The Butchering Of Video Game Films

The Butchering Of Video Game Films

While Hollywood has created some fairly successful video game film adaptations like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat and Tomb Raider, why then are most Hollywood and international video game film adaptations horrible?

To the minds of gamers, video game films are the equivalent of straight-to-video mockbusters; crap that permeate their local video stores whenever a big blockbuster film is released. To the minds of gamers, no matter what franchise is adapted to the big screen, it is most likely another Hollywood bungled mess. These films receive little to no appreciation from film viewers, critics, and especially fans of the games themselves.

And you know the most mind-boggling thing about these film flops?
At least some of these video game-based films have some of the best talent Hollywood have to offer.

– Max Payne featured Golden Globe winner Mark Whalberg.

– In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale features Sir Ben Kingsley, Ray Liotta, and Jason Statham.

– Doom featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

– Prince of Persia was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and featured Jake Gyllenhaal and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Another of Sir Uwe's masterpieces

With featured talent like the ones listed above, don’t you think that the movies would have turned out well? Well for some reason, whenever Hollywood executives get their hands on a fairly successful game franchise, their adaptations tend to differ from the source material in negative ways. For example, the aforementioned Doom originally had players fighting through hordes of demons as hell invaded their world. The film adaptation had vicious altered humans affected by a chromosome that – on a genetic level – determines if a person will be good or evil. This is the stuff that horrible movies are made of.

Some directors have even come out and said that a few video game companies forget about their franchise as soon as the license is sold, meaning that they provide no support or creative input to the film adaptation unlike Hollywood’s comic-book and toy-based adaptations; both of which receive full support from their original creators.

I’m not even going to write about the travesty that is Uwe Boll video game film adaptations. Don’t get me wrong, he’s actually a pretty good director (see Tunnel Rats and Seed). But his game adaptations are considered the worst game-to-film adaptations in the history of both art forms.

These movies give old-school game critics like Roger Ebert and thousands of politicians ammunition in their crusade against video games as a legitimate art form. Ebert has stated on multiple occasions that video games are inferior to film and literature. And let’s face it folks, even though video games are becoming more mainstream, there are still millions of people who think that games are only for children, a waste of time, and a negative influence on youth.

Should Hollywood even bother with adapting video games to film? Tell us your opinions and comments!


About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on June 28, 2011, in Opinions And Editorials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Uwe Bol a pretty good director???man u r out of ur mind.

    • True I’m a little bit crazy. But if you’ve seen Boll’s non-video game related films, he’s actually a decent director. (Tunnel Rats and Seed) But again his style is an acquired taste kind of like how some people love the Saw franchise even though it’s pretty much been downhill since the first.

  1. Pingback: The Butchering Of Video Game Films « JTM GAMES

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