Another genre rising in popularity, films based on games seem to be taking over cinemas this year – ‘Angry Birds’ this month (May), ‘Warcraft’ in June and ‘Assassin’s Creed’ in December and probably many more between. So are these films winners or do the writers need to try again?
If we go by the previous track record of this genre, then the latter is true. I’m not a big fan of video-games so I’ve never felt the need to go watch any films based on them. However, from what I’ve seen and heard of these movies, they’re not great. I can’t see many game-films with spectacular ratings or reviews and since from trailers I’ve never thought ‘I need to go see this’ I can understand why.
I think the biggest flaw with these game-films is the fact that they are based on good games. These games usually have massive fan-bases and have names that most people would recognise, and this popularity is usually because of interesting and engaging storylines. So why shouldn’t they be made into feature films? I think it’s because as soon as you make a film out of a game, you’re taking the viewer out of the action and eliminating the thing which makes a game a game – you play it.
I think there’s another thing that makes films based on games flop at the box office, and that’s there very narrow audience. Unless you’re a hardcore gamer and see everything to do with games, you’re not going to go watch a film where the trailer makes little-to-no-sense (unless you play the game, of course) and has characters you’ve never heard of. As I’ve said before in other blog posts, everything in cinemas now is a reboot, sequel or based on something that already exists, and since game-films fit into that last category, you would have to have played the game to really understand the characters and their stories.
The final problem I have with movies based on games is when they’re based on games which have no plot to begin with. Most of these films are based on the games you play on your console or your computer with interesting stories that you become a part of, and if those stories are liked and enjoyed then it makes sense for a film to be made of them as people will no doubt watch it. However, I think the production companies have run out of good stories from games as they’re now dipping into the territory of mobile games for their films. Now, I’m as much of a fan of ‘Crossy Road’ or ‘Piano Tiles’ as the next person, but I don’t want a film made out of it. Yet, that is exactly why we’re getting with the ‘Angry Birds Movie’ this month, a film based on a game with very little plot that has been stretched out to make ninety-minutes. What next? A ‘Candy Crush’ movie?
I do understand that the studios want to exploit this love of video-games and make money from it, but I can’t help but think that all their writers have left as no film coming out in cinema now is something completely original. Please Hollywood, give us something new!
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