There are two key things I care about in this life; more than my family, my future, and maintaining my personal health: video games and movies.
While this blog will be kept solely related to video games, it will become no secret in future articles that I really like movies (and occasionally TV shows). I appreciate their impact on culture and their relevance to the struggles of living in a first-world-country, and while we’ve seen some movies based on television, we are yet to see a genuinely good video game movie. The first Silent Hill film was actually quite atmospheric, if a bit dumb, and the Tomb Raider movies were fantastic in the same way The Room is the greatest comedy of all time. However, I refuse to believe video game movies will only ever be truly appreciated on a good-bad level, and apparently the film industry agrees with me, based on the threatening tsunami of them arriving the coming years.
Recently Nintendo announced their willingness to create movies based on their gaming IPs (Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc) and that more information on the subject will arise in the next few years. Personally, I’m not sure whether to be excited or concerned about this, based on the horrific Super Mario Bros movie back in 1993, but I will remain cautiously optimistic for the time being.
Another huge news story is the reveal of the Tetris movie’s production, which has been awarded an absurd $80 million budget. Furthermore, it was revealed that – brace yourselves – it would be the first in a trilogy of sci-fi thrillers.
I’m sorry, what?
I am dying to delve deeper into the depths of this absurd prospect, but that can be saved for a possible future trilogy of articles, possibly written in a style completely juxtaposed to my normal writing style. Another time perhaps.
It’s clear that video games have gotten to a point where they are mainstream enough for Hollywood to gain a profit from unfortunate ‘nerds’ and clueless parents scouring the wasteland of dead franchises for nostalgia fuel, and I don’t see that as an issue, so long as they make the movies GOOD (key word, there). With game series such as Assassin’s Creed and Five Night’s At Freddy’s receiving the silver screen treatment, we are correct in feeling anxious, but also excited, so here’s my thoughts on all those confirmed.
Recently the Ratchet and Clank and Angry Birds movies were released and admittedly, I am yet to see them for various reasons. From what I’ve heard of them, however, it’s slightly worrying. Ratchet and Clank sits at an upsetting 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Angry Birds Movie not faring much better. Even Warcraft, which admittedly has only recently been released, sits at a 38%, despite its director Duncan Jones being the creator of the excellent Moon and the critically-acclaimed Source Code. Does this hint that there is no hope for video games in the film industry, that no-one can save them?
Despite this, we can look forward to the December release of Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. If you have seen the trailer, you will understand why everybody is so concerned about this film in particular. I’ll try my best to avoid talking about the… controversial choice for that trailer’s backing track (seriously though, I Am A God? Kanye West?! What’s wrong with the game’s original soundtrack? It’s leagues better than anything Kanye has released!) because it’s irrelevant and has no bearing on the final product, but I’m simply psyched to see a Spanish Inquisition Assassin’s Creed with an original protagonist (Fassbender’s Callum Lynch). That is until executive producer Pat Crowley confirmed that the film will be roughly 65% in the real world and 35% inside the Animus. It seems Ubisoft haven’t caught on that those are the worst aspects of every single game in the series. Oh well.
Moving into 2017, we have the (supposed) final instalment in the Resident Evil film series, imaginatively dubbed Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. I haven’t actually seen any of the other Resident Evil movies, but based on the fact that director Paul W.S. Anderson’s mother probably didn’t hug him enough as a child, this one explains itself.
Moving into the realm of films-we-have-been-told-are-in-development-but-we-still-don’t-know-for-sure, we have the Uncharted movie. Now, I’m a huge fan of the Uncharted series, especially the second instalment, Among Thieves, which is up there when I’m considering my favourite games of all time, so naturally if this film was confirmed, I would be the first at the cinema gates. It makes sense to create a film based on the most blockbuster-esque gaming franchise ever made, so if we were to see something similar to the tank set-piece in the Himalayas, that would be grand.
Here’s another: Minecraft! (I know it doesn’t make sense, but neither does the Tetris movie and you’ve gotten this far already). I’m not sure how they’ll do it but I’m sure they’ll try their hardest. Or they’ll half-ass it like Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode and make a quick buck. Either way, this one is destined to make millions.
Other films apparently in the works include Portal, The Witcher, Sly Cooper, Half-Life, Mass Effect, The Last Of Us, Deus Ex, Watch Dogs, bloody Temple Run, there-is-no-God The Sims and so many more.
Say what you want about video game movies, but the truth is that this total overdose isn’t all that bad. Heck, Assassin’s Creed doesn’t look that bad; in fact, it might even be good if it’s done right. However, there is no denying that, similar to superhero films nowadays, video games have become the money-making bandwagon that all the filmmaking companies are now jumping onto, horse-whips in hand, and that can only mean a future of mediocrity in the industry, again similar to superhero films.
But with every Green Lantern, there’s an Iron Man, for every Man Of Steel, there’s a Dark Knight, and the truth is that we’ll all be forced to wade in a neck-high river of different-flavoured milkshakes. It might be an uncomfortable journey, even frustrating and awful at times, but eventually you’ll come across chocolate, and that’s when you realise it’ll have all been worth it.