Movies based off of video games seem to have a built-in audience and are seemingly guaranteed to be a smash hit, particularly if the video game was a hit. With exciting plots, plenty of action sequences, and a huge fanbase it would seem if these kinds of movies would never fail. But the truth is that for every hit like the Resident Evil franchise, there’s a dozen Super Mario Bros and Prince of Persia level failures. Video games don’t always seem to translate well to the big screen.
Rampage director, Brad Payton thinks he can beat the “video game curse” that has plagued so many movie adaptations of video games. He thinks a big part of the key to his success lies in star Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. According to a article on Screen Rant, Payton thinks that he can take this popular arcade game with simple graphics and an even simpler plot and turn it into something spectacular.
The movie was first announced in 2015 and is expected to premiere April 20th, the trailers and still shots from the movie indicate that it just might live up to the director’s promise. The video game itself is fairly simple and involves humans turning into classic monsters and causing as much destruction as possible. It’s a points based game that doesn’t have the intricate plot lines or difficult objectives that most modern games have, which is what makes the game fun.
Payton believes that monster movies are supposed to be fun, and hopes that by making a fun movie that focuses on the Rock’s characters relationship with George the Gorilla he can keep it that. With such a simple plot, Payton has tried to take advantage and expand the storyline.
It’s important to keep in mind though that a fun plot and a popular actor doesn’t always translate to big box office returns. Rampage doesn’t have quite the name recognition that Lara Croft, Tomb Raider does, and even a big star like Angelina Jolie couldn’t prevent that highly anticipated movie from becoming a flop. But it’s possible that the Rampage might succeed just because the plot of the game is simple and it does not have as much name recognition means that the stakes might not be as high, and there is a better chance of the movie being able to succeed.
Adaptions of video games into movies have not exactly received much critical acclaim. Yes, certain video game adaptions earned huge sums of money. The Resident Evil films are proof of this. Even with profits on the accounting ledger, a number of these adaptions did nothing more than disappoint fans. A few of the worst films made in recent memory were video game adaptions. The bad feelings these lousy films left with fans ruined the chances of the debut featuring launching a franchise.
And then along came Castlevania on Netflix. The streaming series may be the most perfect video game adaption endeavor ever devised. The series presents a fantastic mix of horror and adventure. The thrills of the original video game series are reimagined in the form of an animated program, a program with solid writing and believable characters.
Castlevania has been renewed for a second, longer season. Video game fans should rejoice over this news. Perhaps a stunning new traditional video game may hit retail shelves thanks to the success of the Netflix series. Anything that renews interest in a property should have a ripple effect through other mediums.
Netflix might think its creative teams possess the secret to crafting a great video game adaption. When Netflix scored big with Daredevil, a host of other superhero programs were commissioned. Could Netflix choose to produce more video games series for its streaming platform? If the programs prove to be as successful or reflect the same potential for success as Castlevania, more video gam adaptions absolutely will be forthcoming.
The trend of adapting a popular franchise (either video game or otherwise) into a feature length film is nothing new. With Ubisoft’s eminent Assassin’s Creed on the horizon, and last year’s box office bomb Pixels, it’s definitely a mixed bag of quality. When Larry Kasanoff announced two years ago that he was producing a movie version of the classic Russian puzzler Tetris, no one seemed to bat an eye. But now, through a recently released statement to Empire Magazine, it seems he plans to make not one but three full length films out of the intellectual property.
It’s tough to remain subjective on the issue of Tetris; after all, I spent so many hours on the addictive block-stacker as a kid that I can’t even count them. I remain skeptical that they can even get one movie’s worth of story out Tetris, much less three. If they can somehow make a movie out of the board game Battleship I suppose that anything is possible, and we’ll soon be seeing the Tetris movie in theaters regardless. I’m left with one question rattling in my head though: Who’s going to be cast the square piece?
With $80 million in funding secured and the film going into full pre-production soon, this gamer will definitely be seeing it in theaters; just don’t tell me to turn off my gameboy light.
Recently, as part of the final advertising push for the film “X-Men: Apocalypse,” a poster was erected which depicted Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Mystique, being graphically choked by the primary villain Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac.
The response to the image from the public, as well as fans of the film, has provided some confusing insight into the evolving world of comic book films and their response.
Essentially, many concerned citizens have pointed out that advertising a PG-13 film with an image of a woman being choked seems sexist. For those who’ve experienced domestic violence in the real-world, a large, colorful reminder on their way to work is the last thing they’re looking for.
Yet, on the other “side,” those who have seen the film argue that the scene in context is appropriate to the film, with emphasis on the equal role the female characters play in defeating the male villain.
Unfortunately, this seems to be an artifact of an internet-connected, spoiler-alerted audience of moviegoers. Those who have seen the scene in full can argue that it does *not* represent a problem, yet by definition, the advertisement is directed at those who have no such context.
For its part, Fox has responded to the controversy:
In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form. Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.
So there you have it! All resolved!
Right? Right internet?