August 10, 2017

Top 10: Worst Video Game Adaptations

We just want to take some time throughout the week and think back on all the great video games that were made into horrible video games. 

10. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider'; Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Starting the list is a film that isn't necessarily deemed as the worst, but definitely not good. There may be an argument that the sequel is a menace to film, but the sequel would have never came about without the one that started it all. Angelina Jolie plays Lara Croft and she's definitely a good fit, but too much time is devoted to recreating scenes from the game. Additionally, the film doesn't have much going for it in terms of plot and the action is tolerable at best. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was a moderate success getting double it's $115 million box office back. However, the film was saved my international audiences. Domestically Lara Croft: Tomb Raider brought in $131 million and received 20 percent from Rotten Tomatoes.

9. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

'Mortal Kombat: Annihilation'; Courtesy of New Line Cinema
The Mortal Kombat films make arguments for why film adaptations of video games should be a thing and shouldn't be a thing. Mortal Kombat knew what it was: A fun film about a martial arts tournament in a mystical realm. It was rarely overboard and a bit cheesy. The film focused on bringing all the characters together in a realistic fashion, with well plotted side quests, and decent choreography. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation lost all of that and the actors knew it as well. Three of the actors decided to leave their roles; all being major roles in Sonya Blade, Raiden, and Johnny Cage. Producer Lawrence Kasanoff decided to be more involved and added himself to the already bloated story team in Joshua Wexler and John Tobias. Mortal Kombat scripter Kevin Droney had also left from the original film. The production budget doubled, but the film felt cheap and lazy. Annihilation was meant to be a save-the-world film with awesome martial arts. Noticeable stunt doubles filled in for even the easiest of stunts. The story didn't lack vision; it lacked execution. The film received 3 percent from Rotten Tomatoes critics.

8. Double Dragon

'Double Dragon'; Courtesy of Greenleaf Productions

Before they were well-known, Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf played leads in this low level film based on an arcade game. The Double Dragon games were very popular, and the film was released a year before Mortal Kombat. What went wrong? Double Dragon follows two teenagers who gain special martial arts powers by each holding one-half of a medallion. The film takes place during a post-apocalyptic world where the baddies dress up as 80's punksters and the villain has nothing more to do than gain super cool martial arts powers. The good days when martial arts was all cinema cared about.  The film comes across as a Disney Channel Original Movie than a genuine theatrical release. Imperial Entertainment had no confidence in the film; throwing in a weak $8 million. The film grossed $2 million at the box office and received an 8 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. 

7. Silent Hill

'Silent Hill'; Courtesy of Silent Hill DCP Inc., Davis-Films, Konami
Based on the wonderfully horrifying games by Konami, Silent Hill should have worked. It did for a second, but the film drowned itself in laughable dialogue, annoying jump scares, and being way too long for horror fans to sit through. Director Christophe Gans couldn't pull off saving the film from the shoddy editing table either. Silent Hill killed Gans' Hollywood career and slowly pulled out Konami from any future film endeavors. It wasn't until the film's sequel Silent Hill: Revelation that Konami left Hollywood for good. Silent Hill received 30 percent from Rotten Tomatoes with a modest box office draw of $97 million off a $50 million budget.

6. (tie) House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne

'House of the Dead'; Courtesy of Boll Kino Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG
Why are all these films tied? What do they have in common? Infamous and utterly horrible director Uwe Boll brought these stories to life and destroyed careers and video game prospects. Boll has made a career taking horror video games and turning them into films that are just horrific to watch. Each film seems low budgeted, but it may just be Boll skimming funds off the top. BloodRayne had an estimated $25 million production budget. Where did it all go? Possibly to the high level stars that decided to participate in this gawdawful creation. Billy Zane, Meatloaf, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Madsen, and Ben Kingsley somehow thought that a vampire film set in Romania during the 18th century would be the best way to spend their time. House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark weren't much better. All three films received a Rotten Tomatoes score under 5 percent, with the worst going to Alone in the Dark at a mere 1 percent score

3. Super Mario Bros.

'Super Mario Bros.'; Courtesy of Allied Filmmakers
When you feel that cinema nowadays isn't as good as it used to be, look back at the 90's. There's no real knowing where Super Mario Bros. went wrong. There's universal agreement that the film is near the top as the worst in history, but what started the downfall. It's not a bad idea to have one of the most iconic video game characters of all-time to be on the big screen, but Super Mario Bros. is a wreck from start to finish. Bob Hoskins as Mario? John Leguizamo as Luigi? Leguizamo was still finding his comedic talent when he went for the role of Luigi. Hoskins had a couple misfires in The Inner Circle and Passed Away. Super Mario Bros. had two directors with a cyber-punk background that transformed the film into a strange cyberpunk catastrophe.  In the end Super Mario Bros. walked away with a 15 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and $20 million box office gross. Nintendo was so disappointed with their first venture into live-action film that they left Hollywood.

2. Resident Evil

'Resident Evil'; Courtesy of Screen Gems
Maybe the Resident Evil video game series had always been so cinematic, but the films felt like a huge step back in the franchise. For anyone who has seen the films, it's safe to say that you're not really watching a Resident Evil film. There are many similarities and it isn't until the sequel that you realize this is a true branch off of the video game. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who did wonders on Mortal Kombat, the film fails to provide the screams, the tension, and the mythology behind the video games. To capitalize on the idea the stories no longer became about horror and survival. Those concepts took a back seat to action, CGI, and poor attempts at a true adaptation of the blockbuster video game. Resident Evil was successful at the box office, bringing in $102 million off a mid-budget $33 million. The film wasn't as hated as some others on this list, holding at 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

1. DOA: Dead or Alive

'DOA: Dead of Alive'; Courtesy of Dimension Films
When you have a production budget of $21 million the studio expects something a little more than a near softcore porn adaptation of a female-centric fighting game. At the very core it's a film about who you are on the inside. Then again, the filmmakers don't do much in terms of storytelling and character development. It's just a movie that has females in bikinis and random fight scenes tossed into the mix. The film regained only $7 million back at the box office and holds a pretty decent 33 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. If anything, this is a film that requires intoxication before viewing. 

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