• September 19, 2014

Upcoming video game movies: Be afraid, be very afraid

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 5:00 pm

It’s a running joke in gaming, and I presume in the film industry too, that movies based on video games are terrible. Every once in a while, someone tries to make a film out of a popular game and, almost without fail, the movie is laughed out of the theaters. There hasn’t been a single movie, with the possible exception of Tomb Raider, to get higher than “mediocre.” Even the Resident Evil franchise, initially an adaptation in name only, became worse in direct proportion to how much it tried to be like the games.

That’s too bad because it reflects badly on the games themselves. Most of the games adapted are popular because they’re good. Tomb Raider? Good! Mortal Kombat? Good! Super Mario Bros.? Good since 1985! Dead or Alive? Uh . . . I’ll get back to you on that one.

But it seems no one learns. Since gaming is bigger business than ever and the audience for them is no longer considered a niche, you can bet your bottom dollar that more adaptations are coming out. Here are the newest ones coming, how they could work, and why the probably won’t.

Assassin’s Creed

Yeah, the AC fangirl over here likes the idea of a movie about an Assassin; possibly even the Assassin, Altair. However, if IMDB is to be believed, Michael Fassbender is attached to play Desmond. Good luck explaining to audiences that they’re gonna be watching a dude play virtual reality for ninety plus minutes.

Need for Speed

This venerable franchise has been around since 1994, and yet I think I could describe the plot of any of these games in less than a minute. I suppose this’ll give the filmmakers room to come up with whatever trite plot they like. On the other hand, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is starring, so I take back any and all objections.

Watch Dogs

Okay, I raise the white flag here. This one might actually be good. The game upon which it’s based isn’t even out yet, but I desperately want to play it. If done right, it could be a great cyber-thriller. Done wrong . . . I don’t even want to think about that before the game comes out.

Temple Run

Oh, you read that right. They’re making a film of that mobile game; a live-action, Indiana Jones-style adventure movie. Let’s just turn out the lights and lock the door, folks. I think we’re done here.

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