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yaujj48's avatar

What makes a good video game movie?

Asked by yaujj48 (227points) July 13th, 2020

I know many video game movies had a bad reputation as some doesn’t follow the original material or generally a bad plot. Of course some people like these movies but it makes wonder. If I was to make a video game movie, does it need to follow the games’ stories?

Does it need to follow the source material like the story, characters etc anything that consist in the game or can bend a little to make the movie slightly different from the games?

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3 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Movies based on video games? Has there ever been an actual good one?

For my tastes, I’d think it should be a good movie, as a movie. But those are pretty rare these days.

I think before asking what guidelines to follow, one would want to answer why one is making a movie based on a video game, which could lead to reasoning about guidelines.

Yes some people like or didn’t hate some video game movies, but what are those peoples’ standards, and do they match your own standards/tastes/goals?

It seems to me the usual reason such a film is made is because someone pitched the idea and got it accepted by a studio, based on the idea it would sell based on the brand. The choices then tend to be based on what the pitch was and what parts the people involved care about.

If you’re just thinking of doing it as a personal project without investors, then it’s more up to what you care about.

It probably depends on the game and its fans too, how much people will care about which kinds of details.

Only two films come to mind that others have said were decent films based on video games:

One is Doom, which I have read reviews of but not seen. The game Doom is a pretty low-background shoot ‘em up game based in a surreal hell world. The movie invented its own sci fi story that was not the same. But it tried to take several things from the game that it could work into its minimal sci fi story.

A more recent and larger success, I hear, was last year’s Sonic The Hedgehog film. You could research what that was like.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The problem with making a movie based on a video game is that, no matter how cinematic it tries to be, a video game is still a game and the story in it exists to service the game action. Take away that game action and what you’re left with, storywise, is fairly insubstantial. So to make a movie out of that you have to pad out the story by making a lot of shit up that just doesn’t jibe with what the game is.

Zaku's avatar

Maybe generally, although I think it would theoretically be possible, for some games and for some film types, to do a good job of supplying a good movie that also fit in with a video game… in particular for some games which are either either fairly interestingly developed, or for those which do so leave enough story/background undeveloped that something good could be made up as a film that wraps the non-action parts.

One example would be the John Wick films, which aren’t based on a computer game, but are in a very action-heavy genre that a similar film might be made out of some action computer games that aren’t much different from that style/format.

Oh, I guess another example I didn’t think of for some reason would be The Witcher series of computer games, which I hear has a recent pretty successful mini-series based on it.

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