When it comes to adapting something for the big screen, you can't please everyone. Especially not gamers, who are possibly the hardest audience to appeal to overall. Be it fan boys obsessing over continuity errors, or people unfamiliar with the source material - somebody is going to be unhappy.
That being said - video games have never really made the transition well enough to be given the artistic recognition they deserve. There have been plenty of animated tie-ins that have been great, but live action? Not so much.
So let's take a look at some of the worst stinkers of all time.
5. Super Mario Bros (1993, Rocky Morton/Annabel Jangle)
On paper, this must have seemed a sure thing - Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper both attached to what was the hottest IP of the decade. The only problem was - it sucked. Whoever had creative control of the project took liberties and then some. I mean a certain degree of artistic interpretation is to be expected, but too much is too much.Almost every detail that made us fall in love with the games was removed, changed or so unrecognisable it might as well not be there.Goombas? Check. But they might be eight foot tall.Yoshi? Check. But he might be portrayed as an actual dinosaur. A badly rendered one, at that.King Koopa? Check. But he might be just Dennis Hopper with a weird haircut.The list goes on. The Mushroom Kingdom is a kind of neo-Steampunk metropolis and the main plot focuses on Koopas attempts to merge two dimensions. To say it was loosely based would be an understatement.
But the biggest fault with Super Mario Bros is that it almost opposes It's source material. The Mario games are fun and colourful and silly, whereas the movie is dark and grey and metallic. Don't get me wrong, It's entertaining. I just can't help feeling disappointed.
4. Double Dragon (James Yukich, 1994)
15 years after a massive earthquake merges San Diego and LA into one mega-city, Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick) uses every power he can muster to obtain the second half of a magic talisman. Billy and Jimmy (Mark Dacascos) Lee hold the other half of said talisman - the mystical Double Dragon - and will stop at nothing to keep ultimate power from falling onto the wrong hands.
Sounds legit, right?The film's main failing is It's dialogue. We all love a bit of cheese, but this is embarrassing. Even with a decent special effects team, it still falls flat. It's not even bad enough to enter the "so bad It's good" category (which is a shame as most of my DVD's fall into that).
To be fair, it must be a Herculean task to draw a movie from a 2D brawler that only consisted of four stages - and didn't really have its own narrative to begin with. Which makes it even worse that one was actually made.
Oh and Robert Patrick looks ridiculous with a blonde flat-top.
3. Bloodrayne (Uwe Boll, 2005)
Why oh why is this man consistently granted licences for these adaptations? Another example of a great cast not being able to save a shipwreck of a movie (Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Billy Zane, Michelle Rodriguez) - and apparently Madsen and Kingsley both ultimately hated the film altogether. But the problems don't end there - Boll reportedly ended up suing Billy Zane over distribution issues.
The movie is somewhat loosely based on the original game. Well, at least the character of Rayne. As a half-breed vampire, she doesn't drink blood and crucifixes don't affect her. She is the lead attraction at a Romanian carnival freakshow, she escapes, and vows vengeance on her mother's vampire rapist.
You still with me?
The rest of the film makes a similar amount of sense, and you get the feeling that Boll kinda makes it up as he goes. Which is unfortunately a well known fact.
2. Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (Mike Newell, 2010)
Prince of Persia was a landmark in realistic platform action games when it was released in 1989, and the rebooted Sands Of Time series wasn't bad either. The games have always been exciting, complex and (in regard to more recent entries) have intrigued with their plotlines. Which is why I can't understand how a movie adaptation of such a good series can turn out to be so.......boring.
You would have expected a movie with such a ridiculous budget ($150 - $200 million dollars) and a great cast of A-list Hollywood stars (Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina) to be at the very least entertaining. But no. Instead POP is so confusing, and so mind-numbingly dull that It's difficult to understand what is going on at times. Or care.
The only good thing about this movie are the special effects (although in a Hollywood blockbuster this is kind of expected) with suitable sorcery and whatnot looking just great.It does stay sort of true to the source material, which is great, although it still managed to make most of us fall sound asleep.
1 - Postal (Uwe Boll, 2007)
Where do I begin? Postal 2 (on which the film was based) was an entertaining romp through a fictional world where choice was king. You were presented with a menial to-do list for the week, and you could go about your tasks in a variety of ways. You could visit the store and queue for milk, or you could slap the cashier in the face with a shovel.Whichever way you chose it was all very slapstick, and ultimately very silly.
Postal: The Movie, however, is just insulting.
You have to ask yourself just how a movie that opens by implying that the passengers were responsible for 9/11 even gets funded. In fact, almost every scene in Postal is offensive in some way or another. A shootout in a kids theme park resulting in a bunch of children being shot to bits? Sure, why not?All in all this is just another example of Uwe Boll resorting to shock tactics to draw an audience - because his movie making skills cannot.
Perhaps the movie's only good point is its closeness to the source material, although in retrospect that probably isn't a good thing. I mean, using a cat as a silencer in a game 10 years ago might have been novel. In a movie, it's just wrong.
Are there any truly good movies adapted from games? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
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