Are movie adaptations of video-games ever a good idea?

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by shaunj66, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Yes, I love video game movies, even the bad ones!

    16 vote(s)
  2. They can be; if they respect the source material and lore

    88 vote(s)
  3. It ultimately depends on the script and quality of the film

    181 vote(s)
  4. Rarely, but they make for a fun popcorn flick!

    69 vote(s)
  5. No, video games should remain an interactive medium

    54 vote(s)
  1. shaunj66

    shaunj66 Administrator

    Oct 24, 2002
    United Kingdom
    South England

    GBAtemp Portal Poll
    for the week of 10th February 2018​

    Are movie adaptations of video-games ever a good idea?
    With the recent news that the upcoming Super Mario movie will be worked on by Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind such works as Despicable Me and Minions; we ask you - are video-game to movie adaptations ever a good idea?

    Movie adaptations of video-game franchises is not a new concept and many franchises have already made the jump to Hollywood with varying degrees of success. You have examples such as Tomb Raider which saw decent critical reception to the Mortal Kombat movies which were less successful. You even have the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros which despite being a cult favourite, is known for being notoriously bad and performed so badly at the box office that the sequel which was even teased at the end of the film was cancelled.


    Some might argue that video games are interactive movies already and that, if anything, value will be lost in the transition to film as you are more disconnected from the narrative when we compare films to story-heavy games such as Final Fantasy or The Last of Us - one of which already has several movies and the latter rumoured to be in the works.

    Then you have movies that although based on video game culture such as Wreck It Ralph (2013) or Pixels (2015), that were polar opposites in terms of success both critically and commercially.

    What separates a good movie from a bad one and does the level respect of paid to the source material matter?

    Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll and leaving your comments below!
  2. Technicmaster0

    Technicmaster0 GBAtemp Psycho!

    Oct 22, 2011
    Gambia, The
    I liked the assassins creed movie but the majority of films based on video games are crap.
    It's more important to have a good script than to be very close to the games. Some ideas from video games simply don't work in a movie.
    Last edited by Technicmaster0, Feb 11, 2018
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  3. Flame

    Flame Me > You

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    Jul 15, 2008
    its very hard for a game to be made into a good movie.

    people just want to make a quick buck. so a good story is not there, when the good story is they money isn't they.

    also the way a video game's story is told doesn't fit in a movie way of telling a story.
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I am sure it is possible -- they are both typically somewhat visual ways of telling stories and if we count film sequels or go for TV shows then take place over similar amounts of time.
    Interaction and the lack thereof can be tricky but it is not impossible to work around.

    As was mentioned though most just seem to be a simple tie in cash grab exercise. Given that most games are not superbly written either it does not make for a great result.

    "does the level respect of paid to the source material matter?"
    The main way we see of try to patch up a story is bad and yields mostly bad results.
    A proper retelling of a game similar to the book adaptations which worked or "take the main premise, a few elements from it all and run with it" would get better ones if done well.
    For the latter then I kind of like the earlier Resident Evils (yet to see past the prison one) and Prince of Persia was not the worst.
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  5. aykay55

    aykay55 Professional Idiot

    Apr 14, 2017
    United States
    Where the buffalo roam.
    I think movie adaptations of a game series is a-OK, as long as they do it right. What is never OK is a game adaptation of a movie. (LEGO Movie video game flashing in my head)
  6. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Addict

    Aug 12, 2011
    United States
    It really depends, also on the person if you don't mind it not being fantastic than you can have a good time with some video game movies.

    I liked Mortal Kombat, and Resident Evil sucked but they kept getting better so the last couple where pretty damned good.

    Prince of Persia Sands of Time was amazing in my opinion.

    Mario was pure trash... even I couldn't enjoy it lol

    Off the top of my head that's about my experience with movie video game stuff...

    Edit: Street Fighter the movie was pretty bad too...

    Tekken the old 90's animated movie was pretty good if you can find it.

    Last edited by Psionic Roshambo, Feb 11, 2018
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  7. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi GBATemp Official Lolimaster

    May 8, 2012
    behind a keyboard or a gamepad
    They are called adaptations for a reason.
    Is impossible to make a 1:1 copy of any interactive medium into a non-interactive, but you can make it in a way that is convincing enough if you respect the source material.

