Monday, November 3, 2008

A sigh, descending.

Here's a simple yet deceptive question: Is it actually possible to make a video game movie that isn't complete and utter fucking garbage?

Just think about that for a minute. Because I have been. For more than a few minutes. Of all the movies based on video games, go ahead and try to name ONE that was good. Go on, try. I'll wait.

No, no. Not just alright. I don't want to hear that whatever film you're thinking about had some 'cool bits' in it. That's not enough. I want you to come up with a film based on a video game that you believe to be completely solid in quality. Having a little trouble aren't you? I understand. I understand because I've been thinking the same thing. They don't exist. Now, I am fully aware we can't expect Oscar Wilde levels of drama here but there ARE stories in the video game world that would certainly make for interesting and perhaps, fucking awesome movies. But this potential gets lost along the away. Somewhere between Hollywood executives buying the rights to a game and the aborted piece of shit being released in cinemas.

What brought this on, you ask? Silent Hill, I answer. I finally watched the movie the other day and even though it showed promise to begin with, by the second half it became a total chore to watch. It seems the producers thought it a great idea to make a movie from most of the content of Silent Hill 2: the game. But the trouble is, the game and the movie elicit two very different responses.


Okay, so there's religious zealots and a girl who ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Well, I got to thinking. Every single video game snapped up by Hollywood turns out to be a big pile of shit. Every. Single. One. Isn't that amazing? What other source material has been treated this badly? Every comic books are being turned into great films nowadays so WHAT THE FUCK IS THE PROBLEM?

First of all, people who make movies don't know shit about games. They continue to try and make movies from games that don't suit the medium. Ones that shouldn't ever be films. Super Mario Bros, Streetfighter II, Doom. If you've even glanced at these games, chances are you didn't think they would make worthwhile films. Congratulations, you are a rational human being. But people with the power to make movies are different from you. They're the kind of people to see this...

...and think "NOW THAT WOULD MAKE A FUCKING BRILLIANT MOVIE!" (Yes, it's The Sims and yes, they're making a Sims movie. I can't wait to see the main actor eat, take a shower and then go to the toilet).

Second of all, decent storylines in games do exist and Hollywood recognises that. But after purchasing the rights to an impressive game, they can't help but tweak it enough to completely fuck it up. Here's a quick example.

RESIDENT EVIL (the game): As part of a special forces team, Chris Redfield & Jill Valentine discover a colossal mansion out in the woods filled with zombies. After a lot of pant-filling scares and horrible monsters, you soon realise the leader of your team is part of a corporation-based plot to weaponise a virus to turn everyone into the mindless walking dead.

RESIDENT EVIL (the movie): Waking up nude in a bath, a woman named Alice discovers she has amnesia. A cop and a bunch of commandos join her in infiltrating an underground research facility run by an evil computer. And it's filled with zombies. She gets her memory back and it's revealed she is a) married to the cop and b) an unstoppable killing machine.

Okay, so the game isn't groundbreaking in the story department. But it would make a pretty decent horror movie if it was done right. The movie, however, can't help but the present the argument 'Why call it Resident Evil?'. If you desire to make a film about an amnesiac female hero and rogue computers and zombies, then go do it. The game didn't invent the concept of motherfucking zombies so there's no reason to remain loyal to it's name.

Which brings me back to Silent Hill. The game series has had its ups and down in terms of story, but there was a few nuggets of absolute gold in there. So if you were enticed enough to make a movie out of it, what's the point in changing it? It's like making a Lord Of The Rings movie with robots, space monsters and Martin Lawrence and just throwing in a few Hobbits to please the fans.

I'd like to take this opportunity to formally apologise for Silent Hill. I wasn't responsible for the film but as an avid fan of the games I feel a pang of regret.

I'm sorry, Pyramid Head. You are one of the most original, frightening and engaging characters ever to come out of a video game and while your brief appearances in the film are definitely the highlight, everything else around you sucks ass.

I'm apologising to a fictional video game character. This is what I've been reduced to. Fuck you Hollywood.

1 comment:

  1. Do you think in the Sims movie the climax of the film will be when the main guy wakes up and has to pee, but because he takes so long to do it, he misses his ride to work and has to spend the whole day in the house??