15 Videogame-Based Movies: How'd They Score?
PRINCE OF PERSIA (2010)
Jake Gyllenhall helps bring the wildly popular game to life as he and love interest princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) protect the dagger containing the magical sands that can turn back time. Things looked promising for this big-screen adaptation (read our review), but its opening weekend at the box office was only so-so.
STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI (2009)
No one will confuse this flick — starring Smallville's Kristin Kreuk as the game's fleet-footed martial artist — with a good movie, but it's still better than the first Street Fighter (1994), which has the distinction of being Raul Julia's final film.
MAX PAYNE (2008)
The game followed a mourning DEA agent on the trail of some nasty drug dealers who shot at bad guys an awful lot. And it was fun. The movie, starring Mark Wahlberg, was far less fun. Still gritty, though.
Sinister-looking, nameless assassins, genetically engineered from uber-criminal DNA, are supercool. They just are. Less cool, however, are movies that require them to fall in love.
SILENT HILL (2006)
Survival horror is an incredibly popular game genre. Turns out that survival horror — when you're not actively controlling the survivor — doesn't make for a particularly interesting film. As Owen Gleiberman said in his D+ review, ''Radha Mitchell (a good actress) wanders through a ghost town, searching for her lost daughter as though she was touring an abandoned movie set.''
Even the endearing pulpiness of star Dwayne Johnson — and the filmmakers' inclusion of both a first-person shooting sequence and a weapon called the BFG (for ''big f---ing gun'') couldn't elevate Doom into ''watchable'' territory.
Oh, Uwe Boll. No one can take an okay game — about a half-breed vampire hottie — and turn it into a cinematic clusterchuck like you. And, somehow, get Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley to appear in it.
HOUSE OF THE DEAD (2003)
Everything we said about BloodRayne applies here — except for scoring an Oscar-winner.
RESIDENT EVIL (2002)
Saved mostly by Milla Jovovich's lithe performance as Alice, this combustive zombie flick had two sequels — Apocalypse (2004) and Extinction (2007) — and a third is, allegedly, on the way. Goodie.
FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN (2001)
Based on the insanely popular role-playing game series, this was an ambitious — albeit ultimately off-putting — feature-length foray into photo-realistic CG animation. The characters looked great in still images; eerie and undead when they moved. Uncanny Valley, here we come!
LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER (2001)
It's hard to recall these days what this film is about, but if I remember correctly, it involved Angelina Jolie's British adventurer running and jumping and shooting the pistols she straps to her shapely hips. But given that the game is essentially a buxom woman running and jumping and shooting, Tomb Raider gave moviegoers exactly what they wanted. (The sequel, 2003's Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, was notable for featuring Gerard Butler as the ''love interest.'')
WING COMMANDER (1999)
The only thing notable about this Freddy Prinze Jr. movie is that it was the film the Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace trailer was attached to. How bad was it? Read Owen Gleiberman's F review for the lowdown.
MORTAL KOMBAT (1995)
The first really successful videogame adaptation to come out of the gate, Mortal Kombat gave players everything they wanted: lots of fight scenes, locales they recognized, Brigitte Wilson in skin-tight clothes, and fatalities!
DOUBLE DRAGON (1994)
Why did this movie flop so beautifully? Just let this phrase roll around in your head: Scott Wolf, martial arts master.
SUPER MARIO BROS. (1993)
If there's one movie that both Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo probably want off their resumes, it's this one. (Dennis Hopper, on the other hand, has enough crap on his CV that it blends right in.)