable topic when among gaming buddies, the long line of Hollywood stinkers never fails to amuse but there has been the occasional ray of hope. It’s quite a challenge to pick out some of the best game based movies as there have been a few blockbuster hits that lived up to gamers expectations, then the majority that are about as fun to watch as a paraplegic doing the 100m’s but somehow still manage to please the fans.
If we look for the more obvious success stories most gamers would probably acknowledge the recent success of the Resident Evil movie franchise, releasing a total of 4 movies so far totaling a gross of over $450 million. Although it didn’t follow the earlier games like many had hoped it was clear the movie was going to be huge, it would be very difficult to make such a story driven franchise flop in the cinema especially when your cast is led by big screen poster girl Milla Jovovich.
My personal favorite game to movie title has to be Mortal Kombat. A game that offered pure unadulterated violence in my early adolescence the series was loved by millions causing the franchise to pump out 10+ titles based on the Mortal Kombat universe. It managed to include some of the vital characteristics with each of the much loved characters and although the fight scenes were short an unspectacular, it gave the gamers enough of a fix to warrant a second movie.
Sadly a good story and voluptuous female character isn’t always the recipe for success as can be seen in the 1994 release of Street Fighter. Even with the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kylie Minogue and the dangerously attractive Ming-Na the massive arcade hit didn’t really make any huge impact as the movie lacked any real script or even acting abilities for the most part but I’d still buy front row tickets to watch Ming-Na do the splits.
I tried my very hardest to avoid mentioning the very obvious assets of the extremely gifted Angelina Jolie but if we’re honest, it was one of the best points of the movies. Although this project had quite a severe advantage when compared to the majority of other games to movie titles, in the form of a whopping $115 million budget, compared to a $45 million for the latest Resident Evil movie. The big budget gamble paid off as Tomb Raider managed to do something very few have done, it appealed to regular movie goers as well as the fans of the gaming series.
It’s difficult to write anything on the Final Fantasy big screen adaptions without filling a paragraph with nasty obscenities and ramblings but the movies did have their strong points. The original computer animated Spirits Within failed to really wow fans and it showed as the movie lost $50 million on production costs, although it was breathtaking CGI at the time and the story did carry some substance, a lot of fans were hoping for something more directly related to the characters they’ve grown to love, enter Final Fantasy: Advent Children. I’m happy to admit that when this movie was announced, I ran around screaming like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert. As with most things Final Fantasy related over the last few years, it was met with disappointment from many and didn’t really bust any records with the critics.
What's To Come?
We’ve seen dozens of game to movie releases since the mid 80’s but a new trend does seem to be forming where the majority that are being released are of decent quality. Other movies like Silent Hill, DOA, Max Payne and Doom all shared minor success in the box office and with rumors of big titles like Halo, Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid the future is looking bright for this corner of the gaming world.
If you could choose 1 game to be made into a movie, what game would you choose and who would you cast in the lead role?
Article by - Blaine Smith