The Rise of Video Games in Modern Films

So far, the track record of video game adaptations to film has been a painfully long and often excruciating experience.  Most, if not all video game adaptations have been horrible, which brings up a couple of things that I would like to address.  Before I get into my arguments, the first thing I want to mention is that a few video game films are guilty pleasures of mine such as the original “Mortal Kombat” movie and “Silent Hill.”  That being said, there are many great video game properties out there that just haven’t had the chance to be something completely mind blowing.  If you look closely at most video game movies, they are made by unknown directors, the cast is usually not of A-list caliber and the studios involved in the projects are just looking to make a quick dollar regardless of the movie’s quality.  I think some studios have tried to make decent video game adaptations but ultimately failed to do so.  Regardless of one or two guilty pleasure video game adaptations, the quality of these films isn’t at the caliber that our comic book movies are at currently.  However, there was a time when comic book movies weren’t good either.  “The Batman and Robins” and “Fantastic Fours” of this world were at the butt of every joke possible.  Now that we are living in the comic book movie renaissance, no one seems to be laughing anymore.  With that statement, I do think that we are on the verge of seeing the next biggest trend with video game films.

All that we need is one really good one to get this franchise rolling.  With Marvel it was “Iron Man.”  With DC it was “Batman Begins,” and hopefully “Batman v Superman.”  Now all we need is that first video game adaptation to steamroll the video game renaissance.  Video games are amazing mediums and as a fan I love playing the new “Assassin’s Creed,” or the “Fallouts,” and “Halos.”  And there are so many games with rich stories that can be told in a big cinematic way.  I just don’t think the right director has come along with the passion to get a truly great adaptation going.  Now within the next year or so, there are three huge video game properties that are making their way to the big screen that could change the public’s opinion of video game films.  The first and probably the biggest franchise is “Warcraft.”  “Warcraft” and “World of Warcraft” are the two juggernaut games that revolutionized MMORPG game playing and generations of fans have made this a beloved property.  The cast for the film looks pretty stellar and the director seems to know what he is doing with this franchise.  Duncan Jones, who directed the film “Moon” is the leader involved with this movie and I think and hope he can deliver something exceptional with “Warcraft” and the legend of the war between the Humans and the Horde.  I think video game makers and movie studios are all holding their breaths to see if this movie will break the mold of bad video game movies and if it does well, this could kick off something like we see with comic book films.

Another big movie coming is “Assassin’s Creed”, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, both who are Oscar winners and nominees.  With “Assassin’s Creed” they are making a new and wholly original story for the franchise which I think was a smart move and just seeing the talent involved has given me a lot of hope for this movie.  And lastly, we are getting an animated kids movie on “Angry Birds.”  Now I am an Angry Birds player and fan but when I heard about the movie I rolled my eyes.  But after seeing the trailer, I was very impressed.  It looks funny, charming and the animation looks stunning.  My opinion for the film has turned a 180 and I am totally on board with this film.  From the look of it, the comedic talent involved seems to have a lot of fun with the  weird concept and it looks like it’s shaping out to be something special.

So these three films will be the deciding factors on the future of video game films and there are a lot of them in limbo, waiting to see how these three do and if they are good then brace yourself for the next big phase in modern moviemaking.  I actually am looking forward to all three of these but am a little hesitant.  In saying that though, I am rooting for all three of these films and I want them to be good so that we can get more video game stories on the big screen.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll just rewatch “Mortal Kombat” and dance out to that kickass techno score before selling my soul and time to “Warcraft.”  Fingers crossed on these films and brace yourself because a new era is coming, and it is only a matter of time before a good video game movie ends the streak of gloom.

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