Why are game movies so bad? (Topic)

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Why are game movies so bad?


There is such a rule, it can even be called a certain axiom. It says that game films will fail. If someone decided to make a film based on the game, then the idea is a failure on all fronts, and neither tough directors and screenwriters, nor direct control of the creators of the original source, nor good actors, nor a huge budget will save it. Of course, there are exceptions, so the thesis is still more a rule than an axiom.

However, these exceptions make the rule workable, since, at best, successful films from films simply will not be muddied or they are so far from the original that they appear to the public as a completely different product.

We decided to figure out why game movies are so bad?

Non-canon and bad adaptation

There are about 60 films on games in total. In cinemas it was about half. Almost all of them did not find a place in the hearts of the fans and failed at the box office. And some of them were shot by Uwe Boll (we will talk about him later), some are fan art, and some were released directly on DVD.


And one of the first major problems is that they are not canonical. Since games are a completely different thing than movies and a completely different experience. You cannot transfer the game to the screen as it is, and you need to adapt it. Practically no one can do this correctly for a reason unknown to us. Bosses and film producers do not see the core of the game and do no normal adaptation.


For example, so Max Payne or the Hitman in the eyes of the filmmakers are just fighters. Ask any gamer what these games are, he will tell you that Max Payne is a deep noir drama, and Hitman is the mysterious story of a silent killer. But in the end, both films came out as passable militants with heroes rewritten beyond recognition, although with competent adaptation this should not have happened. But Doom is a purebred and meaty shooter, having got on the film for some reason it became a thoughtful and slow suspense.


When the choice falls on a game with quality and thoughtful lore, the filmmakers change it. In the same Doom movie, for some reason devils and other monsters of hell were replaced by mutants - this breaks the very original plot of the game.

If you take the original script, it will be much better than rape it.

Wrong games

Another reason why game movies are bad is bad game choices. Often, filmmakers do not take those games that catch on with their plot and can also be transferred to screens. The Hitman plot itself is not so bad, but let's be honest, such original stories as The last of Us, Half Life, Bioshock, Mass Effect are idle.


No. You need to take a shooter where the main task is to kill everyone and try to make the film more thoughtful than a game that never wanted to be like that.

No. We will not take a cool title, but we will do the Tetris adaptation!

Games are fine

These two problems lead to the following - the accusations of filmmakers that the games are to blame for everything. You see, they cannot be adapted, or the game is known, but the audience does not enter.

The games are fine. Simply due to the fact that the creators do not want to adhere to the canon, and choose the wrong products, parasitizing on the brand's fame, and not on its quality - everything turns out as it happens. Judge for yourself, games like Pacman and Donkey Kong are certainly mega popular and have become a part of pop culture, but is their plot cooler than that of Bioshock, which is known only among the gaming environment? Of course not. But as a result, the film on Bioshok is canceled, and "Pixels" are released, which fail.


Desire to eat the whole pie

When the choice falls on the right game for the film adaptation, the next thing comes into force - the desire to stick as much as possible into the tape. Sounds good, but this is not the case when the creators want to transfer the best from the game to the movie. How the process works. Normally, this is done as with books - the novel becomes a bestseller, the rights to it are immediately bought out and hop! A year after the book was published, or even a few months later (if the rights were purchased before going to print) the film appears. Games are different. Until someone decides to make a film based on the game, it may take a long time, during which the franchise will grow into dozens of sequels and spinoffs, etc.

The first game in the Warcraft series was released in 1994, but when did we see the movie? In 2016! The first Assassin's Creed appeared in 2007 and at the time of the release of the film in 2017 had already dozens of sequels of which it was sick.


What do filmmakers do in such cases? Shooting only for the first part can be a failure, so they decide to take a little from each game and insert it into one picture with a timing of one and a half hours.

It was on this bad scheme that the films I mentioned on Warcraft and Assassin's Creed slipped. They ripped out some of the lore from both films, put in another and hoped that this would be enough. Only the fans' love for the game saved the Warcraft movie from failure, and the Chinese players who have a real cult of Warcraft and are ready to accept anything with this title from financial ruin.


Avoiding making a full-length film with one complete story of the first game, but an open ending for a sequel, they shoot snippets, and the film falls through because it comes out incomplete.

Surface relation

Trying to fit everything into the timing, pictures and characters are superficial. The characters are not revealed to us in order to quickly run through all the parts of the game that were pushed into the film. They also don't think about the essence of the characters.

Does the game have kills? This means that the hero will kill en masse in a certain setting. And the reasons don't matter.

Why is this happening? It's all about the bad attitude towards the games themselves. They are still considered to be either an entertainment for children, or an inferior product that needs to be worked on.

It is also a pity for the attitude of ordinary viewers to the games based on films. I know a couple of people who liked the latest Tomb Raider movie, and to my objection and suggestions to evaluate the game itself and understand that it is better, I heard the answer: "So games are for kids."


People like Uwe Boll also spoil their reputation. Who does not know - this is one of the worst directors in history, who became famous for the terrible film adaptations of games. His films are always at the top of the worst. As one critic wrote: "If you are a bad director, compared to Uwe Boll you are a master." His failed films instill a stereotype that it is impossible to make a normal movie based on games. So eminent filmmakers do not take them for them.

But even little-known directors still manage to surprise us. So, for example, a film based on Silent Hill, although it does not meet all the criteria for a full-fledged picture of the game, at least it was made with love and respect for the original source. It's a pity that all this disappeared in the second part.


What are we going to shoot?

Good things with a good attitude. I believe that you can make a quality movie based on a game. But we need adaptation, a normal attitude to the original source, and it is advisable not to try to cram everything that was in 5 parts of the game at once into the film. Then, perhaps, the vicious circle will end. The closest possible break in the pattern is The Witcher from Netflix.


The Topic of Article: Why are game movies so bad?.
Author: Jake Pinkman