Games to Films – 2006 – 2010 (Episode 3)

You what? You came back for more? Again?? You really ARE mad aren’t you!!! If you came back then you must know what’s going on, I’m running through a list of film’s that I grew up with. More specifically films that started as video games before they became films. If you haven’t already read part 1, press here for Episode 1, the 1990’s. As well as a lovely list of films in episode 1 you’ll find a list of disclaimers that I’m working with. It’s basically just me telling you what I have and haven’t considered on the list. Press here for Episode 2, 2000 – 2005 if you haven’t already read it or you want a recap of how I got here.

If you are ready to continue, strap yourself in and enjoy a look back at more video game to film titles….

Silent Hill” (2006)

dir. Christophe Gans

Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden

So much promise, such a dark and grizzly subject material – I remember being properly scared playing Silent Hill alone in a dark room. The film however just didn’t hit the mark for me because it felt weakly written, it was confusing at times and well it just wasn’t really that scary. It felt like Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell where stuck in ‘Anyville‘ USA, a location that exists circa 2000 – 2010 where all the semi-horror stories in film exist and everything is pretty much the same. The film wasn’t able to transpose the horrors from the game into the film – sure, you had stitched up mannequin nurses, pyramid head dude and creepy child shadow too -but it wasn’t done for scares as much as it was for looks. I really just wanted to feel a bit of what the game made me feel but I didn’t. In an attempt to make a film that appealed the production team foolishly made a story that I didn’t actually care about.

Is it worth mentioning “Silent Hill Revelation” (2012) at this time, or shall we just forget that altogether? Let’s be fair, that will come later so let’s not ignore it.

BloodRayne” (2006)

dir. Uwe Boll

Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez, Meatloaf, Michael Madsen, Billy Zane

Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, Meatloaf, Kristanna Loken, Billy Zane… recipe for success you think? Well, bear in mind that Uwe Boll is directing and you might think differently. The German director gives us to the PlayStation title that sees humans & a vampire vampire hunter, versus vampires and monsters.

Once again this is an Uwe Boll cheese-fest of absurdity. Rayne breaks her shackles as circus freak-show attraction thanks to the Brimstone society and teams up with them to hunt and kill the vampire that raped her mother and made her the vampire she is – by coincidence, its her biological dad, the vampire king. In case you are wondering, the first “Blade” film came out in 1998 – not that I’m suggesting any comparison at all. The titular character portrayed by Loken looks and dresses the part as the sexualised vampire, vampire slayer so credit to the film there. I was slightly confused when she mounts somebody and her clothes seem to fall open (yes, T-X boobies are seen (see “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” for this reference)), but then having played the game there was a sexualisation to the way she jumped on people and tore out their throats. Before you go off and discuss how bonkers this film must be, spare a thought for “Bloodrayne 2: Deliverance” (2007) in which Rayne hunts down a vampire version of Billy the Kid in the wild west – also by Uwe Boll. And don’t forget “BloodRayne: The Third Reich” (2011), in which, you probably guessed it, Uwe Boll brings us Rayne fighting alongside resistance fighters during world war 2 to defeat Nazis. In sayng that though, the game series does deal with Nazi’s and the occult, so later incarnations of the vampire hunting vampire are more accurate at least.

DOA: Dead or Alive” (2006)

dir. Corey Yuen

Jaime Pressly, Devon Aoki, Holly Valance, Matthew Marsden, Eric Roberts, Kevin Nash

Another fighting game conversion attempt. This one is certainly memorable, but not for the best reasons. Whoever thought that it would be a good idea to turn this into a camp and slapstick film missed the point… or did I miss the point? After being blinded by the dazzling bright lights that this film gave I can’t actually be sure anymore?!? There is a lots of T&A from all the young specimens on display in this film – I mean A LOT OF T&A… the starring ladies are in bikinis, occasionally semi naked, sometimes in skimpy clothes… I mean, I’m not complaining, and I’m sure they are proud of their bodies,but I have to be honest and say there is a lot in case you go to this film thinking it’s going to be a martial arts masterclass. There are lots of really colourful and lavish scenery and effects too, so it’s not all just flesh. The big downside to this film is that the plot is pretty lame and predictable, and the delivery is wooden a times and at other times more appropriate to children’s TV hour – was the production team aiming at a 12 rating or an 18? It’s difficult to say. At the time I watched this I didn’t think it would be remembered as a classic. Writing this blog in 2020, it is still not considered a classic.

