Everyone that plays video games knows that there are a ton of games that are based off of movies. Most of the time, they are based off of movies that did very successfully in the box-office (popular but not necessarily quality films), using the film’s media buzz to hype the game. Exciting action and adventure movies usually make for pretty solid video games and games like Chronicles of Riddick and Goldeneye can even be argued as being superior to the movies they were based on. However, when the opposite transition is made and movies are based off of video games, the resulting film is almost definitely dreadful.
Video game movies are known as b-class films with low budgets, horrific acting and even worse plots. Unfortunately, for the most part, this stereotype holds true (as illustrated by the Super Mario Brothers and Street Fighter movies.) Those movies in particular are based off of tremendously popular games, yet they failed to receive any sort of praise or popularity. I think the main reason they don’t receive appreciation from either gamers or critics is because they tend to stray too much from the game itself. Many video games are lacking in plot and storyline, so directors feel the need to add to and to change the story. That is where they lose the essence of what made the game so popular and in turn, make it a mediocre movie.
The only video game movie I have ever actually enjoyed watching was Mortal Kombat. It may not have been the best acted and the plot pretty much sucked, but at least it was exactly like the game was. Mortal Kombat, being a one-on-one fighting game, could not have been better portrayed than as it was: a sequence of a bunch fighting scenes complete with a breathtaking techno soundtrack. Exactly like the game, fighters entered into a tournament where they fought their way through villain after villain. They key to my liking the movie, as a fan of the game, was how it didn’t try to be more than the game.
As we await the release of Hitman, and possibly Halo, we can only hope that the directors stay true to the games and that the “something” that made them so appealing isn’t lost in an attempt to make a critical success. They’re video game movies after all, not Oscar winners.