Weekend Open Forum: Best and worst video game to movie adaptation

By on November 16, 2012, 6:30 PM

It’s no surprise that a number of technology enthusiasts also happen to be avid video game players. There have been countless gaming franchises over the years, many of which were successful enough to warrant a transition to the big screen.

The first game-to-movie I remember seeing was Super Mario Bros. way back in 1993 although I wasn’t a terribly impressed with it. Other notable theatrical releases include Mortal Kombat in 1995, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, Resident Evil a year later and Max Payne in 2008. If I had to pick a favorite, it’d either be the first Resident Evil or Max Payne, perhaps because I was a big fan of both games.

With this week’s open forum, we want to hear about your favorite or least favorite video game to movie adaptation. Optionally, which game would you like to see made into a feature film?




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1 person liked this | Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hitman was probably one of the best I've ever seen. I thought the story and acting was very good and payed to the games really well.

Max Payne is undoubtedly the worst I've ever seen. The one based on Final Fantasy was also not really well done in my opinion.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Personally, I would like to see some more of the Final Fantasy games into movies... I know that a lot of people are going to think I am stupid for this... but I got so wrapped up in some of the story lines...

ETF Soldier ETF Soldier said:

If I'm honest, I hated the Mortal Combat film. It was terrible, bad acting, bad costume, bad camera quality, everything about seemed to scream to me 'DON'T WATCH THIS FILM', so after 5 minutes, I turned it off.

However, I'm quite partial to fantasy films and dark films, Lara Croft and Resident Evil were pretty good, RE1-2 were good, but I will say, I bought Max Payne on DVD from Amazon for quite a cheap amount, and I've tried to watch it about 4 times, and each of the times, I just loose concentration, I just can't watch it, maybe after reading this I'll give it another go, but I just can't watch it.

Guest said:

Street fighter with van damme from 1994!

"quick! change the channel!"

2 people like this | ---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Haha as a child I thought the Street Figher and Mortal Combat movies were way cool. But Im sure now as an adult if I were to watch them for the first time with my expectations from the games I'd probably puke. But as a child they were great

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

My favorite is definitely the first Resident Evil, but I also love the first Silent Hill movie.

Oh! And I think that a Mass Effect movie would be awesome!

Guest said:

I don't know if this was true to the game, cos I never played them, but silent hill is a great film.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was pretty crap

Guest said:

As a college student, I watched streetfighter (starring van damme, damn you)

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I couldn't think of any I'd seen and even went to Wikipedia to see if I'd missed any. And I hadn't - I really haven't seen any game-to-movie adaptations. I know they all suck...LOL.

[link]

But if it could be done RIGHT (fat chance...), I think a Borderlands, Fallout or Mass Effect movie would be interesting.

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Hitman and Resident Evil both were/are great.

Streetfighter was tolerable ONLY because Kyle Minouge was Cammy.. everything else was shite in the movie.

Guest said:

All the videogame movies are reaaaaaally bad, are you ppl blind or something? if we continue like this soon we are going to need license to see or put movie scores.

Guest said:

Actually, van damme's street fighter was quite funny and I think that makes it more entertaining than one would expect

mailpup mailpup said:

Although it wasn't the worst movie adaptation IMO, Doom could have been done a lot better.

I wouldn't mind seeing Homeworld (the original) made into a movie.

davimous said:

I quite enjoyed Halo: Forward Unto Dawn. I dunno if it classifies as a movie but its at least decently put together. I still love the first mortal combat but I'm not sure if its just nostalgia. The Mario Bros movie was pretty bad though.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Hitman and Resident Evil both were/are great.

Streetfighter was tolerable ONLY because Kyle Minouge was Cammy.. everything else was shite in the movie.

I hope you meant Kylie Minogue.

I actually enjoy Mortal Kombat, it has just the right amount of 90's cheese.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Probably the worse among the video-game-to-film genres are those of director Uwe Boll's (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, In the Name of the King).

On the other hand, I'm in favor of Final Fantasy: The Spirit's Within and Max Payne. Two of my favorites when Playstation 2 reign supreme.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Probably the worse among the video-game-to-film genres are those of director Uwe Boll's (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, In the Name of the King).
You can't actually "watch" a Uwe Boll movie per se, the correct term is, "endure, with prejudice"...!

This:

was possibly the worst movie of all time, spanning all categories.

