Thursday, October 16, 2008

Extra Lives: Top Three Video Game Adaptations


After writing such mean things about video game movies, here are three that I thought actually worked (or almost worked). In fact, with the exception of one of these, I actually kind of mildly dislike these movies as well.

3. Street Fighter (de Souza, 1994)

This film makes me sad primarily because it was Raul Julia’s last film, and an unfitting way to remember Gomez Addams.

That being said, despite the presence of Jean Claude Van Damme (who I generally dislike) and some nonsense about my favorite Street Fighter character (Blanka,) this is actually not a bad movie per se. Not especially good. Were I to rate it, it would be a solid C.

You can also spot in that trailer a brief cameo of singer Kylie Minogue as Cammy, in-between doing the locomotion and being unable to get you out of her head. (Apologies to any Australian readers, but this is about all I know her for.)

2. Pokémon: The First Movie (Haigney and Yuyama, 1999)

The Pokémon games are really addictive RPGs if you actually ignore all of the media produced outside the video games. Forget about the media blitz itself; the games are not bad.

That being said...I don’t hate this movie very much either. The plot is convoluted with cloned pokémon fighting regular pokémon, and the voice acting’s kind of insufferable. But on the other hand, it did not make me actively upset the way any of the Bottom 5 did.

Although the title did give me issue at the time. It is somewhat presumptuous to assume your movie is the first movie of multiple sequels (a problem some big budget films, like the recent Golden Compass and even Bottom #2 Super Mario Bros. are guilty of.) But, again, all I can do here is damn with faint praise.

Way to get #2 with lowered expectation, Pokémon movie.

1. Mortal Kombat (Anderson, 1994)

As I mentioned last time, I like this movie, and I like it primarily because it stays true to the spirit of the game without trying too hard to explain the nonsense that is going on. Even though the special effects are early CGI that did not hold up, which is generally true of special effects from around this time (watch Spawn and try to remember how cool the effects looked, for example.)

Also, it has Christopher Lambert in it, and that’s almost enough for me.

Can you think of two more? Seriously, I could only come up with three. I haven’t seen Hitman, but have heard it was passable, but still don’t want to extol it without having seen it. The upcoming Max Payne looks like it might not suck. Any others?

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