Over the many years of video games as well as films, there have been quite a lot of video game movie adaptations and most of them have been…less than great. From Doom to Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Bros, it seems that Hollywood has missed the mark on most video game movies. While we all love video games and we all love movies, for some reason Hollywood just can’t seem to get it right when it comes to transforming our beloved game franchises into big-screen features. I mean do you really want to see another attempt at Hitman? Mortal Kombat? I didn’t think so, nor do I want to see this kind of adaptation again. With all of the recent flops and misfires within the video game movie industry, I wonder if it may be time for Hollywood to throw in the towel and stop trying to make good live-action video game movie adaptations?
Well yes, but actually no.
Right off the bat, I want to say that, no, I don’t think that video game movie adaptations should stop being made. However, I do feel that the way these adaptations are made needs to change. Hollywood makes movies that follow a specific formula that is proven to make money. While yes, this is the ultimate Hollywood-endgame, I don’t think that’s fair to the fans of these franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Monster Hunter, and Mortal Kombat to see these games made into movies as nothing more than a cash grab. When I walked into the theater in 2016 to watch Assassin’s Creed, I was ready to see some of my favorite characters from previous games like Edward and Connor Kenway and of course Ezio and Altaïr. When I walked out of the theater 115 minutes later, I was incredibly disappointed that all we saw was a single shot of Ezio and nothing more and barely any other hints about the games that this movie was based on. While I don’t think video game movie adaptations should necessarily stop being released (nor do I think they will be) I do think there needs to be more of a connection to the actual games themselves. I want them to feel more than a generic action movie with a branded franchise slapped on the title to draw an audience.
While we’re at it, let’s take a look at some of the biggest flops in the last 10 years according to Rotten Tomatoes:
- Hitman: Agent 47 (8%)
- Silent Hill: Revelation (10%)
- Assassin’s Creed (18%)
- Resident Evil: Afterlife (22%)
- Need for Speed (22%)
Yeah, so Hollywood hasn’t exactly been striking movie gold here. There have only been a total of 4 video game movies that have reached a score of over 50% on Rotten Tomatoes:
- Detective Pikachu (68%)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (63%)
- Tomb Raider (51%)
- Rampage (51%)
Detective Pikachu, believe it or not, was actually a pretty good movie. I enjoyed the movie the whole time and Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu was an absolute smash hit. Sonic the Hedgehog was also a surprising hit with fans, especially after the controversy regarding the incredibly creepy original semi-humanoid design for the famous blue hedgehog. Thankfully the great artists at Sega were able to change his design after delaying the film and it looks a lot better.
As for the other two movies above 50%, Tomb Raider (2018) and Rampage, both scored only a single point to push them over the 50% mark. This just doesn’t seem like what the standard for any movie, regardless of whether it is based on a video game or not, should be.
Regardless of whether who thinks that Hollywood should or should not keep making video game movie adaptations, it looks like they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon since we’ve got a whole lot of them lined up to release sometime in the near future including:
- Resident Evil (September 9, 2021)
- Uncharted (July 16, 2021)
- Mortal Kombat (April 16, 2021)
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)
Fans have been begging for a movie based on the beloved Uncharted video game series for years now and it looks like we’re finally getting one. This movie has been in development for so long that Mark Wahlberg, once in talks for the role of Nathan Drake, is now set to play the older mentor to Drake, Victor “Sully” Sullivan. After multiple years in development and just as many delays, we will hopefully be able to witness Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake in the new Uncharted movie in mid-2021.
We’ve also got quite a list of upcoming releases that do not have a confirmed release date, but are confirmed to be in development. These movies include:
- Untitled Borderlands film
- Untitled CrossFire film
- Untitled Detective Pikachu sequel
- Five Nights at Freddy’s
- Untitled Gears of War film
- Untitled Just Cause film
- Untitled Just Dance film
- Mega Man
- Untitled Metal Gear Solid film
- Untitled Space Invaders film
- Untitled Saints Row film
- Tomb Raider 2
- Werewolves Within
- Untitled Yakuza film
One title that I certainly wasn’t expecting to get a movie adaptation is Borderlands. If done correctly, I think seeing Pandora and all of the great characters in the Borderlands franchise such as Lilith, Brick, Roland, Tiny Tina, Handsome Jack, Crazy Earl, and of course Claptrap would be absolutely phenomenal. I am, of course, keeping my hopes high, but my expectations very low considering this should be a massive movie, but so easy to do poorly. All I know is that I need Ryan Reynolds as Handsome Jack, I don’t think there’s a better person to portray the witty and devilishly handsome jerk.
So what do you think? Is the video game movie industry DOOM-ed? (Get it? Like Doom?) Do you think that with the recent explosion in video game popularity there is still hope yet for Hollywood to start making good video game movie adaptations? Whether or not they’re good, I know that I’ll still watch them all. Let us know which video game movie adaptation you like! Who knows, maybe one day, once all of the controversy with CD Projekt Red is behind us, we’ll get a Cyberpunk 2077 movie?