"I was watching the Street Fighter movie the other day, and was thinking this is truly awful.
I mean, why would anyone cast Kylie Minogue as Cammy? Is she English? (no, but I suppose she can attempt an accent).
Can she act? (um I suppose she was fine in Neighbours)
and does she have a martial arts background? (nope).
Ok so let’s get to the casting of Sagat. Now don’t get me wrong Wes Studi is a fine actor (Last of the Mohicans) but does he look like a badass 7 foot 4 inch Thai kickboxer. Hell No!
I can just about get on board with Van Damme in the movie because he is at least an action movie star, but casting him as the all American Guile was totally wrong
Gomez Adams as M Bison? Um, I suppose it looked like he was having fun. But unless this movie was meant to be a comedy (maybe it was?), he wasn’t the formidable villain we deserved.
Apart from the terrible casting, another problem was that they tried to cram in too many characters in the film.
Unless you are in a TV show (e.g. Game of Thrones), too many characters often means that each of them has sparse screen time and you end up caring about none of them (e.g. Spiderman 3)
The worse aspect of the movie apart from the terrible casting and weak plot was the pathetic fight scenes.
How can a film revolving around martial arts have rubbish fight scenes?
Quite easily apparently, just cast a load of random actors/singers without a fighting background and have them pretend badly like they can fight.
Given that Keanu Reeves actually looked quite good in his fight scenes in The Matrix, means that there really is no excuse for not getting a proper fight choreographer in!
So after that mini rant, it got me thinking about what the best game related movies are? Are there any?
This was a tough exercise because let’s face it most of them are terrible, but I managed to come up with a list of movies that if not necessarily amazing are memorable in one way or another
Now I am not just talking about films based on game franchises but also movies with gaming centric plots as well as animated features and documentaries.
(Note: I had to include these otherwise the list would have been pretty short!)
So here we go
10) Mortal Kombat
Ok so like Street Fighter the movie, this was PG. But somehow here the casting was better and the costumes were better (Scorpion’s costume in particular looked great) and the fight scenes (the actors for Liu Kang, Scorpion and Sub Zero were all martial artists) were decent.
9) Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
I think the reason I like this, is because I am a huge fan of the game so I may be little biased. However the animation is fantastic and seeing your favourite characters back again was truly nostalgic.
8) Tekken Blood Vengeance
Same as the reason above, I love the game and my go-to character (besides King) is Ling Xiaoyu. So with her as the lead character, I was always going to enjoy this.
7) Wreck-It Ralph
This is an animated movie, about a gaming bad guy who wants to be the good guy for once. Somehow they got the license for lots of gaming characters to make guest appearances (Bowser, Pacman, Eggman, Zangief) and there are plenty of in-movie, gaming jokes and references for video game enthusiasts!
6) The Last Starfighter
This is a family film about a teenager who finds out that the arcade game that he has been playing is really a test to find a pilot for a Starfighter spacecraft in an intergalactic war. Fun and well cast (although a bit of a Star Wars clone in some aspects) this movie is definitely worth a look.
5) Streetfighter II: The Animated Movie
This is what the Van Damme movie could have been! Amazing fights, especially Vega vs Chun Li and Ken and Ryu vs M Bison. Phenomenal music (in the Japanese version at least) and re-watchable to boot!
A great Sci-fi film about Virtual Reality game designers. Fairly unpredictable with some decent plot twists, make this film a must see for game enthusiasts.
In this movie, a computer hacker gets trapped inside the software world of a computer, where he interacts with various programs in an attempt to escape. Incorporating stunning visuals, sound and design (e.g. the light cycle), Tron was a groundbreaker in terms of animated effects and as a science fiction classic.
2) War Games
This is a brilliant movie that has really stood the test of time. The plot follows a teenager Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) who hacks into a software company in order to try out what he thinks is a new unreleased game (Global Thermonuclear War). Little does he realise that the system called the WOPR (not the flame grilled kind unfortunately!) is an AI military defence system that is playing the game for real.
The main 2 leads; Broderick and Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) are likeable and have real chemistry. The film explores many compelling themes; should computers have autonomy rather than “fallible” humans, the potential dangers of AI (Skynet anyone?), and how computers learn. I especially like the ending which relies on using intelligence (rather than the cliché of blowing things up) in order to save the day.
1) The King of Kong
This is a documentary but a remarkable one at that. It follows two Donkey Kong arcade players. The first; Steve Wiebe, your typical everyman, is a high school teacher, haunted by the fact that he has never quite met expectations. Steve sets himself a goal of beating the long considered unbeatable Donkey Kong record of 800,000+ points. In order to achieve this goal he purchases an arcade cabinet and practices diligently in his garage at night.
The second player is Billy Mitchell, the reigning Donkey Champion. He has become a celebrity of sorts due to his record breaking arcade scores. Dressed in a leather jacket with a sneer and beard worthy of a Bond villain, he boasts about his success with an arrogance that is grating.
The documentary follows Steve as he tries to get recognition for his high score and the obstacles thrown in his way. What is so compelling about this film is how serious the participants take the legitimacy of high scores. Believe it or not, to me, there appeared to be many themes associated with your typical mafia movie. From accusations of cheating, to the sending of heavies to people’s homes, to the reporting by disciples to the chief villain (Billy) and the calling out of people for head to head talks, this film had it all.
Uplifting in places and crushing in others, this documentary really explores the struggle to be the best in the world at video games. Highly recommended!
So that is it for my top 10 list. Unfortunately I couldn’t consider the Lawnmower Man because I haven’t seen it. Nor have I seen Final Fantasy Spirits Within (although that is meant to be rubbish anyhow), Doom or Need for Speed. Resident Evil would have been number 11 on my list because although it is nothing like the game it wasn’t too bad. Prince of Persia was also fairly watchable
For bad video game to movie adaptations, there are too many to list, but Tomb Raider was boring and uninspired (although Angelina Jolie was a good casting choice) and Super Mario Bros was terrible (but I must admit I liked the theme song Almost Unreal by Roxette). For me the single worst game to movie adaptation must go to Street Fighter the Legend of Chun Li. It was so awful it was not even as good as Street Fighter the movie (which was at least verging on the so bad it’s good categorisation).
Hopefully there will be some decent adaptations in future though. I have high hopes for the Uncharted movie and The Last of Us movie. Let’s see how they turn out!
So that’s it from me .As always, thanks for listening."
What's Your Favourite Video Game Movie Or Documentary Of All Time?