House of the Dead” (2007)

dir. Uwe Boll

Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard

I swear that Uwe Boll needs his own category in this list!! I’m sure that by the time you reach the end of this game-to-film walk-through (the 2020’s) you’ll agree.

A great film this is not. A fun homage to the video game it came from, maybe more so – only just though! The acting is pretty terrible, everyone seems to be a tactical weapons expert; the story is a bit dull, and early parts have been sexualised and made young and hip for no reason; effects and cinematography went out the window. The best thing is that there are zombies and there is plenty of cheap bloodshed.

If you can’t guess, I wasn’t much of a fan of this to be honest. I suppose though with a game that was generally and arcade first person shooter there wasn’t a massive amount of depth to be had. In which case, this film delivers.

Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007)

dir. Russell Mulcahy

Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Oded Fehr, Iain Glenn, Ashanti, Matthew Marsden, Michael Epps

Trying to capture what the first film gave us and falling short. More action, more CGI. Alice joins a caravan of survivors from Raccoon City as they journey towards Alaska while trying to survive the Umbrella Corporation. The film started off OK and had some lovely expansive and desolate shots. Sometime, halfway into the film, things take a random turn and the audience go on a journey that wasn’t expected at all. This wasn’t the most memorable ResEvil film, but it took things in a different direction and wasn’t a straight forward follow on from the last film.

Hitman” (2007)

dir. Xavier Gens

Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko

Timothy Olyphant is the shaven headed hitman that kills people on behalf of a shadowy organisation. While it was okay and had some nice action in it, there were always going to be troubles because the film is trying to make an unemotional and deadly killer into a feature film hero, or anti-hero. In the game he’s meant to be cold, so trying to put a warm and welcoming spin on the character was a failure for many fans.

Plenty of guns, blood, bullets, and action.

In the name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale(2007)

dir. Uwe Boll

Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies, Kristanna Loken, Matthew Lillard, Burt Reynolds

“How?”, “WTF?”, “What is going on?”, “Why?” – these are pretty much comments that I made while watching this Uwe Boll film which featured…. (get this) … Jason Statham, Lee Sobieski, Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard, John Rhys-Davies, Kristanna Loken, Burt Reynolds, and Ron Perlman to name a few. It’s a bit camp and cheesy… {edit]… it’s extremely camp and cheesy… [re-edit]… it’s like a pitching a tent in a cheesemongers kitchen and then snorting cheese all night. Jason Statham is a kung-fu kicking Farmer who inspires people to… oh who am I kidding, this film can’t be taken seriously so what’s the point. This makes Street Fighter seem like a plausible ballet.


dir. Uwe Boll

Zack Ward, Dave Foley, Verne Troyer, J.K. Simmons

If you haven’t played it, Postal, and then Postal 2 is a game that doesn’t really have a plot or an agenda, it’s kind of open world “do what the f you like – but basically kill and cause offense and carnage on the way”” kind of game. If ResEvil was a heavy metal film, then Postal is an art-house version of Punk that nobody really likes, nobody really wants, but it exists as a social experiement to see if can inspire something from you – even if that isn’t something good.
It’s a bonkers and sometimes sinister game, which is bonkers just for the sake of being bonkers, and sinister because it invites violence just for the hell of it.

So, how would you make a film of it then I hear you ask? Well, the answer is let Uwe Boll make a film which is also bonkers for bonkers sake, which is without a plot, which is violent just for the hell of being violent. It’s difficult to explain, but, the character “Dude” teams up with Uncle Dave, a cult leader. They plan to do a heist at the local amusement park, but the Al-Qaeda Taliban and Osama Bin Laden are also planning that. There’s also Nazi, Police violence, bloodthirsty people who enjoy violence and bloodshed, hostility against China, Japan, Europe, America, the film itself… as I’ve said, it’s very much “do what the f you like – but basically kill and cause offense and carnage on the way”.

