Monday, May 3, 2010


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time launches in South Africa this May 21 and I still can't believe Jake "Donnie Darko" Gyllenhaal's playing the Prince - they all end up in Mickey's back pocket in the end, just ask Johnny Depp. When I first heard about the film, I imagined (read, prayed for) one of those rumoured video game adaptations that never materialises (Gears of War, Halo, God of War). But no such luck... here it is, in all its are-you-kidding-me blockbuster glory.

It's a strange idea, turning a video game into a movie. To me, it still seems a bit insulting - one step up from a ride at Disneyland. I know... movies get based on books, comics, cartoons and "true life" events all the time. So what's the difference, right? The difference, friends, is every video game movie ever made is a steaming pile of money-spinning c-r-a-p. Damn it! I hate that Jerry Bruckheimer!

Here's a look at ten of the worst video game movies of all time:

10. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2008)

There was a time when only good movies got as far as Part 3. But with Saw 6 showing at cinemas around the country and Twilight 3 due out in June, the idea of the classic trilogy is well and truly dead. It's lost its prestige, thanks to unjustified, forced third chapters like Blade: Trinity, Legally Blondes and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (all currently clogging up bargain bins from Incredible Connection to Toys R Us). The first two Resident Evil films weren't bad, Apocalypse is a piece of shit. God awful, in fact.

9. Alone In the Dark (2005)

Once upon a time casting Tara Reid, Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff in the same film would have been financial suicide. By 2005, you could pick them up in a three for one deal. Needless to say, when the script for Brightlight Pictures' film adaptation of popular horror video game series Alone In the Dark arrived, pickings were pretty slim for our three fallen stars. Those rehab bills don't pay themselves.

8. DOA: Dead Or Alive (2006)

God knows I've tried to sit through DOA: Dead Or Alive - even though, technically, the title's Dead Or Alive: Dead Or Alive. I mean, Holly Valance, Jaime Pressly and Devon Aoki kicking ass and throwing themselves around in bikinis. Sounds doable, right? Wrong. It's like a root canal for your eyes and ears. Avoid at all costs!

7. Street Fighter (1994)

Kylie Minogue? Jean-Claude Van Damme?
Street Fighter: The Movie? In 1994, that was the coolest news I'd ever heard. Looking back now, it's tragic on three counts. One: it's the last film Raúl Juliá will be remembered for. Two: Jean-Claude Van Damme was allowed to keep making movies. And three: in 2009, Legend Films and 20th Century Fox felt the need for a second live action Street Fighter flick, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Klein... What the hell were you thinking?

6. Max Payne (2008)

Director John Moore and his team deserve some kind of special award for this one. How the hell do you turn a gritty, dark action, deep film noir classic like Max Payne into this boring, confusing, two dimensional demon fest? It's more Mark Wahlberg than Max Payne. The term "loosely based" has never been so loose...

5. Tekken (2010)

Another adaptation I'll never fully understand. For the love of God, why? Who wakes up one morning thinking, "A movie version of Tekken? Now that doesn't sound like career suicide." Tekken: The Movie was released in Japan in March. An international release seems unlikely (unless you count straight to DVD). And yep, that's Candice Hillebrand as Nina Williams.

4. Hitman (2007)

Who the hell did they have casting Hitman, Andrea Bocelli? Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47 has to be the worst cast film character in video game adaptation, no... film history (I guess Jason Statham was
busy that weekend). And it doesn't help that the plot's just as weak. Note to Hollywood: just because the game's a success, you DO NOT have a movie on your hands!

3. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Forget the stupid name, in this sequel Angelina Jolie punches a shark in the face and rides it back up to the surface. Now I ask you, with tears in my bloodshot eyes, does that translate from video game to film? I keep picturing Mitch Buchanan coming out of a cave with a tied up crocodile slung over his shoulder.
Oh the humanity!

2. Wing Commander (1999)

"Help, his career's dead and I think mine might be next!" I still can't believe this one even got made. What was the point? Was the game even that popular? Clearly actors like Freddie Prinze Jr, Matthew Lillard and... what was that chick's name again? just weren't meant for success.

1. Super Mario Bros (1993)

Sometimes going first is no fun at all. In 1993, Bob Hoskins (Mario) and John Leguizamo (Luigi) found out the hard way. Still rated as one of the worst video game adaptations of all time, Super Mario Bros: The Movie is so bad, it's almost good. It's almost in league with shockingly bad classics like Plan 9 from Outer Space and Manos: The Hands of Fate. I still can't believe John Leguizamo bounced back. R.I.P Bob Hoskins. "Yes, it happened. Let us speak no more of it" - Nintendo.

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