Video games have always told a story. This was in part why they became so popular in the first place. The control players had over the story added to the gaming experience even from the beginning. Now with video games resembling movies in almost every aspect, there may be less of a reason to switch from one medium to the next. This still does not excuse movies from the past for being so bad.
The list of bad movies based on video games includes:
Super Mario Brothers
House of the Dead
And just about everything else!
You have seen the movies. You have left the theater disappointed. Why are they so bad?
The Target Audience
How old is too old to still play video games? There is no correct answer, but the target audience for films based on video games does give a hint.
In general, movies based on video games are geared toward teenage boys. Violence runs rampant at a PG-13 rate. This is enough action to supplement their testosterone without letting it get too out of control.
This is not to say it’s impossible to make a good action film unless you go for an R-rating. It’s also no guarantee that a super violent film with bad language equals a better movie. What it really comes down to is the video game movie being as appropriate as it can be for teenage boys without pushing things too far.
The Story Doesn’t Translate
Break down most video game plots and you will come to realize they are not very good stories. Typically the stories are familiar and involve very little actual character development. This works well in the video game world. Once you get to the movies though, the story needs a little bit more.
It’s very important for a movie based on a video game to stay as loyal as it can to the story previously presented. Creative liberties can and should be taken at times, but writers can only take this so far before creating something entirely new.
They Don’t Need to be Good
The reason why people see video game movies is for the familiarity. True film buffs and even critics do not expect these motion pictures to be anything more than a simple story with familiar characters from the game. The same way some people will see a movie with a particular actor or actress in it, people see video game movies because they played the game.
Until people raise their expectations on what a video game movie needs to be they will continue to be bland. Directors like Uwe Boll have no reason to make good films if people still see what is put out.