Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Renaissance?

Video game to film adaptations have always been pretty dicey in the past, ranging from Street Fighter with Jean Claude Van Damme to the horrendous Super Mario Bros., it just seems like no one has been able to tap into the best that the video game industry has to offer. This is such a shame. There are so many good video games out there that are in all actuality great stories and deserve to be told on film, but because of previous video game adaptations they aren't given the respect needed in order to make all of this a reality.

The other day the first trailer for Disney's big budget adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time hit the internet, and I was actually very impressed with what I saw. As a fan of video games, I can't really say that I have ever seen a video game movie be made with the level of quality in which this film seems to have been made with before. While I have yet to see the movie, the trailer made me excited, not because I'm a fan of the game, but because it simply looks like a good movie. And this got me wondering, could the tides be changing in regards to video game movies?

Just today I saw the first poster for the live action version of the classic fighting game, Tekken. While you can't necessarily judge a book by its cover, I was impressed when I read up about it, and I thought that this could actually turn out to be a fun and entertaining kung fu movie that would be true to the original video game. The same goes for the upcoming adaptations of big name games like Gears of War and Bioshock. As well, with rumors of guys like Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg interested in investing in video game to film adaptations, Halo mainly, then doesn't this mean that they might be on to something here?

It wasn't that long ago, just a few decades actually, when people thought that a good film based upon a comic book couldn't be made, and just look at the past decade of film to prove those people wrong. Spider-man 2, The Dark Knight, X-2: X-Men United, all exemplary pieces of filmmaking, some of the finest from this past decade, and they were movies based upon comic books. All it took was for someone with a little bit of clout in the industry to give comic book films a chance and decided to try something a little different with them. Rather than making them stupid and cheesy, they kept them true to their source material and made them serious and engaging. Why not do the same for video game movies?

It seems like video game to film adaptations are on the right route, let's just hope it all pans out well. Though I think it's safe to assume that the future of video game to film adaptations all hinges upon the success of Prince of Persia. Here's hoping.

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