In theatres right now is a movie called Ratchet and Clank - it’s based on the video game series of the same name, and the movie is horrible. It has a generic story and stale, predictable characters. It’s a shame, because the games are so good. It got me thinking - has there EVER been a good movie based on a video game?
One of the first such movies, though still not a good one, was Super Mario Bros, released in 1993, starring Bob Hoskins as Mario, and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa. The movie, as it turned out, hardly resembled anything that was ever in a Mario game. It was too dark and scary for children, but too childish for adults. To its credit, Bob Hoskins was a great choice at casting, and it’s one of the only times Mario, a plumber, is ever actually seen plumbing.
Wikipedia maintains a list of all the wide-release movies that are adaptations of video games, and as of today, not a single one of them has more than 50% on Rotten Tomatoes - with an average rating of just over 17%.
As I was thinking about this though, I could swear that there was a good video game movie at least once...and then I remembered Wreck-It Ralph. The movie was based off of a video game, but a fictional one, and maybe it was this originality that freed the writers to make a strong movie with a deep story and relatable characters that worked on the big screen.
Later this year, we’re getting two more video game adaptation movies - Warcraft, and Assassin’s Creed. I’m cautiously optimistic for Warcraft, as the developer of the game has always been very protective and proud of the game’s story, but it’ll be a surprise if they finally buck the trend and figure out the secret of making a good video game movie.