I only took away two things from suffering through it:

1. Natassia Malthe should have left her shirt on. Boll can't even make a vampire lesbian scene that doesn't cause you to avert your eyes from the screen in disgust.

2. Uwe Boll needs to give up making movies, and find a suitable avocation. For example, riding shotgun on a garbage truck.

The only possible way to feel somewhat clean after watching this movie is to , take a shower, wash your hands repeatedly, reformat your hard drive, and microwave the DVD.

Moving on, "Mortal Kombat", (as "Mortal Kombat: Conquest" , was a short lived TV series, It ran one season, 22 episodes, and sported the unhappiest ending I've ever witnessed. It's almost impossible to find the DVD set nowadays. It's become something of a collector's item.

Kristanna Loken was in that series, as well as the first (3?) "Blood Rayne" movies. I think an infatuation with carbohydrates may have prevented her from appearing in any more. Either that, or she wised up, and decided there were some things that shouldn't be done, even if there's money involved.

I enjoy the "Resident Evil" movies, mostly because of Milla Jovovich's "Alice". At 16 years of age, she was a more than worthy successor to Brooke Shields in, "Return to the Blue Lagoon".... (If you go in for that sort of thing).

bugejakurt said:

I'm looking forward for the new Assassin's Creed movie!

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

You can't actually "watch" a Uwe Boll movie per se, the correct term is, "endure, with prejudice"...!

This:

was possibly the worst movie of all time, spanning all categories.

I only took away two things from suffering through it:

1. Natassia Malthe should have left her shirt on. Boll can't even make a vampire lesbian scene that doesn't cause you to avert your eyes from the screen in disgust.

2. Uwe Boll needs to give up making movies, and find a suitable avocation. For example, riding shotgun on a garbage truck.

The only possible way to feel somewhat clean after watching this movie is to , take a shower, wash your hands repeatedly, reformat your hard drive, and microwave the DVD.

Moving on, "Mortal Kombat", (as "Mortal Kombat: Conquest" , was a short lived TV series, It ran one season, 22 episodes, and sported the unhappiest ending I've ever witnessed. It's almost impossible to find the DVD set nowadays. It's become something of a collector's item.

Kristanna Loken was in that series, as well as the first (3?) "Blood Rayne" movies. I think an infatuation with carbohydrates may have prevented her from appearing in any more. Either that, or she wised up, and decided there were some things that shouldn't be done, even if there's money involved.

So in other words, it made you a little too unclean having watched Boll's films? You know what, you and me both.

Looking forward for the Splinter Cell and Need for Speed film adaptations by the way. :p

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I couldn't think of any I'd seen and even went to Wikipedia to see if I'd missed any. And I hadn't - I really haven't seen any game-to-movie adaptations. I know they all suck...LOL.

[link]

But if it could be done RIGHT (fat chance...), I think a Borderlands, Fallout or Mass Effect movie would be interesting.

The Mass Effect movie is in talks for casting for a long time.

BMfan BMfan said:

Really enjoyed resident evil,Silent Hill and The Hitman movies.

The worst one for me is Bloodrayne which might be over taken by the Uncharted movie

if it actually has Marky Mark playing the lead role.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Bad:

Hitman movie was horrible. Max Payne was really bad. Resident Evil comes nowhere close to the actual story of the game besides zombies.

Moderate:

Silent hill movie was near it but needed work. Tomb raider ill let slide.

Ok:

Prince of Persia: Sands of time was alright.

psycros psycros said:

I've yet to see a game properly adapted for the screen, although I typically avoid those films. I've seen the first two Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat films - all crap. Tomb Raider I and II were barely tolerable. I'd say Prince of Persia was the pick of the litter, and it was at the bottom end of what I consider watchable. I've also seen the first two D&D films, if those even count, as well as Battleship: neat concept, incredibly bad execution. No idea how it got greenlighted, ugh. I'm honestly not sure if I've seen any more game movies although my friends have seen a lot. They've found all of them laughably bad. I will say that very few games are suitable for the cinematic treatment. Story is paramount, and so is proper suspension of disbelief. If I could pick three games for serious, big-budget adaptations, these would be my choices:

Star Control: Battle Beyond the Stars meets Battlestar Galactica (closer to original BSG in tone). A grand adventure with as much character development as you could squeeze into a trilogy. I'm talking Star Wars for a new generation here.

