Tag Archives: Wing Commander

Why film adaptations of video games don’t work

With the release of “Price of Persia: the Sands of Time,” we were left with the question: Why in God’s name would you make a movie about a Middle Eastern guy with an enchanted knife that can climb walls?

The games are cool, but this was not a game that left us yearning for anything more than a sequel to the game, which they did. And this was by far the biggest film production adapted from a video game with a $200 million budget, name recognition from Jake Gyllenhaal, and production by Jerry Bruckheimer. They’re either going to lose their shirt on this movie or a lot of respect, but they wouldn’t be the first.

Video games work in and of themselves because you can stretch the imagination and dumb down story lines a bit because it’s a game. It’s is not a transcendent medium that will work in books or film because we expect more from them — or at least some of us do. The dialogue in games is cornball at best, and the story lines are a means of getting us through a game, but don’t challenge us with a narrative the same way film and books do.

But for whatever reason, there is a host of directors and studio executives who want to cash in on the popularity of a video game without considering that audiences won’t pay to see a bad movie. Sure, there will be some die-hard fans of the game that will pay to see it, but the rest of us need a reason — like good plot, direction and acting.

We’ve been given a laundry list of video game movies that don’t work, and many have had big names but became even bigger flops, like “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” ” Super Mario Bros.” “Resident Evil,” “House of the Dead,” and “Bloodrayne,” just to name a few. Please, please, please stop making these movies! Give the money to a charity, like scholarships for acting schools or the Please Assassinate Michael Bay Fund. Don’t give us any more movies like “Wing Commander” starring Freddie Prinze Jr. or “Street Fighter” starring Kylie Minogue and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The following clips pay tribute to the fine filmmakers that brought us classics like “Mortal Kombat” and “Postal”:

Mortal Kombat: Epic fail. Here’s a tasty clip with awesome dialogue and a monster that grunts for several minutes at a time.

Super Mario Bros. Movie… sigh. Can’t believe they got Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper.

Postal…. ugh. I think of all the hungry people that could have been fed with the budget of this movie.

Here’s a nice Top 10 Worst list of video games from GameTrailers.com