5 Lessons Video Game Movies Had To Learn

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Since the film medium is so much older than the video game medium, adapting the new material to the old had something of a learning curve. These days, a video game adaptation can be good or bad, but it took a lot of buttons for filmmakers to learn the moves.


Creators have only been making movies from video games since 1993, the concept hasn’t even celebrated its 30th birthday. Most of that time was spent with overwhelmingly negative expectations from an audience made cynical by constant bad examples. Maybe studios and filmmakers had to kick some bad habits out of their system before they could create something great.

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The costumes don’t make the character

America’s first video game movie was the 1993 classic Super Mario Bros.. Viewers are divided on the overall quality of the play. It was despised when it was initially released, but today is considered a cult classic. Whatever its merits, the movie has almost nothing to do with the beloved game franchise it claims as its source material. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo are certainly dressed similarly to Mario and Luigi, for the most part, but cyberpunk’s bizarre future adventure doesn’t make them feel at home.

This question goes far beyond the first example. Tons of old video game movies go wrong by simply making an unrelated movie and dressing the main cast in semi-appropriate cosplay. The Completely Forgotten 2008 Max Payne the adaptation starring Mark Wahlberg is almost comically out of place in its own franchise. It occasionally sneaks in one or two scenes that seem appropriate, often out of order, but the plot clings to supernatural nonsense and ends in a complete mess. These films feel like massacred sequel attempts, rather than screen adaptations.

Don’t put actual gameplay in the movie

Frankly, anything Uwe Boll put in his movies can be considered toxic, but that was a unique circumstance. house of death was Boll’s first video game adaptation and the first of his films to be released theatrically. It is, like all the video game films on which Boll has dared to put his name, an abyssal experience. Its only value is to be an object of mockery. He did, however, pioneer a technique that he also quickly killed off.

house of death is perhaps the only video game film ever made to include actual gameplay from the source material in the film. It’s often a quick scene transition or a jarring pop-up in an action scene, but it’s there. Imagine the filmmakers finding it impossible to link their schlock unrelated to the license given to them and simply resorting to cutting out gameplay footage from the final version. Thankfully, Uwe Boll made sure fans didn’t have to imagine.

Borrow wisely from other films

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is, surprisingly, a film based on street fighter and a shameless Michael Bay scam Transformers. Everything from the editing to the writing to the cinematography feels pulled from the widely despised, yet immensely profitable franchise. The two IPs are not compatible, so the film turns into a mess. Not only is this a naked attempt to cash in on a franchise that the studio obviously didn’t know what to do with, but it’s also a wild misunderstanding of what people love about the material.

The problem is highlighted when The Legend of Chun-Li penetrates strangely deep into street fighter traditions. When the film’s business-suited crime boss confronts M. Bison uses his supernatural powers to purge the good from his soul and transfer it to a baby, every audience was left confused. The movie could either be the life story of one of the most iconic fighting game characters of all time or a cheap knockoff of Hasbro’s movie production, but not both. Loads of video game movies rip off other movies, but they have to be smart about it.

Extended cutscene usually won’t cut it

Animated video game movies are more common than live-action, but the use of borderline identical visuals makes an adaptation unnecessary. tekken has been adapted many times, the best of which is the recent release Lines animated series. Before this series, blood revenge fall. The movie was better than its live-action counterparts, but it still ends up looking like a very long cinematic of Tekken 6.

This problem is also somewhat present in resident Evilthe animated release of. These movies certainly have good scenes, but they’re not viewed with the same level of cultural impact as their live-action counterparts. Since fans can check out a game’s entire cinematic repertoire at will, or simply play the game to get the same experience, a film made entirely of comparable material will never be as remarkable as a novelty.

Don’t put on a shot-for-shot remake of a cutscene in a live-action movie

It’s been 12 years since Resident Evil: Afterlife hit theaters, and it’s still amazing that they did that. The film franchise has encountered nearly all of the aforementioned issues, but this one is almost entirely unique to this film. Life after death features awesome cosplay-ready iterations of Albert Wesker and Chris and Claire Redfield. In an incredibly daring move, they use these sad facsimiles to completely recreate an existing cutscene from the then recently released film. resident evil 5.

This scene comes across as campy and absurd in the game it debuted in. In the movie, it’s downright silly. Worse, it easily demonstrates the massive decline in directorial skill between the game and the movies. It’s an open admission that filmmakers can’t capture what people love about games. This is the team demonstrating with perfect clarity why they shouldn’t be making the movie to begin with. They might as well put up a sign insisting people watch the game footage instead.

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