    A good example that comes to my mind is The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, they took almost every element of the game and transformed it into something usable in a movie, the parkour is there, the dagger consumes sand of time while traveling in time, the second in command (in this case his uncle) was trying to take over, the only missing thing was the hourglass of time and sand monsters, but that would have transformed the movie into a typical zombie movie tbh.

    A bad example is Max Payne, so bad that I forgot the plot for good but I remember that barely followed the game and was horrible.

    Another good example is Angry Birds, it takes everything from the game and creates a plot from scratch, the birds are there and are angry, the pigs are evil and stole the eggs, is fun to watch, what more do you need?
  8. MikaDubbz

    MikaDubbz GBAtemp Fan

    Dec 12, 2017
    United States
    First Silent Hill movie was ok. And do the Pokemon movies count? I mean they're adaptations of the anime which itself is an adaptation of the games. If those count, then Pokemon 2000, the Power of One is a pretty awesome movie adapted from a video game.
  9. BlackWizzard17

    BlackWizzard17 Don't worry Captin we'll buff out those scratches.

    Dec 1, 2012
    United States
    Adaptions of games are just like books, either shit or leave out a lot. Some games based on movies however can turn out great just look at The Warriors for PS2.
    Megadriver94 likes this.
  10. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

    May 27, 2016
    United States
    New York
    Have we learned nothing from the past? :teach:

    Yes is good for hype/publicity but become cringe memes of the past waiting to be ruined by critics. :yay:
  11. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Mar 17, 2010
    The problem with movie based games and game based movies is that they're often not very well done.
    The Warcraft movie was pretty great though and shows that it is possible to make good movies based on games.
    I'm not sure if Wreck-It Ralph counts, since it isn't based on a real game, but it does include characters from real games and really manages to embody what video games are all about, so I think it counts. That was also a great movie.
    FF7 Advent Children was decent, I suppose. It felt like it didn't really have a lot to do with the game but was rather a separate story set in the same universe (but possibly in an alternate timeline)
    Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.
  12. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein There's hope for a Xenosaga port.

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
  13. leon315

    leon315 POWERLIFTER

    Nov 27, 2013
    usually videogames' movie adatation suck, but the 1st time i saw Disney's Prince of Persia movie adaptation, i was seriously impressed by its amazing screen scripts, plot and characters performance, it had good box office too.

    there's always few exceptions :P
  14. paulttt

    paulttt GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 1, 2008
    The street fighter 2 animé was awesome.
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  15. linuxares

    linuxares I'm not a generous god!

    Aug 5, 2007
    Last edited by linuxares, Feb 12, 2018
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  16. Spectral Blizzard

    Spectral Blizzard GBATemp's Only Racist Stereotypical Feminist

    Jun 17, 2017
    United States
    If Nintendo's in it, they can do fucking ANYTHING.
    Just a reminder.
  17. Naridar

    Naridar Excelsior!

    Oct 26, 2008
    Let me think...
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Yes, it is good.
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  18. MisterSteak

    MisterSteak Member

    Feb 7, 2018
    United States
    I think they absolutely would be if studios would stop treating them like fan service and start treating them like real, actual spinoffs. Some game stories and universes have been leaps and bounds above what I've seen and felt in theaters, but studios aren't interested in giving them a real voice as much as cranking out quick moneymakers, usually.
  19. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace Samurai Cop

    Oct 13, 2014
    United States
    It's a good idea, but 9 times out of 10, they've been adapted terribly. The only video game movie I can legitimately defend as being really good is Mortal Kombat. Otherwise you get mediocre stuff like Super Smash Bros, bullshit like DOOM, funny bullshit like Street Fighter, and a mix of bullshit and laughs in Mortal Kombat Annihilation. The animated movie adaptations coming are steps in the right direction, especially since the shitty video game movies have been live action. I'm particularly interested in Detective Pikachu since Ryan Reynolds will voice the title character.
  20. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Global Moderator
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    How is this even a question? The bad video game movies are the best ones! Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil are way up high on my list of guilty pleasures, not to mention the masterpiece that is Uwe Boll's Postal. It's possibly the greatest movie of all time, funded exclusively with Nazi gold.