“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. – Albert Einstein
Mr. Einstein could have very well been talking about Hollywood and all of the video game movies turds it has squeezed out in the past 27 years. Some people incorrectly think the wretched Super Mario Brothers kicked off the video game movie trend in 1993 but actually it started way back in 1984 with the thriller Cloak & Dagger, based off the Atari game, starring a young Henry Thomas (E.T.) and Dabney Coleman.
Regardless of which year we start from, there have been dozens of movies made from video games and, although some have come close (Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider), NONE have actually been good. There have been some financially successful video game films but a large box office draw doesn’t always equal a “good film” (ehem Transformers 2).
Need proof that all video game films to date have been utter rubbish? Take a look at what is in the garbage pile:
Cloak & Dagger, Super Mario Brothers, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Wing Commander, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead II, Doom, BloodRayne, Silent Hill, Dead or Alive, Postal, BloodRayne II: Deliverance, Hitman, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Far Cry, Max Payne, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Alone in the Dark II
And those are just the films that been released so far. The list of upcoming films based on video games doesn’t do anything to increase my faith that Hollywood can make a good adaptation:
Silent Hill 2, Kane & Lynch, Mass Effect, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, BioShock, Castlevania, , Gears of War, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Dead Space, Hitman 2, Dante’s Inferno, Spy Hunter, Asteroids, The Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Spore
There are probably a lot more upcoming video game adaptations that I can’t think of right now, but those are just off the top of Google my head. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time released last week to mixed reviews and later this year our eyeballs will be pummeled by Tekken, King of Fighters, and Resident Evil: Afterlife.
It’s not fair to talk bad about films that haven’t been released yet but judging from their trailers, Tekken and King of Fighters have secured their spot in the garbage pile, while Resident Evil looks like it could actually be fun. Only time will tell if any of these future releases will manage to redeem the video game movie genre. At the time of this writing, Prince of Persia was sitting at a 48% Rotten Tomato score and, even though I consider Prince of Persia to be the best video game movie adaptation to date, that's pretty much like saying this pile of garbage doesn't stink as bad as that pile of garbage.
I think I see the why most, if not all, of these films will ultimately fail – because Hollywood is picking the wrong games. Asteroids, Spore, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and The Sims as feature length films – seriously!?! These games have no back story or character development to pull from and were never meant to be made into a 90 minute feature length film. The writers for these films have no choice but to make something dumb up for a plot.
Well if they can do it then so can I! I have compiled a list of 1001 (that’s 9 in binary for our less geeky readers) video games that I think are so ridiculous that Hollywood just has to make them into films.