Movies based on video games do not have a good track record. For a plethora of reasons and factors, making a film that is based on a game loses a lot of what makes that game so loved. It just doesn’t work, we won’t deny that.
But, in our opinion, even though there isn’t necessarily a great video game movie, there are some that are either done well enough, or dumb enough, to be entertaining to watch. Sometimes, that’s enough.
So we have our choices for the Top 10 video game movie adaptations of all-time!
Again, we know they aren’t necessarily good, but we find them entertaining.
Super Mario Bros.
Okay, this movie is real bad. Like it leaves you wondering who thought it was a good idea. But because of that fact, it deserves to be seen. It’s a perfect slice of a specific time in film, when dedication to source material wasn’t really a priority. This movie comes in and sets the titular brothers in New York, makes the Goombas look like we don’t even know what, and Bowser as a menacing business mogul. It is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
This is really one of the few adaptations that broke into the mainstream media. Angelina Jolie became synonymous with the character of Lara Croft, as she tries to find her father. While the film released to pretty negative reviews, it did enough to keep people watching and at least had some stylized action. It was enough to warrant a sequel a few years later, and an eventual reboot.
Tomb Raider (2018)
The reboot came after the games were rebooted to great success, and this film attempted to borrow quite a bit from that restart. The results are mixed and the plot isn’t anything special, but Alicia Vikander does a very solid job of portraying a Lara Croft coming into her own and learning to become the famous Tomb Raider.
The world of Warcraft and every game in the series is rich with lore and stories to be told, and Duncan Jones did a solid job of trying to bring that to life. The film is bloated and certainly does too much in too little time, but we won’t deny that it is filmed beautifully and its cast are all committed to bringing their characters to life. It ended up becoming the most profitable video game movie of all-time.
Replicating one of gaming’s most chilling horror series is no easy task, and while this film falls short of greatness, it’s good enough that you won’t necessarily regret watching it. If nothing else, the film nails the uncomfortable, uneasy, creepy atmosphere of the town, Silent Hill, bringing many of its iconic creatures to life in terrifying detail.
Who doesn’t love The Rock fighting a giant gorilla, giant alligator, and giant wolf? Is it The Rock’s best video game film? No, but it is absurd enough to be mindless fun. Plus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan brings his typical, scene-stealing swagger to his role and we are always on board for that.
The first film in this far-too-long-running series is really the only one that is passable as a movie. It takes itself just seriously enough to have some decently tense moments, but is still stupid enough to be a good time. From here, the series would go off the rails, resulting in too much CGI and terrible film-making.
Sonic the Hedgehog
With how much drama went around this movie’s first trailer, it had no right to actually be pretty entertaining. Ben Schwartz turns in a great performance providing the voice of the iconic, blue hedgehog, and Jim Carrey turns in a vintage Carrey performance that is so great to see.
Where the Super Mario Bros. movie had no love for its source material, this movie does. The way it brings all the different kinds of Pokemon to life brings out a child-like joy when watching, and the dynamic between Justice Smith and Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, gives the film a lot of heart that makes you happy to watch.
Now, we get to The Rock’s best video game movie. This came out before The Rock really took off and he wasn’t quite the star power that he is today. But you can’t help but appreciate how fun he is having with this role, as well as Karl Urban. While stupid in all kinds of ways, the fun of this movie is too much to ignore. Plus, that first-person sequence is a cool nod to the video game series that inspired it.
None of these movies are going to be winning any awards and none of them will change your life, but they all have some kind of entertaining core to them that makes them worth at least one watch.
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