Alone in the Dark II(2008)

dir. Michael Roesch, Peter Scheerer

Rick Yune, Lance Henriksen, Bill Mosely, Danny Trejo, Jason Connery, Rachel Specter

Not by Uwe Boll time, but still no better at all. Rick Yune takes over from Christian Slater as Carnby. This film has the likes of Lance Henriksen, Bill Mosely and Danny Trejo in it. With the first film being such a mess I had a small bit of hope that the second attempt at making the video game source material work on film would be better. I’m hard pressed to say which is worse, the first or the second attempt. Notice how I didn’t say “which was better”, because to be honest, both were terrible.

Max Payne(2008)

dir. John Moore

Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Chris O’Donnell, Donal Logue, Olga Kurylenko

Mark Wahlberg teams up with Mila Kunis to avenge the death of her sister Olga Kurylenko, and the murder of his family too. Along the way they have to fight the Russian Mob, an Evil Corporation, and Police Corruption too. At some times it looks like there might be a battle against supernatural enemies too, but by the end of the film you understand what is going on. In homage to video games in general though, Wahlberg gets jacked up on a designer drug and goes full on “berserker mode” at one point during this film (maybe more akin to “Duke Nukem” or “Doom” than “Max Payne” though). The film attempts to be slick and copy some of the stylings introduced by films like “Sin City” which hit screens in 2005. This had a bit of grit and a bit of style but felt lacking in the final delivery. It didn’t necessarily feel like it was worth being a film version of the Max Payne games – in reality it just felt like the name and some of the style had been borrowed to get a wider audience. A homage rather than an extension.

Far Cry(2008)

dir. Uwe Boll

Til Schweiger, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Natalia Avelon, Craig Fairbrass

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Somebody… well Uwe Boll actually… decided that cashing in on this popular video game would be a good idea – the only problem, and the reason for my “oh dear” was that it seemed like he did not think about it properly, it seemed like he did not invest time and effort writing it properly, and well… he just basically used the name of the franchise and the name of some character and did not do much else. On other game-to-films he’s done it felt like he might have at least played the game, this less-so. Do not get me wrong, the film is not bad as far as some low budget films go – but Far Cry it is not.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li(2009)

dir. Andrzej Bartkowiak

Kristin Kreuk, Neal McDonough, Michael Clarke Duncan, Robin Shou, Moon Bloodgood, Taboo

Chun Li, Balrog (or Bison in Japan), Bison (or Vega in Japan), Vega (or Balrog in Japan)…. In a film that tries to make Street Fighter characters into super cool, almost spy like, people of mystery, who can also use mystical and super powers to fight. Image that,half way through beating somebody up and your opponent summons a CGI fireball and aims it at your head. This movie struggled with identity because it tried to be too many things. Big up for the “girl-power” attempted, but seeing the girl from the Superman/”Smallville” TV series doing kung-fu didn’t work for me. Decent concept of a film I’m sure, but it’s a pity about an average delivery that ultimately gave a forgettable film.

Dragon Ball Evolution(2009)

dir. James Wong

Justin Chatwin, James Marsters, Yun-Fat Chow

With countless full-length animation movies in the Dragon Ball universe you’d think that a live action film might do ok, right? I mean, there is certainly plenty of source material available to use right?

Wrong. The concept of the movie might have had potential, but then the production team rolled out a steaming pile of dog poop and presented it on a glittery plate. This film was one of my in-plane movie options while on a 5 hour flight. Thankfully I go to watch the “Hannah Montana” movie afterwards to cleanse my senses before my holiday started. FTR – two of the worst films I have watched!!

I’ve only included it in this list really on a technicality. Like Pokemon, DragonBall experienced most of it’s success in cartoons rather than video games – but because I have played the Dragon Ball Evolution game – I had to include this turkey of a movie in my list.

Tekken” (2010)

dir. Dwight H. Little

Jonathan Patrick Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiryuki Tagawa, Ian Anthony Dale, Luke Goss, Candice Hillebrand, Gary Daniels

The Tekken game was massive between 2000 – 2010, so why wouldn’t the film adaption be an instant classic? That’s probably the same question that the production team asked themselves when reading the reviews they received for making this lame duck.

