Film Lists

Rampage: 5 Great Video Game Movies… And 10 Not-So-Great

The Worst:

House of the Dead (2003)

How do you turn a story about a mad man about to unleash an army of zombies and mutants upon the world, opposed only by a group of secret agents into an entertaining film? How about turning it into a story about teenagers attending a rave on an island that has a zombie priest from the 18th Century hiding on it? Yeah, probably not the best idea.

House of the Dead has nothing in common with the game it shares a name with, other than zombies anyway. A poorly put together film with an awful script, terrible acting, and no connection to the game. One to definitely be avoided.

Max Payne (2008)

Based upon the popular action game series about a cop whose whole family were brutally murdered, the Max Payne film fails to capture a lot of the gritty and downbeat emotions of the game. Where the game offered great action it also had a lot deeper story and character development, giving players a main character that was deeply hurt, emotionally battered, and suffering from PTSD.

The film, on the other hand, gave a rather lack lustre action film about a cop stopping a drug conspiracy. It could have been a lot better than what it was, and whilst not awful in itself, it fails to live up to the Max Payne name. Plus, the casting of Mark Wahlberg in the main roles is definitely a misstep.

Doom (2005)

One of the greatest games of all time, Doom inspired an entire genre and has been ported to almost every console ever made (even being modded into other video games as a playable extra). With a simple premise of a soldier fighting against the forces of Hell on Mars, it should have been fairly simple to create a half decent film out of it.

With the inclusion of The Rock, Karl Urban, and Rosamund Pike in the cast it looked like the Doom movie was going to be a success. Unfortunately, the film made some missteps with the plot, dropping the whole plot about harnessing energy from Hell into a mutation that brings out ‘the evil gene’ instead.

Despite good performances from the main cast, The Rock playing a villain, and a fun sequence filmed in first person, the film falls short of the action and energy of the source material.

Hitman (2007)

Based upon the popular stealth series of the same name, Hitman saw Timothy Olyphant take on the iconic role of Agent 47. Despite being a financial success the film received incredibly poor reviews. Thanks to some fairly poor dialogue, and a plot that not only fails to live up to the game series, but also makes little sense and falls all over the place, Hitman became such a disaster that the film franchise was rebooted several years later with Hitman: Agent 47 in 2015.

Alone in the Dark (2005)

Another video game film directed by Uwe Boll (alongside other flops like House of the Dead and BloodRayne), Alone in the Dark is based upon the supernatural survival horror series of the same name, but bears very little resemblance to the source material.

Not even the star power of Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorff could help a film that was so poorly received that it is often credited as ‘one of the worst films ever made’ on many lists. Strangely, a sequel was made a few years later, though it actually ended up being a better film.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

Failing to capture any of the success of the 1994 film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li focused on one of the more popular characters from the franchise, chronicling her early life and rise to becoming a fighter, eager for revenge against M. Bison for his crimes against her family.

Despite a plot that sounds like it should work, the film suffered from a terrible script, lack lustre fight sequences, and poor casting choices. Added into the mix was the fact that the film took itself far too seriously, lacking any of the humour or charm of the previous live action Street Fighter film.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010)

Based upon the popular game series, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time combined together elements of several of the games in the franchise to deliver an action adventure series about a sword wielding prince who sets out to stop a villain after a magic dagger.

The film wasn’t especially terrible, and had a decent budget and cast trying to make it a success, but thanks to the poor decision to whitewash the main characters the film was extremely poorly received, despite becoming the highest grossing video game adaptation of all time (before losing that title to Warcraft in 2016).

Double Dragon (1994)

Two brothers in possession of half of a magical ancient Chinese amulet become the target of a crime lord who has the other half, and wants to join them both together to gain absolute power.

With a plot that barely resembles the games it was based upon, poor special effects, and dialogue that even the worst video game would be ashamed of, Double Dragon was a huge flop upon release, though it did find some cult following over the years, mainly due to being seen as ‘so bad it’s good’.

Despite the film being pretty awful the trailer is actually pretty fantastic, and is definitely worth a few minutes of your time to track down on YouTube.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – Cradle of Life (2003)

Following the success of the first Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie in the lead role a sequel was quickly put into production to try to recapture the magic. The film received a lot of criticism for not being as good as the first film, though it wasn’t hated by many.

Paramount blamed the films financial failure in large part on the release of the then-latest game in the series, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, which was rushed into stores in time for the film’s release, unfinished and full of bugs.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

Widely considered one of the worst video game films of all time, and one of the worst films in general, the Super Mario film saw Bob Hoskins don the role of Mario Mario as he travels to a dystopian parallel world with his brother Luigi Mario, played by John Leguizamo, to try to save a princess from an evil ruler.

Sharing nothing in common with the game series other than the name, any of the fun, bright colours, or character design was lost in the translation to the big screen. Instead of being a fun adventure film for the whole family, it was dark, dreary, and dull. Easily the worst part of the Super Mario franchise.

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