The jump from Video Game to Big Screen Movie is always a tricky one; it seems such a simple idea that should pay off well. With most games these days churning out so many high action intense cutscenes its not surprising that the movie industry, when not suing p2p program developers, would see the profit behind taking a big successful game title and turning it into a movie. Think about it, the amount of hours that people put into playing a game through and bitching on forums about the shallow story, they would be crazy not to spend money going to see a film based on it.
Look at the classics of old... Street Fighter, Mario Brothers, Double Dragon. They took games that were, at the time, some of the most recognisable names in video gaming history and turn them into big screen hits. What did they all have in common? (ok, aside from being crap?) They followed the non-existent storylines perfectly. Look at Mario Brothers : The Movie. It was clearly about two plumbers that travelled across a fluffly, clear blue sky, 2D grass hill jumping over toadstools to reach a castle and save a princess. Then there is Street Fighter : The Movie, they followed the plot lines perfectly, even if they completely ignored the slim story in the game. It did well on opening day didn't it? And that's what counts doesn't it?
It seems glaringly obvious that games don't have a well written enough story to be considered a film these days, we need some writers with talent to take these great game ideas to the next level.
Lets take a look at some potential classics of our own...
*** Arkanoid : The Movie! ***
Re-live the ball bouncing excitement of a gaming legend, brought for the first time to the big screen.
The main plot follows the tragic tale of Drake Fandango (Matt Damon) and his quest to find the killer of his beloved pet dog Fanny (Liv Tyler). Set in the moody backdrop of a space mining facility in the asteroid belt, the story hots up when a beautiful alien woman gets involved (Kang The Destructor).
The incredible narrative twists and turns lead to a climactic finale in this rip roaring romantic comedy horror adventure.
*** Rated R for Regrettable ***
Man its just like the game in every way possible, its almost like they just recorded 90 minutes of game footage and played it back on a big screen. Its almost like the writers have seen the game in motion for at least 15 seconds, infact I might even go on to assume they have touched the joystick. I don't know whether its coincidence or not but the actors that have been cast couldn't have been better, they were born for these parts. Look out box office records! Lets keep 'em coming!
*** Wolfenstien 3D : The Movie ***
Following on from the box office smash of Doom : The Movie comes a tale of one mans struggle through Nazi Germany...
It's about this Group of Trance Dance music fans on the hunt in the middle of the night to get some munchies after they have jacked up on heroin. As they walk around the city streets they start to notice something slightly odd about their surroundings, black cats that have 3 eye brows and lampposts that are made of jelly.
High Action! How will the group scrounge enough money to buy some cheap Stella and crisps?! How many broken wingmirrors and battered old ladies will it take?
Gaze on as the group bounce and roll their way around the Manchester city streets in search of Mars bars and penny sweets they have to fight their way through bramble bushes and one of them may even lose his shoe! This wholesome family movie is fun and entertainment for all wrapped up in a heart warming love story.
*** Rated PG for Please God no.... ***
This was always going to be a hard game to bring to the big screen, with a massive cult following and a somewhat touchy subject I think they have managed to do very well, you would have thought a film based on a game about killing Nazis would have been too difficult a story to put up on the big screen... and you would be right, thankfully they managed to dodge that risky story element by ignoring it completely *phew*!
And completing our trilogy of Game to Movies Hits comes...
*** Tetris: A New Begining. ***
A young Russian mathematics genius (Harvey Keitel) stumbles upon an epoch forging concept for electronic entertainment. What follows can only be described as the high octane romantic horror comedy of the year.
In his abandoned missile base in Siberia Alexey Pajitnov (Keitel) is constructing something that will change the world forever. Unfortunately his girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow) doesn't see the funny side of this mad scientists dedication to his art and hires a Spanish hitman (Johnny Depp) to kill him. Things go from M.A.D. to worse when they all end up in Cuba and almost start WWIII with some jumpleads and French man (Sean Connery). Crazy!
From the writers of 'Honey I Shrunk The Kids' and the producers of 'Beethovens Fifth' comes a tale of love, betrayal, sex and nuclear war. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll vomit!
*** Rated W for What The Fuck! ***
Did you notice the subtle plot changes, who wants to see a movie that is the same story as the game? You've already finished the game; just record a demo of it next time?
Could you imagine the uproar if they had stuck so closely to the stories of the games that are deemed too violent for their children, even though we all know what little Jonny is getting for his birthday? I am sure after seeing all the protests about how games are too violent and caused kids to go out and kill their friends that the last thing a budding Hollywood film writer would want is bad press. This is his big moment; a big name film title will practically sell itself, even if its just fans of the game going to see it to prove to themselves time and time again that game to film conversions always suck.
Resident Evil could have been worse couldn't it?