Three Successful Video Games Made Into Movies… And Three Failed Attempts
Movies based on video games have a bad reputation. With good reason.
But sometimes they can turn out good.
Here we are going to take a look at the three most successful movies based on video games…
…as well as three of the worst.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
The most successful would arguably be Resident Evil. With four sequels and a fifth on the way, it is clearly the most successful film adaptation of a video game. After all, how many VGMs can boost having so many sequels when most can’t even claim having one? The first film, which ties into the early games, can get some credit for trying to match the suspenseful atmosphere & sudden thrills of the games. The sequels sadly throw out suspense & thrills in favor of over the top action scenes and make games’ heroes play second fiddle to movie heroine Alice, but the original at least tried to imitate its source material and the money the series has made–having collectively earned almost a billion dollars worldwide over the course of the series with each film earning back double or even triple its budget–can’t be ignored.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Next would be Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Based on the Tomb Raider video game series, this action movie about a female adventurer finding a mystic treasure made over double its budget at the box office and is enjoyable. Some scenes feel like padding or don’t make much sense–such as when some statues come to live–and some the more serious & dramatic moments feel forced, but the games aren’t much better and if you watch movies just to have a good time you just might. The fact it had a strong box office performance should also be noted.
Finally, there is Mortal Kombat, based on the popular fighting game that blends martial arts and the supernatural. It may have weak acting and thin characters, but an impressive production design and elaborate special effects that make its actions scenes very entertaining.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Next we move onto three of the worse VGMs. First up is Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Everything that made the first movie enjoyable is sadly absent. The plot is a confusing blur that crams in as many character as it can from three games, no matter how pointless, confusing or small their role. When the entire cast from the first movie has to be replaced, it’s not a good sign…
The House of the Dead
The House of the Dead was a mindless video game to begin with, but fun. The movie, however, is inexcusable. Rumor has it that director Uwe Boll was able to use a loop hole in German tax laws to write off the film’s losses and make a lot of money. Even gratuitous nudity couldn’t help.
The Super Mario Bros.
The granddaddy of all bad video game movies would have to be The Super Mario Bros. The producers tried to make the plot “more realistic” and ironically made it more cartoonish and silly than any cartoon or comic book based on the games. The colorful, fanciful magic lands of the video games are unwisely replaced with a parallel universe where “people evolved from dinosaurs” and live in a dirty, crime-ridden metropolis. Takes away the power ups, make creatures looks absolutely nothing like their game counterparts and then throw in a machine that reverses evolution and a meteor fragment that helps open a gateway between dimensions and you have a movie about the Super Mario Bros. that has only the most tenuous connections to the video games that spawned it.
There you have it; six films that represent the extremes of video game movies can go to, from the best to the worst. The rest fall somewhere in between. You may think differently, but you’ll watch them for yourself to see what you think.