It does have a lot of the characters from the famous game, but it also introduces a lot more as the film tries to expand on the universe that the game made and fans drove forward with comics and internet stories. Think about how “Masters of the Universe” had some of the famous He-Man characters in it, but then for the hell of it added loads of unknown characters in it too. Tekken kind of did a “Masters of the Universe” in that sense. The original characters from the game who appeared may have dressed like the versions of the characters in the game, but they didn’t really look like them, and physically they weren’t built like them either. It’s like a homage or cheap parody of Tekken, rather than something authentic or even better than it. There were some fun fights in the film, but around half way through the film it all goes a bit random and any semblance of a plot was thrown out the door.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(2010)

dir. Mike Newell

Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kinglsey, Alfred Molina

In it’s earliest incarnation as a video game, “Prince of Persia” may not have been pretty by today’s standards, but it was ground-breaking and ahead of it’s time as an adventure game. I remember playing this on the Amiga 500 and being absorbed in my quest to rescue the princess.

The film adaption manages to do the opposite of the game: It’s pretty – very pretty in fact, but it just wasn’t absorbing. Adding in time-bending physics like it did seemed to cheapen what could have been a good old fashioned adventure. By casting Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton and Alfred Molina as Persians it seemed to regress racial politics of film and stage back to a time where it was OK for anyone to don on a bit of fake tan to play racially diverse characters. No, no, no. Not in 2010. There are a lot of CGI effects on show here, lots of slow-motion action shots to make the film edgy and sexy. There are a lot of bad stereotypes on show too which could be mildly offensive to certain people. The film just jokes these things off – even when it mistakes Arabic for Persian I get the feeling the exec’s were just like “the kids won’t know!”

With lots of style over substance, this Jerry Bruckheimer production is trying to be a combination of “Pirates of the Caribbean” crossed with “Indiana Jones“, crossed with “Aladdin“, crossed with a tiny bit of one of many Persian/Arabian stories that kids grow up with. The film was made to be an Persian version of Indiana Jones and may have looked OK, but will undoubtedly be left on a shelf when clearance sales start every Christmas. If i had to sum up the experience it might be something like; you know when you watch somebody else playing a game and its fun for a little bit but then gets boring – that how this film felt to me.

Resident Evil: Afterlife(2010)

dir. Paul W.S. Anderson

Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller, Sienna Guillory

Trying to capture what the first film gave us and falling short. I guess it had been 3/4 years since the last ResEvil film so it was about time the cash-cow was lined up to be milked again. Once again, more action and more CGI – oh, don’t forget the 3-D. I mean, you won’t forget the 3-D with the amount of slow-motion shots that are sucked out of this.

I have to ask myself, is this the “Mad Max” one or the “Matrix” one? I’m pretty certain that they live in a situation that practically mirrors George A. Romero’s “Day of the Dead“. They’ve become a bit muddled in my head at this point. Alice joins a group of people living underground in a prison because the world is Mad Maxy and apocalyptic. Then she decides to take it to Umbrella and go all Matrix style kung-fu with lots of slow-motion.

Well there you have it; 2005 – 2010 in all it’s glory. We started with “Silent Hill” and ended with “Resident Evil: Afterlife”, but along the way there seemed to be an awful lot of films that brought game titles to film, more than the first two episodes in this series! There were a fair few stinkers in this time period, I guess taste forgot 2005 – 2010… that and Uwe Boll brought us a lot more titles during these years. Don’t get me wrong, the world deserves to have low-budget and cheesy films, and Mr Boll definitely does that well, personally I’d just prefer it if game titles that I’ve loved weren’t used for the source material.

I hope you have enjoyed this installment of my nostalgic look back. Feel free to leave some comments at the bottom of this page if you have any thoughts of views of your own – I’d love to hear from you. Come back for the next episode which is 2010 – 2015. If you haven’t already checked out the other episodes here are the links:

Episode 1 – The 1990’s

Episode 2 – 2000 – 2005

4 thoughts on “Games to Films – 2006 – 2010 (Episode 3)”

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