The Top 5 Video Game Movies of All-Time–Top 5 Tuesday
Monster Hunter was recently moved up to the end of this week, set to release on December 18th. That got this mind wondering, are there enough competent video game movies to base a Top 5 Tuesday around them? The answer–surprisingly–is yes.
Look, I know that video game adaptations get a bad reputation. I’m not here claiming that they are an underappreciated subsection of cinema that needs to be gazed upon with ceaseless adoration. I’m just here claiming that some of them are underappreciated and need to be gazed upon with more adoration than they are currently given.
Let’s just get on with the Top 5 video game movies of all-time. Give me your list in the comments below!
5: Tomb Raider (2018)
I just want to set a few things straight. I’m fully aware that I am more forgiving on video game adaptations than a lot of people. I imagine that subconsciously I’m just happy to see my favourite art form represented on the big screen, regardless of whether I consider myself a fan of the actual characters/franchise or not.
Tomb Raider is one of those for me. With the gritty reboot of the series I’ve become more receptive towards it, but growing up I wasn’t the audience for Lara Croft.
The 2018 film does the correct thing and takes the foundation of the recent reboot and adds Alicia Vikander. She was great, putting in an absolutely physical performance while retaining charm and emotional depth–specifically after she first murdered someone and actually paused like, you know, a person would. Some of the action in the first half reminded me of Die Hard, while certainly not reaching that level of brilliance.
It’s good, it’s fun. It’s not mind-blowing but it was an entertaining romp at the theatre.
4: Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog from this year is a comeback story. After the initial trailer release when everybody rightfully criticized Sonic’s design they went back and redid it. This helped result in a surprisingly funny flick.
I have the sufficient amount of nostalgia for Sonic. I was a big fan as a kid and have since tapered off while possessing some degree of love deep in my heart. This means that I’m not too caught up in the lore but just like seeing the beloved characters from my childhood.
This doesn’t bring anything new to the table and yet I enjoyed every scene. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t some terrible attempts at comedy, but quite a few of the jokes landed. However, mostly I just felt for Sonic–something I wasn’t aware was possible anymore until I watched this one day.
3: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Let’s just slap a big floppy disclaimer here for the world to know: I’m a Final Fantasy 7 fanboy who considers it among the finest video games ever developed. Is there a lot of objectivity present in this pick? Nah, just seeing these characters in a cinematic formula was enough for me.
The plot was overly confusing and needed some work, and perhaps if I wasn’t a fan of the intellectual property I’d be less accepting of its flaws, but I don’t care! It had Cloud! Sephiroth! Awesome music! Beautiful CGI! Other stuff!
But seriously, this is one of those films that was really just meant as fan service and while others may not agree, in that sense it succeeded. That’s all I really wanted and it was received.
2: Detective Pikachu
So far the only choice for this list that I laid at the feet of nostalgia/admiration for the franchise was Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, because I actually think that everything has been defensible thus far. Detective Pikachu falls into that category as well. This comes from someone who doesn’t have any inherent bias towards Pokemon, or Detective Pikachu.
Regardless of what anybody may say, this is legitimately a great comedy. The humour was on point and perfectly played into the strengths of Ryan Reynolds, who voiced Pikachu. The trailer found its way into my eyeballs approximately five thousand times before release and I still crack up at the “Pika Pika!” part. Even when I finally saw it in context of the rest of the movie I laughed audibly.
Like quite a few comedies it abandons jocularity for the insistence of action, but that doesn’t undo the mystery, emotion and comedy that preceded it. It’s not as if the battle itself was terrible. That I enjoyed this as much as I did is just as shocking to me as it is to you, but the entertainment was thorough.
1: Silent Hill
Yeah, don’t hate me.
As much as an apologist for this film as I am, I will still freely admit that some of the time when the actors are talking you want to hit them with a rock. On top of that, the script occasionally dips into mediocrity and Sean Bean is pretty unnecessary. Watching the main character run away from the nurses represents what not to do when adapting a video game. And yet, despite all of this, I love this flick.
Atmosphere, tone and production design went a long way with Silent Hill. The cinematography is fantastic in how it nailed the Silent Hill mood and mythos. The monsters are right on, and despite my reservations with the nurses, the ending itself is intense. It had something to say and while the script stumbles at times, as noted above, it still manages to tell a compelling and deep story about overcoming some dreadful personal demons in a horrific town.
Just avoid the sequel.
Just kidding, Mortal Kombat is number one! That’s what he says, anyway.