XCOM: it would be tricky, but man..if you could pull it off. Main character could be a new recruit, probably no higher rank than lieutenant whose selfless heroics should have gotten him killed in battle. Sudden interference from aliens that only he witnessed spares him, but his refusal to deny the truth seemingly kills his career. He ends up being transferred to the XCOM project, where all the former black ops and elite troops look down upon him..all but one, a somewhat unbalanced Delta Force op who claims aliens abducted his teammates several years earlier..

OK, I'm torn on #3. Its a tie between Fallout, Duke Nukem and Half-Life.

Guest said:

HITMAN hands down! I've watched it at least a half a dozen times, awesome movie.

Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

I loved the Mortal Kombat movie, I watched it in the theater in 95, I believe. When Subzero killed that first thug with his freezing powers, I threw a water balloon over the audience.

Guest said:

Silent Hill and the first Mortal Kombat was awesome.

Guest said:

Doom was very bad, but not nearly as lame as Mortal Combat and Street Fighter (Bison dollars ??!). It wouldn't be nearly as bad if it wasn't for the steroid cast and that cliche Sarge character. There certainly was potential for more.

I never liked Lara Croft movies but cinematically I'd rank them above Doom.

Tunnel Rats (by Uwe Boll ...) wasn't all that bad - I can't think of any better game-to-movie adaptation.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I would have to say the best adaptations would be Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within-The CG was excellent for when it was produced.

Silent Hill was also excellent although it left me feeling very depressed at the end.

As far as adaptations I would like to see...

Skyrim/Elder Scrolls- if done well it could be pretty epic imo

Fallout- the 50's styling along with the atmosphere of the games could be awesome if done well.

Bioshock-the 40's/50's styling and atmosphere could make for a good movie as well.

Timonius Timonius said:

I'm usually more concerned about the other 90% -> film to game adaptions. Simultaneous releases of both often yield terrible results for the game.

Other than that, some games by nature would require a whole television series to properly adapt.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"Battleship" wasn't terrible. But I suppose that wouldn't count as it came from a board game?

I never liked Lara Croft movies but cinematically I'd rank them above Doom.
They skated by heavily on the "Angelina Jolie factor".

That said, I'm not sure it's actually important whether gamers are pleased, or displeased, with a game / movie adaptation. I was just reminded, "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time", was formerly a video game. The movie was decent, entertaining, and I don't feel as though I wasted any time watching it.

So, if I actually played one of the Prince of Persia games, would that be prejudicial, on my enjoyment of the movie?

It really seems to me that that game should succeed as a game in that peer group, and the movie, as an entirely separate entity, should succeed as a movie, to movie goers.

Psycho Killer Psycho Killer said:

OK, I'm torn on #3. Its a tie between Fallout, Duke Nukem and Half-Life.

I like the idea of a Duke Nukem movie. How about Mickey Rourke as Duke? He's had that great monotone voice in Sin City. Give him spiked blond hair, a shotgun in one hand, and a chick on the other, add some colorful phrases to his volcabulary "I'm gonna rip off your head and $417 down your neck" and you've got Duke Nukem!

We've seen a Fallout-esqe type movie with "Book of Eli". The scenery was excellent! They just need to be sure to get Ron Perlman to say "WAR. War never changes" if they DO delve into a Fallout storyline.

For Half-Life, I think Gary Oldman would be an excellent Freeman.... He's very reserved, but you know he can be a super badass when he needs to be. They just need to made him look about 10 or so years younger (he looked young as Sirius Black in the Potter films, but looked old in the Dark Knight series).

If they were making a Mass Effect movie, would it be beneficial to get the actor they modeled Shepard after to play Shepard (assuming he has any acting ability)? Would they hire any of the voice actors who are actually movie actors to reprise their roles (David Keith, Seth Green, Lance Henriksen, etc.)?

Knowing Hollywood, they'll get Keanu Reaves to play Shepard, Chris Tucker to play Captain Anderson, and Rosanne Barr to play Wrex (this would have to be the version were Wrex got killed).

