Our picks for best movie based on a video game.

One of my coworkers suggested this awhile back, and I’ve finally gotten around to researching it and putting some thought to it.  Basically, we wondered what movies out there, based on video games, were actually good.  Of course there could be a lot of criteria for that:  do they stick close to the game, is the movie good, if it weren’t related to the game would it be good, the list goes on.  Historically movies based on video games are terrible.  Either the concept is so corney that seeing it on the big screen is just off, or in some cases the game itself was never that good and turning it into a movie only created more wasted time.  Since I didn’t play all of these games, I’m simply going with what I know, was the movie good, entertaining, and fun to watch.  In some cases I have either heard, or I know, whether it stuck to the theme of the game, but not always.  I looked at a long list of international theatrical releases and picked seven, but some of them are in series’ so we’ll wind up with four ranks so to speak.  So, without further ado, here is Frags and Beer’s picks for the best movies based on a video game.

Hitman IMDB.com

In fourth place is where I would put Hitman.  Of the entire list this made it to the group that I actually found entertaining, a decent movie overall, but of that group the least so.  I have heard from a friend of mine, a huge Hitman fan, that it deviates from the game a lot, but even he agrees it was a decent movie.  All in all, if this were called anything other than Hitman it would be a good action flick.  From what I understand, even deviating from the lore of the game, the movie still kept with the theme, which is important.  The acting was decent for an action flick, and the effects were good.  The plot of the movie was good for the most part and the writing wasn’t too bad either.  It’s really what one would expect from a popcorn action movie, and they didn’t really push it as anything else.  I guess if a guy who takes a day off work just to play the new release of Hitman says it’s decent, it’s worth watching at least once.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider IMDB.com

In third place on our list I am putting the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movies, both of them.  They were both equally good it matching the theme of the games from what I remember.  The action was great and story were good, and even the acting was good.  For action movies they had good plot and writing, and they were both entertaining.  Besides that…Angelina.  I never played the games, but I know enough about them to know they are sitting somewhere in the action/adventure genre, and this movie delivers on both, with a healthy mix if clever gadgets, mysterious artifacts, and guns.  Yes, I like guns if you didn’t notice.  I’ve played my share, and enjoyed even, of games that had no guns at all, but if you are going to make this great, exciting action game, it’s hard to do without its share of explosions and gunfire.  Definitely worth seeing in my opinion.  Oh, before I leave this one, rumor has it a Lara Croft reboot is in the works and coming to the big screen in the future.  Let’s hope they can deliver the same fun that these movies did, because let’s face it, we play games to have fun.  Movies based on games should be more about fun than anything else as well.

Resident Evil IMDB.com

This was a hard decision, because I’ve really enjoyed these movies, but I have to put the Resident Evil franchise in second.  There are what, four of them now?  With a 5th on the way, so really a heavy hitter here, but I tried to judge them as if they are one movie to make it fair.  Now, I will admit this franchise had its ups and downs.  There were some moments that made me cringe, and not out of fear or shock.  Despite that, if you look back on the entire series so far I think you would agree that as a whole they’ve been pretty good, fun, action/horror flicks.  I know they didn’t follow the games that closely, though I am reading that the next one goes back to a lot of the game material.  I also read that the game has since borrowed quite a bit from the movies, probably blurring the line between which is following which at this point.  I think the first one was my favorite so far, not only the nude scene with Mila (comeon don’t judge me!), but Michelle Rodriguez is in it and there’s just something about her I like.  Mila is great, as usual, at playing someone who isn’t quite all there, the action, costumes, makeup and effects were all great.  It had enough action to keep it firmly in the action genre, but also enough gore, horror, zombies, blood and brains to dip into the suspense/horror field as well.  All in all, while the series doesn’t get it perfect every moment, I would definitely recommended these to anyone who enjoys anything zombie/video game related.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time IMDB.com

I’m sure this choice is going to inflame some readers, who knows, maybe I hit this one on the head, but hey, this is the internet so lay it on me.  Frankly, yes, I’m a sucker for fantasy.  If you hand me four movies that are all relatively similar in quality, the one that’s set in a fantasy/historical period will win out with me.  I like guns, but I like swords more.  For me Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has it all, action, adventure, good acting, writing, sets and costumes, and swords!  Not only that but it seemed to fit well with the theme of the games.  I’ve not played the new ones but one of my first games back on my parent’s IBM 386 was Prince of Persia, a side-scrolling action game, and probably one of the first…what do they call it?…traversing games?  Not sure, I never did get into those types of games, I got out of console gaming before the new Prince of Persia games, or Assassins Creed came out and became popular.  Anyway, I think overall this move is my top pick from what I’ve seen so far.  The next few movies based on game have some pretty big shoes to fill with this list in my opinion, and knocking the Prince off the top spot is going to require quite a showing from the film industry.

Well, I’ve rambled enough.  Stay tuned, we’re going to talk about a new magazine I recently found, the Zombie Research Society, more video game news, hopefully a surprise Gamer Lady in the near future, and Guild Wars 2 in twelve days!

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