Off their game

Off their game

Filmmakers are doing a poor job of adapting video games to the big screen

November 04, 2012
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Most films adapted from video games miss the mark. Maybe it's just the nature of video games: an interactive medium that simply does not translate well into film, a more passive form of entertainment. Or maybe video games are just cursed, much like the EA Sports curse (it is said that any player gracing the cover of an EA Sports game will surely suffer a season-ending injury or perform badly).

However disastrous the jump has been for many franchises, the potential for success is there. Many of the top franchises, such as Halo, Metal Gear Solid, and Splinter Cel, have compelling story lines that complement the gaming experience. Combine that with an army of loyal gamers and your window for success becomes that much bigger. Perhaps there's a logical explanation for the box-office flops - movie studios become complacent after securing the rights to a game. They feel most of the hard work has been done and success is bound to follow.

But most of the films based on video games are poorly planned and even more poorly executed. Scripts are silly, and to make matters worse, the films bear little resemblance to the original games. This is a turn-off for the hardcore gamers who are a loyal bunch. It is not nice to come out of the cinema feeling that you have been cheated. And to think that some Hollywood big shot is piggy-backing off the brand only adds insult to injury.

Here are some of the adaptations that would have been better left untouched.

 

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Chun-Li is one of the coolest characters in Street Fighter. So, what could possibly go wrong with a film version depicting this kung fu goddess? First of all, casting Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas as Vega made no sense. Filmmakers should have stayed away from this adaptation after the colossal failure of Street Fighter. There are many reasons why video games have yet to make a smooth transition into film. The industry could look to successful comic-book adaptations for inspiration.

 

Street Fighter (1994)

This is a classic example of a film hoping to cash in on an established gaming title. Street Fighter is THE ultimate fighting game. However, the fight scenes in the movie are clumsy and the acting is bad. On the plus side, costume design deserves some praise. Not even martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme, who plays the lead role, can save this movie from being a complete disaster. Interestingly, pop star Kylie Minogue starred as Cammy in the film.

 

Double Dragon (1994)

This classic, side-scrolling beat-'em-up video game series was adapted to the big screen in the same year as Street Fighter. Both failed. Double Dragon revolves around Billy and Jimmy Lee, and their constant battles with ruthless gang members over a magic medallion. Looking back, the twins did a lot more running and screaming than actual fighting. The awful dialogue, wooden characters and paper-thin plot made the film plain bad.

 

Super Mario Bros (1993)

This was probably one of the worst movies of all time. Luckily, this terrible adaptation did not ruin the image of the Nintendo classic. Besides the gross inaccuracies of the adaptation - toads depicted as humans, Mario and Luigi sporting rocket boots - the film also had a darker tone and an outrageous plot. The tagline of the film read: 'This is no game.' It should have read: 'This is no movie.'

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37 Comments

Chan Owen

16:35pm

Using the idea of video games to make films is hard.The personality of the characters are hard to copy. They may be very cool or cold-blooded, it may need a actor who acts very well. Also, the action and special effects in games also need great skills from the film-makers when practicing in films.Th

siuyintung

16:35pm

I think that adapt video games to the film and put it on big screen is not a good idea.It's because i think people may not like the games' characters become a film.And it waste lots of money to finish a film.

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