Misconceptions of the Video Game Genre
People are too harsh when judging movies based on video games. They shouldn’t walk into a premier of Mortal Kombat, and then complain when it’s not as good as the Departed; the two movies serve completely different purposes. Most video games are designed to be exciting and action-packed, because it is more fun for gamers to be running, jumping, and shooting than simply walking and talking, as they might in a game of a more subdued nature. This energetic quality of most video games creates a better interactive environment for the gamer. Few people would want to play a video game based on Garden State or The Notebook. Even though they were very popular movies, their plots would not be conducive to entertaining video game interactions. In general, drama movies would not make good video games. There is simply not enough substance in the plot that a video game developer could make interactive in a game.
Movies that have been made into video games have more exciting interactions, and their plots usually fall into action, sci-fi, or fantasy genres. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, for example, both involve magic spell casting and fighting. Conversely, video games, active in nature, are better suited to be turned into action movies rather than drama, suspense, or comedy movies. When a producer decides to make a movie based on a video game, he is very limited to the genre of the movie he wishes to make. If he changes the script too much from the original exciting plot of the video game, to perhaps make it more mentally and emotionally engaging with extra dialogue and and less gripping action, fans will call it unfaithful and the film will lose money. For example, Resident Evil is a great video game; who wouldn’t enjoy running around and shooting bad guys exposed to a virus that turns them into cannibal zombies? I would argue that the movie Resident Evil is equally as entertaining as the video game; there are dynamic action scenes throughout the movie that make it fun to watch. Movie critics should take movies of the video game genre for what they are. They aren’t meant to connect with viewers in a deep and introspective way, as do movies that are typically given 5 stars by reviewers. A faithful movie made from a video game is not going to win an award, but it will definitely be entertaining.