With the recent release of Transformers 3, I started thinking about the unfortunate media crossovers that occur for renowned brands. By this I mean when a movie becomes successful, a game is launched to support it, or in Transformers case, a cool toy is released, which is turned into a TV series, then a movie (and then a sequel destroyed by testicle jokes and two stupid little cars). The world of gaming has enjoyed very few wins when taking the step into cinema (or some sort of major release), with the following list being memorable mentions, for all the right or wrong reasons.
Street Fighter (1994)
With Kylie Minogue and Van Damme in the lead roles, this was destined to be a sure fire shocker. Featuring a dodgy plot about Sagat being an arms dealer and Allied Nations officials being kidnapped by Bison, Guile is charged to save them with the help of a misfit group of martial artists as well as a TV crew. The TV crew is made up of Chun Li, Balrog and E Honda. I’m fairly sure there’s something wrong with the content of the above sentences. I remember seeing the movie and thinking, “What just happened? Is that what the game was about?” Anyway, the Street Fighter 2 anime and V series is significantly better and actually worth a look at. Do not bother with the 2009 Chun Li movie.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
I saw this at the cinema and was amazed. I also hired it out recently and was still impressed. More about the fighting and the tournament than a dodgy plot/side story (I’m looking at you Street Fighter), seeing Scorpion throw his little spear thing out of his palm and Kano’s demise at the legs of Sonya Blade was a treat. It was also refreshing to see the characters be accurately portrayed rather than suffer from creative license. Additionally, the cheesy techno in the opening scene was loved for years (please don’t hold this against me).
Halo Legends (2010)
After three superb games, seven short animated films by separate directors were compiled and released to tell the story of the Halo franchise. Similar in style to The Animatrix, this release was, in my opinion, mundane, boring and missed the mark. More arty than entertainment, I would’ve liked to see a more immersive story, maybe about the battle or the Covenant invasion. Better luck next time.
Super Mario Brothers (1993)
I don’t remember a lot about this one, except for dodgy hair cuts by the two henchmen. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo star and need to save Daisy from Koopa (wow, a movie having some sort of similarity to the game from which it was derived…) who is played by Dennis Hopper. Despite the big names, IMDB rates it pretty low, but it’s not going to stop me from picking it up on my next movie store visit.
The game was boring, but the movie was great. Full of action and fairly close to the game (or as much of it as I played anyway), Hitman not only has a decent plot, but also some pretty wicked fights between Agent 47 and The Organisation. Expect to see a sequel next year.
The list of other game movies is vast – Tekken, Earthworm Jim (TV), Far Cry, Devil May Cry (TV), Wing Commander (TV), Prince of Persia, Silent Hill, Resident Evil and much more. Have you seen a decent one? Which is the worst?