My Top- and Bottom-10 Video Game Movies
Since its topical enough, due to Prince of Persia and all, I’d like to share what I think are the best Video Game Movies I have personally seen. And also, to show I’m not entirely biased just because I’m an aficionado, I’ll also share my Bottom-10 worst films…
- Silent Hill – Matching the creepy atmosphere of the games its based on and telling the story of a mother looking for her lost daughter in town damned to live in a phantasmic limbo. Silent Hill is a dark and powerful movie and sadly no other VG-film to date has managed to match the quality of its story.
- Hit-Man – Hard hitting, brutal, bleak but also having a hint of cynical comedy. Hit-Man’s action-scenes make your blood rush, the character interaction between Agent 47 and Nika adds a warm core to the film and the dark frame narrative leaves you pondering about the potential of a future sequel. Sadly, it’s safe to say there wont be any…
- Resident Evil – It’s dark, atmospheric, cool and chilling. Even though it’s a little short on slimy monsters this dark action thriller did not suffer from a shortage of zombies. The cold atmosphere keeps you invested until the awesome final scene. Unfortunately the sequels went far more over-the-top in their action to match the atmosphere of the first but they also had more creatures and characters from the games. For me, however, the first film is still the best.
- DOA: Dead Or Alive – Excellent fight-scenes, beautiful women and silly comedy. Here’s a film tailor-made for me. It’s so over-the-top it actually makes the fighting game its based on look tame by comparison. Also gotta love Robin Shou’s cameo as the unlucky pirate captain.
- Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within – Often looked upon as the bastard child of the FF franchise, The Spirits Within is actually a surprisingly competent Sci-Fi love story. However, do not watch this film expecting to see some adrenaline pumping action-scenes, it’s a drama and should be seen as such. To top it off it’s still one of the most beautiful CG-animated films I’ve seen.
- Mortal Kombat – The Kung-Fu Fantasy Action Hoopla that started the VG-films march to greatness. The film is still extremely entertaining and funny with a great soundtrack and awesome fight choreography. Only the special-effects look really dated by today’s standards.
- Pokémon 3 – I was always a little disappointed in the quality of the first two theatrically released Pokémon films but the third one finally hit upon a storyline you could enjoy whether or not you actually knew anything about the games or the anime based on them. The third movie outshines the rest in writing and still fairly entertaining to boot.
- In the Name of the King – Yes, as amazing as it sounds there actually is a Uwe Boll film in the Top-10. This shows really what Boll is capable of when he actually focuses on a film but sadly the man is too set in his ways to ever take notes from what is probably his only successful film to date. Likeable actors, well done action-scenes, some silly comedy and excellent pacing make this two hour film not feel as long as it actually is.
- Street Fighter – The 1994 film needs to be looked upon as a product of its day. It’s intentionally comical but it also went the extra mile to try and explain why each individual character was there. This one brings a smile to my face every time I watch it. It was also the first video-game film I ever saw so I may be a bit biased towards it.
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – There’s no denying that effort shows through the entertaining action-romp that is Tomb Raider. The dry comedy brings a smile to my face and the well handled special-effects and action scenes ensure you went get bored. It’s unfortunate the franchise took such a nose dive with the sequel.
- Mortal Kombat: Annihilation – Badly choreographed fight-scenes, shitty costumes, terrible special-effects and sub-par acting even by the series standards. Few sequels in my view have fallen so low. The only thing even comparable with the awesomeness of the first is the soundtrack but that’s hardly a consolation.
- Postal – The word is sick. It’s inconceivable that a human-being could create such as sick movie. I dare you to find another film that attempts to pass off the 9/11 terrorist strikes or a baby carriage getting run over by a semi as gag-moments. The cherry on this crap-cake is a cameo by the Bollster himself (by far the most amusing part of this entire excuse for a film).
- Alone in the Dark – It’s not actually low production values or shottiness that makes Alone in the Dark such a bad movie. It’s just boring. The whole story is given to you within the first five minutes (during the opening narration) and after even if you enjoyed the cheeziness of the film’s first half by the time the movie comes to its half-way point you don’t really care where the story goes anymore.
- Street Fighter: The Animated Movie – Fight scenes, fight scenes, fight scenes. Oh, you wanted a storyline? Tough break since there isn’t one. There’s no sense or reason to this 60 minute fan-service hoopla and that was just inexcusable in my view. At least the live action movie was trying.
- Super Mario Bros. – Why anyone thought making a live action Super Mario movie was a good idea in the first place, I haven’t a clue. Channeling way too much from their Max Headroom series, the directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton turned SMB in to a confused sci-fi action comedy train-wreck. In its silliness it’s actually entertaining at times but a really confused adaption if there ever was one.
- Max Payne – Noble intentions don’t always amount to much. Max Payne tries to be a serious and dark action-thriller but instead it becomes a depressing and boring film. All the stylish GC and Bullet Time effects in the world aren’t enough to make this film entertaining.
- Pokémon: The First Movie – Even as fan of the Pokémon anime series I was really disappointed by this first movie. Its plot setting was pointless, its villain really confused and unless you had already watched the series you would have been totally lost as to what anything in this film means. The Pikachu Mini-Movie that starts off this film is actually much more coherent and entertaining by comparison.
- Final Fantasy: Advent Children – The good aspects of this film: it’s actually entertaining to a degree and you can even get into it if you’ve never played the game. The bad thing: it’s Square milking more out of its proverbial cash-cow, FFVII. An unnecessery and dumb storyline makes this a ridiculous and pointless hoopla with no meaning to it.
- Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life – If Cradle of Life had tried to better develop its story instead of trying to whisk the audience into an overlong action-scene every five minutes it would have been a fairly entertaining movie. Instead it turned into an overlong action movie with very little content.
- House of the Dead – Zombie movie schlock with bad acting, cheap make up and one of the most over-the-top battle scenes I’ve ever seen. However, Uwe Boll’s first video game-to-film is actually so horrific it becomes entertaining which is why I’m giving it a break and placing it as the Best of the Worst.