Oh, and the movie Wing Commander (1999 - Freddie Prinze Jr.) blew total chunks... No body mentioned that one yet, so I had to have the lack of class to bring it up. :-D

SantistaUSA said:

I loved the Mortal Kombat movie, I watched it in the theater in 95, I believe. When Subzero killed that first thug with his freezing powers, I threw a water ballon over the audience.

hahaha thanks for the laugh man, love the first Mortal Kombat movie, to me is one of the best game to movie adaptation!

aspleme said:

What about Wing Commander? That movie was actually decent to watch.

rvnwlfdroid said:

Personally when I'm watching a movie it's strictly for entertainment purposes. Most of the movies that have been made from a game series have been fair at best. About the only series I truly did enjoy were the Laura Croft (Tomb Raider) series.

1 person liked this | benken2202001 said:

I actually really enjoyed HITMAN, still watch it when its on TV.

Mortal Kombat and Streetfighter you need to realize that they had to create a storyline using characters from a game that essentially involves buttonmashing. Most game movies already have background stories that the writers can draw from.

Max Payne was an awful movie. I loved the game, and just wanted to see it played out on the big screen, but alas, they had to "hollywood" it up.

I'd like to see an X-COM movie or Mirror's Edge.

Did anyone see the 40 minute Assasin's Creed movie they put out just before the 3rd game? It was really impressive.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The issue I have with games turned into movies is one of two big problems, either you start with a game like mortal combat and turn it into a movie somehow, a fighting games a movie does not make. Or the other side where you have a game with a story longer than the typical 90 minutes run time devoted to it. Hence a lot has to be cut out and plot development is missed almost entirely at times. The first resident evil is easily one of my top picks except that movie franchise quickly takes a turn for the worse. Prince of Persia was alright, but I never played more than the 2D version back in the 90s. The idea of trying to cram Half-Life's story into under 2 hours of film would be a sad day. Which also raises another issue, as a gamer you've likely played the game the movie has been based off of and can point out flaws, or holes in the story, retracting from the experience further. To end on an idea, how about Hollywood leaves games as games and not try and capitalize on them. And for the love of god stop making games based on movies, with the exception to some of the early 007 games, well Goldeneye, all other attempts have just been bad, horrible, or garbage.

Khanonate said:

Still waiting for HALO movie...Uncle Bill hello?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

....[ ].... Which also raises another issue, as a gamer you've likely played the game the movie has been based off of and can point out flaws, or holes in the story, retracting from the experience further. ..[ ].....
At its core, isn't this the same issue as someone who has, "read the book, but didn't think the movie did it justice...?
To end on an idea, how about Hollywood leaves games as games and not try and capitalize on them. And for the love of god stop making games based on movies, with the exception to some of the early 007 games, well Goldeneye, all other attempts have just been bad, horrible, or garbage.
Hollywood has made some really bad movies, from games or otherwise. A bad movie from a good game, could simply be a bad movie, in and of itself, period.

To the upside, at least movies from games have a good, "healthy" dose, of the "

old ultra violence". (Come to think of it, I wonder if "A Clockwork Orange", didn't have a bit of influence on the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise).

Things could be worse, romantic comedies all stink, regardless of how big the stars are in them. They should rename the genre, "boredom generators, with romantic undertones". Calling them, "comedies", is way too big of a stretch. So, what happens if they take your advice, and stop making violent game derivative movies? You could be responsible for the bankruptcy of the MPAA? No wait, that's the down loader's fault, or so they say.

The second point is, a game is a first person , task oriented affair. With a movie, the first person's only "task", is to suffer through, (or enjoy thoroughly), other people being tasked. It's really an apples and oranges comparison in the first place. And remember peeps, you need a pen to script a game or a movie, not a controller.

Then too, a movie can't end with you winning, a game can. There's got to be a hefty amount of letdown in that.

And Uwe Boll still needs to take up a new career in "waste management", or if you prefer, "sanitation engineering".

1 person liked this | Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

hahaha thanks for the laugh man, love the first Mortal Kombat movie, to me is one of the best game to movie adaptation!

Well, if it helps you picture it, it was a two-story movie theater. I was in the upper balcony and the balloon landed down there in the crowd. They never knew what hit them. I bet some of them still think it was actually Subzero.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, if it helps you picture it, it was a two-story movie theater. I was in the upper balcony and the balloon landed down there in the crowd. They never knew what hit them. I bet some of them still think it was actually Subzero.
So what you're saying is, only the very stoned, very naive, very brave, or very desperate, should cross the threshold of a theater you're planning on attending?

Dawn1113 said:

Max Payne is undoubtedly the worst I've ever seen.

