Should Video Games Be Adapted to Movies?

Should Video Games Be Adapted to Movies?

Ian Dahl, Contributor

Video game movies are notorious for being below average. And with the newly released Sonic the Hedgehog Movie receiving mixed ratings from critics and fans, the question on whether video games should be adapted into films arises. Many video game movies that get released are often met with mixed reviews or poor ratings. Fans of the games being adapted into films are often disappointed with the movie, so should movie companies continue producing video game movies?

One reason for video game movies being so poorly rated is because the movies themselves are low quality. The Mortal Kombat movie (1995) and the Street Fighter film (1994) are examples of video game movies that were poor due to this. The video effects and fight scenes in these movie were below average and would have lead to a disappointing film even if it wasn’t a video game adaptation. With better visual effects, dialogue between characters, and production, these movies may have been received better; but still have the problem of being a video game adaptation. Stephen Holden, a critic from New York Times, reviewed Street Fighter and called the film “a dreary, overstuffed hodgepodge of poorly edited martial arts sequences and often unintelligible dialogue”.

Another, bigger reason for why video game movies are received so poorly is because the movie simply doesn’t please fans of the video game enough. A video game movie may have a great production and acceptable dialogue but won’t please the fans if the movie doesn’t appeal to them enough. An example of a movie with good production but poor fan service would be the Super Mario Bros. film (1993). The movie is notorious for being a really poor adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. franchise despite having innovative effects and visuals for the time. Janet Maslin, another critic from New York times, praised the Super Mario Bros. film for its visual effects but concluded that the film “doesn’t have the jaunty hop-and-zap spirit of the Nintendo video game from which it takes its inspiration.”

Good video game movies are difficult to produce and many movies, like the Super Mario Bros. film and the Street Fighter film, fall short of fan’s expectations and desires. Many video game movies have poor production or fan service and are rated poorly as result. Until companies realize that fan service and appreciation is important, video game movies will remain mediocre and disappointing for fans of gaming around the world.