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Video Game Movies: The Good, The Bad, And The Boll

February 25th, 2009 9:09am EST
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Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-LiWith Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li arriving in theaters February 27, it’s time to take a look back at the video game movies that brought us to this point.

While video games run the gamut of quality - from very good to very bad - video game movies have typically been on the “poor” side of the critical spectrum. Games are written with interactivity in mind, and thus their storylines don’t always mesh with the film medium.

Still, there are a few titles one could argue are at least passable – even if fans of the video games they are based on do not find them loyal to the original material. While Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li isn’t exactly exuding confidence with its late-February release, let’s give the film its time in theaters before blasting it.

The following are our picks for the best, worst and Uwe Boll-produced films based on video games. Movies like The Wizard and WarGames do NOT count as video game movies. Despite featuring video games throughout, they are not based on a particular game series or storyline.

THE BEST

Mortal Kombat
MK deserves to be first on the list of good video games movies, as it was, well, the first. While it could be considered laughable compared to conventional films, Mortal Kombat featured a few recognizable faces (a good cast to stump friends in movie games) and respectable fight scenes.


Mortal Kombat Trailer



Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Not even considered an above-average movie, Tomb Raider nevertheless made the most money of any video game film to date. A cheesecake flick featuring a pre-baby-boom Angelina Jolie, it’s worth watching during a lazy weekend afternoon. As a bonus, its sequel bombed so badly it forced Paramount to cancel a Die Another Day knock off based on Halle Berry’s character.


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Trailer



Resident Evil
While it had very little to do with the game series other than zombies and the corporation that created them, RE probably did better than anyone could have imagined. It’s an amusing horror romp featuring cardboard acting the genre has been known for, complete with the unforgettable “laser hallway” scene. Resident Evil made over $100 million, which unfortunately only encouraged two tacked-on sequels.


Resident Evil's Laser Scene (Discretion Advised)



Silent Hill
The game series was already very cinematic, so the transition to film worked rather smoothly. Still, movie audiences aren’t used to the psychological and philosophical storylines featured in Japanese games. Thus, a lot of the reasoning behind the backdrop of Silent Hill is, shall we say, lost in translation.


Silent Hill Trailer



Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
If Michael Bay can make well-received movies, there’s no reason “Advent Children” should be considered a bad film. While it contains many “Who are you? Let us kung-fu fight!” moments, it’s a marvel of computer animation and action sequences. Just don’t think about the convoluted plot for too long.


Advent Children Trailer



Next Page: THE WORST

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