The ratio of good video game movie adaptations is poor, lets face it. Silent Hill (sequel next year) wasn’t bad and Resident Evil has proved to be a durable franchise, but the bad memories of Uwe Boll’s numerous game adaptations are still there. These include, Alone in The Dark, 2 House Of The Dead attempts, Far Cry and 3 Bloodrayne films. This is just skimming the surface of this genre, there are a lot more video game adaptations than you might think.
Super Mario Brothers, Prince of Persia, Mortal Kombat (the new online series is actually very good), Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Doom – the list goes on. So when the next generation game consoles started to produce cinematic stories and visuals, Hollywood started to take notice again.
It was going to happen sooner or later, Dead Island is the latest game to be given the movie treatment. But does it really need to be?
Now you might remember the haunting trailer the games company put together earlier this year. It was praised, spoofed and won a multitude of awards. Many people have been disappointed by the finished game but it hasn’t stopped it selling lots of copies.
There is no denying that games are becoming as entertaining and as watchable as movies. The Call Of Duty franchise, Brink, Heavy Rain, Assassins Creed (also a movie on the way), L.A Noir and Dead Space all have pushed the envelope of gaming and mixing motion capture performances.
In many ways it feels a bit redundant to make a movie based on games that were already as good if not better than many films to start with. It just feels lazy, the studio knows there will be a market for it but like an adaptation of a long book, sub plots and little touches will be lost in the big screen version. Game adaptations must be an easy choice for movie executives, they know there is a fan base, they know it will be talked about by bloggers (see I’m talking about it now), most won’t make much money at the box office but these types of films excel on DVD and on demand service.
There is a wealth of new writers and filmmakers desperately trying to get their original projects off the ground. As only a certain amount of films can be made in a year, it seems a shame to recycle something rather than take a punt on something different. The gaming world has really upped their standard over the last few years, the stories and worlds they create are just as compelling as a movie, in some ways even more so as you can emerse yourself in a game for hours, days, weeks or months.
I would rather see an original movie that is not a sequel, reboot, prequel, adaptation from a book, TV series or game. Shaun Of The Dead, Colin, Zombieland and both the 28….Later movies proved you can be inventive with the zombie (or rage infected) genre and do something original and different.
That said the more disturbing sub genre emerging now is movies based on board games. Now in my opinion the cult classic Clue, which was based on Cluedo, is a fantastic film and the board game adaptations should stop there. The trailer for Battle Ship on the other hand looks like a right old load of Mousetrap.