Video games are a unique form of art that I personally feel most people don’t get. There are millions of people that love video games. What I mean is that video game genres/art/gameplay/styles are just as diverse as types of paintings. Hollywood persists on trying to capitalize on this phenomenon but continues to fail every single time. Every once in a while though, some of these movies really aren’t the worst. So I give you the Top 5 least worst video game movies.
#5: Tron Legacy
Release Date: 2010
The original Tron was a movie created in 1982 based on an arcade game. A lot of people love the old movie and I give it respect for being one of the first failures in trying to make a good video game movie. Thirty years later Disney tried to make a sequel to the cult classic. The film has a great visual feel too it. Jeff Bridges returns to play the same character, aged 30 years. Olivia Wilde is sexy as all hell. They got Daft Punk to do the entire soundtrack. However it still sucked because it was a copy pasta plot of any fish out of water story while obviously trying to cash in on the nostalgia train.
Release Date: 2005
Who would think that a movie starring Karl Urban and Rock, The Dwayne, Johnson wouldn’t be successful. The problem is that Doom is one of the most brutal, not-give-a-fuck, video games ever. The 2016 version of the game has as much story as the back of a shampoo bottle. This movie tries really hard to insert characters and situations that the audience just did not care about. The stuff that was cool was just a copy of moments from Event Horizon. However it is still fun to watch a group of marines turn evil and get killed by demons. Plus this was the first movie to bust out the FPS sequence, and it was fucking cool to see it done for the first time.
Release Date: 2018
Like the previous movie, this stars The Rock. Unlike the previous movie in this list, people love Rampage. The video game franchise linked to this movie really doesn’t have a story. You basically choose a giant monster and fuck things up. If your health is low enough, you turn into a human and die. There is no “turn into a human” in this movie but there are plenty of giant monsters fucking shit up. Dwayne Johnson, Jeffery Dean Morgan, and Joe Manganiello are fun to watch. The thing is this entire plot has nothing at all to do with the IP. This movie feels like someone came to Hollywood with an original script and they threw the Rampage name on it just to make nerds buy tickets. And it worked.
#2: Mortal Kombat
Release Date: 1995
Mortal Kombat is a game burned into every little kid’s head because it was the first time you really saw human beings ripped to pieces, and we discovered “that is fucking awesome.” Every new title the games get gorier and gorier, and every year I remember how amazing the movie was. The characters for this movie are pale representations of their video game counterparts, aside from Johnny Cage which is pretty spot on. The thing is, it’s actually hard for me to point out what is bad with this movie. It put a story together, a fairly ‘canon’ one at that, to a game that really didn’t have much of one at the time. Scorpion and Subzero were represented well enough. People still love this film. It certainly did not age well and the writing was never great to begin with, but it is still fun to watch.
Release Date: 2007
This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. The game play and murder situations are sophisticated and unique, but the story is straight forward. You are a genetically modified serial killer that is used as a hitman for a secret organization. This movie captured that perfectly. Timothy Olyphant perfectly plays an detached robotic killing machine. Olga Kurylenko is sexy as fuck and her wild character is perfect balance to the cold and emotionless Agent 47. This movie has great murder scenes, captures multiple situations right out of the game, and actually has a plot that fits the IP. But no video game movie is every good, and this movie does has its flaws, I just ignore them for the most part because the movie is that much fun.
Release Date: 2009
There were actually a few movies I wanted to choose here. Hardcore Henry, Crank, John Wick 2, etc. So many that I almost made this “Top 5 video game movies that aren’t based on video game franchises. But the movie that captures the industry the most is Gamer. It is literally a movie about kids playing a game, but with real human lives. Gerard Butler plays the role of the overly masculine main character that you for some reason have to root for. There are evil video game CEO’s, NPC’s, Second Life characters, and video streaming fame. It really is the perfect commentary story on the video game culture.
Movies watched and list written by: Troy Smith