They keep making videogame movies
Video game movies have a long and sordid history. After several fits, starts, Japan only releases and several movies that seemed only to vaguely understand the concept of what a video game was or even how a computer worked, the first true video game movie was released.
That movie was 1993’s Super Mario Bros, and it set the tone for every video game movie that was to follow.
Throughout the 90’s these travesties were continually churned out by studios only interested in cashing in on some of that sweet sweet gamer money. It would have been ok if these movies were faithful to the source material but only so so as movies, or we’re great movies but made changes to the source material to better suit the cinematic medium. Instead we get films which are garbage from every aspect. The whole creative process seems to be selecting a schizophrenic, handing them the box art for a game, some paper and a box of bath salts and using the barely decipherable ravings as a script. At least that’s the only explanation I can think of for the most recent Resident Evil movies.
Yet they keep getting made. Despite continual panning by critics and disappointment from fans when they see their beloved franchise twisted by Hollywood into a formulaic mass appeal mess. Because the unfortunate truth is for the most part they make quite a bit of money. Of the 28 video game movies released so far, only 10 have failed to make a profit. That might seem like quite a lot losing money, but considering the average rotten tomatoes rating of these movies is 18.5% (the highest being Final Fantasy: The Spirits within with 44% and the lowest Alone in the Dark with 1%) that’s far more movies turning a profit than is really deserved.
So naturally there are plenty of video game movies planned for the future. Such powerful narrative classics such as Angry Birds, Temple Run and Minecraft are all set to appear on the silver screen at some point in the future. Other, more story driven franchises are also in the works such as The Last of Us, Mass Effect and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, all of which could be massaged into a mass appeal, action heavy affair. I think we’ve all definitely had enough of zombies (even if they’re really a fungus), but Guardians of the Galaxy has shown there is an appetite for smart, slick sci fi. Maybe they could cast Chris Pratt as Shepard.
Should we then still be holding out hope for a good video game movie? Uwe Boll seems to have stopped for now, so that’s a good sign. Warcraft seems to have some talent attached to the project, and made a clever move early on by refusing to let Boll direct, with Paul Sams of Blizzard saying: ‘We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you.’ However any cinema adaptations of a game have a lot to prove these days, with a 21 year legacy of disappointment and woe weighing down on it.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is seriously, come on guys. Stop it.