If I'm honest, I hated the Mortal Combat film. It was terrible, bad acting, bad costume, bad camera quality, everything about seemed to scream to me 'DON'T WATCH THIS FILM', so after 5 minutes, I turned it off.

The Mario Bros movie was pretty bad though.

Although it wasn't the worst movie adaptation IMO, Doom could have been done a lot better.

+ 1 to all the above.

Guest said:

Mortal Kombat holds a special place in my heart. I and many of buddies were at the right age to be really immersed in the MK culture of the 90's. We obsessed over the games and their lore. Held random tournaments at local cafes and arcades, then at home on our consoles. Discussed, researched and documented fatality and power codes. The movie still is a precedent of quality and accuracy for game to film adaptions as far as I'm concerned. The special effects, fight scenes and music were unmatched in western films up to that point. Who can honestly forget the first time you see Sub-Zero freeze-snap that glock or his mid-air interception with a freeze ball? Hell nearly every scene elaborated on some aspect of the games mechanics or its lore. Plenty of that 90's cheese comedy just furthers its entertainment value. By modern standards (the production values of sci-fi and fantasy films) it might not hold up, but back then it raised the bar.

Silent Hill is an excellent film on it's own. Not sure how accurate an adaption it was because I never actually played the game past the first scene.

Resident Evil and Lara Croft are 3rd and 4th on my list. Both of these films are pretty good entertainment while still retaining the essence of their respective games.

I was incredibly disappointed with Doom and Max Payne though. These are shallow generic films with little entertainment value. The connection with the games serves merely as a superficial wrapper to attract the games' respective audiences. I expected a very different Doom film with an escalating mass of demons, carnage, and lone survival through a fantastical Martian base. Instead we got shallow characters, boring action scenes with minimal violence and almost no horror. As for Max Payne, Shoot em up is the type of film I expected it to be.

Jinil C S said:

ASSASSIN'S CREED... I am a great fan of Assassin's creed series... I have played all of them and started reading Oliwer Bowden's Assassin's creed book series which is based on the game.. Books are awsome.. very hard to put it down... I am waiting for the movie to be released... Hope everyone will like it....

Guest said:

Look they all suck, it's just a matter of which one sucks less. But my pick for the worst has got to be the Far Cry movie. That movie almost makes me think Uwe Boll was just trolling everybody with that one.

Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

So what you're saying is, only the very stoned, very naive, very brave, or very desperate, should cross the threshold of a theater you're planning on attending?

LOL

Right now, I would have to say only the very stoned.

Guest said:

Worst? all movies in Resident Evil series. I'm saying this as a Resident Evil games fan.

Best? I hope Assassins Creed...

Alpha Gamer Alpha Gamer said:

Mortal Kombat holds a special place in my heart. I and many of buddies were at the right age to be really immersed in the MK culture of the 90's. We obsessed over the games and their lore. Held random tournaments at local cafes and arcades, then at home on our consoles. Discussed, researched and documented fatality and power codes. The movie still is a precedent of quality and accuracy for game to film adaptions as far as I'm concerned. The special effects, fight scenes and music were unmatched in western films up to that point. Who can honestly forget the first time you see Sub-Zero freeze-snap that glock or his mid-air interception with a freeze ball? Hell nearly every scene elaborated on some aspect of the games mechanics or its lore. Plenty of that 90's cheese comedy just furthers its entertainment value. By modern standards (the production values of sci-fi and fantasy films) it might not hold up, but back then it raised the bar.

Same opinion here.By the way, when the movie was released, I was 12. What about you?

And of course, at that time, I couldn't care less about the acting. All I wanted to see was the fight scenes. And IMO, they were great. The speed and precision of Scorpion kicks are still etched in my brain.

Modeazy said:

Most game movies are bad,hated Max Payne cos its one of my favourite games. I hope that begins to change,with some super hero movies doing really well this year.

supertech supertech said:

My favourite as a kid was TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I loved those movies!!!

Modeazy said:

My favourite as a kid was TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I loved those movies!!!

Now you mention it,thats one of the best to date !

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess I'm a special case as I watch movies for what they are. I try to enjoy all of them simply because they are different from the last one I watched.

  • If you want to read a book then by all means read a book.
  • If you want to play a game then by all means play a game.
  • If you want to watch a movie then by all means watch a movie.

It can't be easy transforming one to another and keeping everyones interest in mind.

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