Drop The Joystick & Pick Up The Remote: Video Game-Based Movies
In the upcoming Disney film Wreck-It Ralph, the viewer is given an inside look (literally!) into the world of video games. Wreck-It Ralph has always been a great antagonist, but when he decides that his role just isn’t meaningful to him, he travels through the other games in the hopes of discovering who he is and what he is meant to be. Viewers of the video game generation will be treated to some familiar faces like Bowser, Sonic, the Pac-man ghosts and others. Over the years there have been a number of movies that have either focused on video games or have been inspired by them. Here’s a few that you may or may not know (or may not want to remember!)
As far as I’m aware, this was Hollywood’s first attempt to adapt a video game into a movie… and it didn’t really work. Considered more of a cult classic than anything, the movie attempted to bring our favourite plumber into the real world – and then suddenly throw him into another one that was completely unlike the original video game. Unless of course, Bowser was the equivalent of a mob boss from the dirty city streets and Yoshi really was a tiny pet dinosaur. If that’s the case, I definitely had the wrong game in my NES. In any case, the movie wasn’t a success, and it’s hard to find anybody willing to talk about it in a positive light.
Video games have always been a favourite of many, and this was no different in 1996. Guys all over the world were suddenly staying in more than ever, locked away in their rooms and basements for hours at a time. One possible explanation? The release of Tomb Raider, which found its home on the Playstation and PC. Featuring the buxom heroine Lara Croft, who played out like a female Indiana Jones, the games followed her quests to find relics and treasures from all the corners of the globe. It wasn’t long before Hollywood planned an adaptation, and attempted to recreate the game’s success in film form. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), the movie moguls gave up after two films. The games are still successful: there are nine games in total and the possibility of a reboot. The first film also featured one of today’s leading men before his was big: James Bond himself, Daniel Craig.
Those who grew up playing Nintendo know that Playstation wasn’t meant for kids. Although you could get the regular family games, the Playstation system prided itself on opening up a whole other industry. For the first time, scarier games became more popular, more realistic, and more innovative. The Silent Hill and Resident Evil series are perfect examples.
The Silent Hill film was based on a series of eight games that came out between 1999 and March 2012 (the jury’s still out on the ninth one being considered part of the canon). The film follows a similar story as the first game, with the film having the mother as the main character rather than the father. The game and film both share similar subplots of a cult being responsible for the town, but unlike the film, the game has five different endings. The film, sadly, only has the one. It was critically panned but must have done something right: a sequel is being released this weekend. If they decide to make more films, they will certainly have a lot of plots to choose from.
Resident Evil, like Silent Hill, came from a series of survival horror games released on the Playstation. Unlike most video game movies, Resident Evil has done well for itself. The franchise has had five films so far, and seem to respect where they came from. Fans of the games will recognize characters and references scattered throughout the films. Zombies have also made a kind of comeback as it were over the last few years. If I had to pinpoint where it started, I’d have to put Resident Evil towards the front of the recent movement.
Any gamers out there? How did you feel about the adaptations? Any others that I missed? Tell me about it!