The best video game movies are based on and honour specific games. With popular video games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Tomb Raider and Detective Pikachu, movie studios have respected the characters and given the narratives of games blockbuster treatment. There is something for everyone from comedy, horror and gore!
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Detective Pikachu (2019)
An offbeat adaptation by Warner Bros. production, Detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is probably the best video game movie that does justice to the Pokemon brand and should appeal to all of the franchise’s fans. The movie, based on the 2016 Nintendo video game of the same name and directed by Rob Letterman, focuses on 21-year-old Tim Goodman (Justin Smith), who is searching for his missing private investigator father Henry with the help ofthe deer-stalker cap-wearing Pikachu. The movie is full of jokes, family sentiment and CGI.
Tomb Raider (2018)
Another movie from the Warner Bros. camp, the movie is an adaptation of the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider game. Directed by Roar Uthaug, the movie sees a young Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) on a perilous journey in an attempt to solve the mystery of how her father Lord Richard Croft (Dominic West) disappeared. Whilst this is not a blockbuster action movie, it is a decent homage to one of theiconic games of its generation.
The movie was a box office success and a sequel was agreed and was to be directed by Ben Wheatley. Tomb Raider 2 was due for release in March 2021, but filming was halted due to the pandemic. In January 2021, it was confirmed that Misha Green will take over as director from Wheatley and will also replace Amy Jump as scriptwriter. The release date for Tomb Raider 2 has not yet been announced.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
The sequel to the 2016 Angry Birds CGI adventure is better than the original. Taking place some time after the events of the first movie, Pig King Leonard (Bill Hader) has waged war against the Angry Birds but when Piggy Island is hit with a massive ice ball, Leonard discovers a third island overseen by vengeful eagleZeta (Leslie Jones). Leonard and the Pigs now seek a truce with the Birds to stop Zeta’s reign of terror. The movie may appear juvenile from promotional materials, but the movie’s detailed animation delivers a constant stream of fun and laughter with some scenes targeted to adult viewers that are simply hilarious.
Resident Evil (2002)
The original and probably the best Resident Evil, written and directed by Paul W S Anderson, has an emphasis on the action. Long before Iron Man, this movie sets up sequels and sprawling universes which makes it well worth watching again. Milla Jovovich is exceptional in her role as Alice and the movie creates the videogame atmosphere by use of lightwhile maintaining tension. Marilyn Manson composed some of his greatest soundtrack titles that are ideal for the movie. Some scenes are similar to those found in the Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 games. If you played the games, this is a movie you will love.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
With Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey hamming it up as Dr Robotnik it is not surprising that critics gave good reviews to this movie. The story, which the whole family can enjoy, follows Sonic and a Montana sheriff as they try to evade Robotnik and track down Sonic’s iconic rings. Directed by Jeff Fowler, the movie is filled with nostalgia for those who have enjoyed playing Sonic games, with plenty of little Easter eggs in a movie that is both charming and funny. One frustration about the movie is that it equates Azerbaijan with Afghanistan, an action condemned by many Azerbaijan nationals.
Mortal Kombat (2021)
The 2021 adaptation of Mortal Kombat directed by Simon McQuoidis impressive for its fight scenes alone that are full of violence, blood and gore. MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is a new addition to the Mortal Kombat universe, finding sanctuary at the temple of Lord Raiden while being hunted by the warrior Sub Zero. Sonya Blade is another fan favourite from the game that is seen in action in the movie.
Monster Hunter (2020)
This full-on action movie is based on the video game by Capcom. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (also of Resident Evil above). The movie has great visuals, a fast pace and amazing fight scenes, though movie aficionados may be frustrated at the number of cuts in the fight scene and a thin plot with limited dialogue. Yet it is a movie enjoyable simply for the action content.
Directed by World of Warcraft fan Duncan Jones for Blizzard Entertainment, Warcraft was one of the first game to movie successes, breaking the video game movie curse. World of Warcraft was one of the most popular video game series of the time, with a large fan base spanning across generations. The knowledge of the game is apparent in this movie.The visuals are ground-breaking, the acting is very strong and the emotional immersion into the movie isstrong. Familiar zones from the Warcraft universe are all there and all built exactly how they are supposed to be built to make every Warcraft fan happy.
Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2005)
Final Fantasy is another major gaming franchise with a broad fanbase. On screen, Advent Children is an imaginative take on series using computer-generated 3D graphics instead of actors, which blurred the line between film and gaming.Fight sequences are fast and incredibly detailed. The music is also excellent.
The plot is not convoluted which allows the movie to be enjoyed by those new to the Final Fantasy franchise. For fans, there are references to the original video game throughout the first half to appreciate. The second half of the movie is almost entirely fight sequences after all the players are in place.
Assassin’s Creed (2016)
The creative team at Ubisoft, a game studio, took on the project to make the movie Assassin’s Creed. The movie has the classic setting from Assassins Creed games, a modern-day protagonist enters the Animus to relive the memories of his ancestor. It is a decent movie for Assassin’s Creed fans to enjoy with great action, a solid story and the characters of Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) and Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) are interesting and well played. Whilst not a box office hit, it is a video game movie done artfully and a proper understanding of the game series’ lore.