Impact In The Film Industry
Once video games began to popularize around the world, and with technology allowing for more immerseive stories within them, video game movie adapations have been expected. In the twenty-first century, video games have integrated within popular culture and have been a competitive force for storytelling. Many have attempted adapations of various video game titles, and some video game companies have expanded their titles to the big screen to gather larger audiences. Here is a list of adapations that are noteworthy and have left in impact in the film industry.
Super Mario Bros
Everyone is familiar with the loveable characters of the Mario universe. First released as an arcade game by Ninentdo in 1983, the series quickly became a world-wide phenomenon, eventually getting its first feature film in 1993, Super Mario Bros. Based on the general events of the video games, the film took its own creative spin on the series for an American audience. Unfortunately, the film was a box-office failure and did not please critics due to its differences from the source material. Years later, however, the film gained a cult following, now praised for what it pulled off technologically for its time.
Silent Hill is a Japanese, psychological horror game released in 1999. Regarded as one of the greatest video games ever made for its innovation toward the horror genre in video games, it naturally received a film in 2006 directed by Christophe Gans. Gans was eager to get his hands on the rights to the series because of his passion for the games. Although there was an attempt to stay close to the source material with its monsters and locations, Silent Hill was not well received by critics for its convoluted plot, however, the film was praised for being visually appealing and including good scares.
Resident Evil (2002)
James Cameron’s guilty pleasure film, according to his Reddit page. Resident Evil is important for being able to produce six, live-action films based on a video game. The films spanned almost two decades, the first entry being released in 2002 and the most recent in 2016. Loosely based on the popular horror-survival games, Resident Evil borrows ideas from the first two games. The film was directed by Paul W. S. Anderson who previously worked on Mortal Kombat, another video game to film adaptation. Resident Evil was nominated for Most Underrated Movie of the Year at the 2002 Golden Schmoes Awards.
Ratchet and Clank
Released in 2016 and directed by Kevin Monroe, Ratchet & Clank tells an original story of the titular characters. Outshone by competitive family movies during its release such as The Jungle Book and Zootopia, and not offering as grand of an adventure as the games, the film flopped in theatres. Insomniac Games, the original producer of the video games, assisted in the animation of the film, helping it stay true to the source material. Original voice actors from the games also reprised their roles alongside newcomers to the film, making it one of the most faithful video game adaptations ever made.
Another video game adaptation directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, Monster Hunter was released in 2020 after years of development and then delays due to COVID-19. The film received help from Capcom, the game’s producer, and was praised for its visual effects. Monster Hunter is a Japanese role-playing-game first released in 2004 on the Playstation 2, and is currently Capcom’s best selling franchise next to Resident Evil. The film tells the story of a hunter who gets separated from his team where he must fend for himself in a world co-inhabited by monsters. As of 2020, a script for a sequel is being developed.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
In 2005, one of the most beloved video games of all time, Final Fantasy VII, received a direct-to-DVD film. The film was directed by the game’s character designer, Tetsuya Nomura, most known for his work on Kingdom Hearts and in the Final Fantasy games. Taking place two years after the events of the video game, the film serves as a proper sequel to the video game. The film was praised for its CGI and animation made by Visual Works and Square Enix, but criticized for alienating people who had not played the game. Advent Children received the Maria Award at the Sitges Film Festival and won “Best Anime Feature” at the 2007 American Anime Awards.
Tomb Raider (2018)
Directed by Roar Uthaug, Tomb Raider stars Alicia Vikander as the iconic Lara Croft. Based on the famous action-adventure games developed by Square Enix, this film is based on the 2013 reboot of the series that explains the origin of Lara Croft. The film was praised for the nature of its adaptation, specifically in being more realistic, unlike the previous films which starred Angelina Jolie. Some fans, however, were unsure of Vikander’s performance due to the praise Jolie gathered from the previous films. Overall, the adaptation and casting was generally well received by critics, and a sequel is currently in the works.
Mortal Kombat (2021)
Acting as an adaptation of the video games and also as a reboot to the earlier films, Mortal Kombat is HBO’s most successful-film launch to date. Based on the fighting games of the same name, the film centers on a fighter who learns of his lineage. The film was directed by Simon McQuoid in his feature-film directorial debut and received mixed reviews from critics. Praised for its faithfulness to the material but critiqued for its characterizations and plot, there is still talk of new Mortal Kombat films in the future.
Sonic the Hedgehog
The first entry in a planned series of films based on the video game series Sonic the Hedgehog, this film was released in 2020 and starred James Marsden and Jim Carrey. Currently the highest grossing video game adaptation in North America, the film received generally positive reviews from critics. The film started off on the wrong foot after its first trailer when the original design for Sonic was revealed to be more life-like. Fans strongly opposed the design which led to the animators redesigning Sonic to resemble the video game more closely. The film performed well in theaters and the sequel is already underway. A trailer for the sequel was recently released mirroring the release of The Matrix.
Based on the world famous Pokemon franchise, Detective Pikachu was released in 2019. Loosely based on the plot of the video game of the same title (Detective Pikachu), the film centers around Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith, who sets out with Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, to look for Tim’s missing father. Though there have been multiple Pokemon feature films over the years, this was the first live-action adaptation and the first to be developed overseas. Noted as one of the best video game movies ever made, the film performed exceptionally well in the box office and many are hoping for a sequel despite a recent comment made by Smith, letting them down.