Well done on making it through the maze of Grimlore, you may now advance into the Palace of Pala…. I mean, welcome back to this nostalgic look at films. Specifically films that started as games. If you haven’t already, then check out the previous years I’ve looked at which are split up into handy episodes linked below.
Episode 4 – You are here!
So what have you missed then so far? Well, you missed that “Super Mario Bros” wasn’t technically the first game to film made if you count the Japanese market. You will also have read how cheesy “Street Fighter” was, and how other fighting games haven’t fared much better when they’ve been made into films. You’ll also have read about Uwe Bol, who in years to come may be studied as a standout auteur, and you’ll have read about how “Resident Evil” films have been coming out religiously every couple of years as the franchise is milked for all it’s worth. Which, my friends, is a perfect place to start on this episode of 2010 to 2015, so let’s get going….
“In the name of the King: Two Worlds” (2011)
dir. Uwe Boll
Dolph Lundgren, Lochlyn Munro, Natassia Malthe
An ex-special ops soldier gets flung back in time to medieval times. He is a warrior out of time but soon joins the fight for the kingdom. In doing so he finds retribution for the things he’s done and seen in modern warfare.
The first one of these by Uwe Boll was bad enough, but here’s a second one which is just as bad, if not worse. On top of that, there’s a third one of these films coming later in the list.
“Resident Evil: Retribution“ (2012)
dir. Paul W.S. Anderson
Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Bingbing Li, Johann Urb
After a 2 year gap since the last ResEvil film, once again it’s back and trying to capture what the first film gave us and falling short, again. Of course there is more action, more CGI, more 3-D!
This time Alice fights alongside a resistance movement against Umbrella… hang on a minute… haven’t I written all this before?? Is the franchise giving us the same film over and over again??
There’s one difference since last time, M-Rod is back in the fold again. That should bring back more people.
“Silent Hill: Revelation” (2012)
dir. M.J. Bassett
Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harrington, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Ann Moss
Silent Hill: “Well, if Resident Evil can have more than one film then why can’t we?”
Film audiences: “Because your first attempt sucked a little!”
Silent Hill: “Hold my beer… I can do better.”
I’ll just say that it was nice the way that Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell were looped into this from the first film, but this follow up didn’t do much to lift my deflation from the first outing. It had prettier action and more visceral effects, it honed in on things that appeared in the first game too, but it was just, well… it was a bit meh.
Thanks for the nostalgic feelings, but still nothing to write home about in the race to make a great game-to-film adaption of Silent Hill.
“In the name of the King: The Last Job” (2014)
dir. Uwe Boll
Dominic Purcell, Ralitsa Paskaleva
It’s said that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This saying is neither an actual quote by Albert Einstein or Benjamin Franklin, it’s also not a a documented description of how to make successful films. In which case… Uwe, Uwe, Uwe… why repeat the same mistakes again?
What can I say… this one was worse than the first film, and that was pretty damned poor. Dominic Purcell ends up going back in time to the Middle Ages to sort out the kingdom that’s in chaos. Not very original of a film concept in 2014 – and not delivered very well at all. I can’t imagine there are many copies of this in the world.
“Need for Speed” (2014)
dir. Scott Waugh
Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Kid Cudi, Rami Malek, Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton
In “Top Gun” when Maverick said that he had a need… “a need for speed”… he wasn’t talking about this film.
More like “Need for Endurance” with how this film drags on for over its 2hr+ run time. Yes, it had a great cast, yes it had fast cars and sun kissed locations and scenery – but it was a bit plastic and empty too. I guess it’s difficult to make an epic film out of a car based game, especially when other faster and more furious films have already nailed the market. It was only a matter of time before somebody made a “Need for Speed” film, it just needed to be a little more exciting than this one was.
“Hitman: Agent 47” (2015)
dir. Aleksander Back
Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Angelababy
If you’ve been reading though this list you’ll know that this is not the first Hitman film, but at least it is a marked improvement on the last film in my opinion. It has glossier action and better action sequences. The plot is still pretty weak and transparent though so it’s still not a patch on the games that the idea comes from. You’d have to be blind not to see what was coming at the end. To that effect I have to say that the final bad guy is laughable and belittles the entire film if you put it into context against the games it was born from. An almost superhero villain that’s impervious to death?? Come on, do me a favour and pull the other leg will you.
In this updated version of Hitman, Rupert Friend takes over from Timothy Olyphant as the bald super assassin that travels the globe taking people out in creative and direct ways on behalf of a shadowy organisation.
“Dead Rising: Watchtower” (2015)
dir. Zach Lipovsky
Jesse Metcalf, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen
Jesse Metcalf plays investigator Chase Carter who finds himself getting stuck in the middle of zombie infestation situations. If you have played the games, you know that it gets repetitive really quickly and stops being entertaining. The games look good but are not known for depth. As coincidence would have it, the films were just as good (I’m being sarcastic, I really mean it’s bad) without actually looking good. Go straight to SyFy, do not pass go, do not collect £200.
That’s it… that’s the game-to-film adaptions that I watched during 2011 and 2015. Not as many titles here as in previous episodes of this nostalgic look back at such films. It feels like the flame for making game movies is burning lower than ever in this time period, not just with the volume but also the quality too. I can’t say that there are any major outstanding titles in the list for these years, certainly not when you look back at other years since 1991. Depressingly for me, the last entry on this 2015 list is also the starter in the 2016 list – please don’t hold that against me, please come back for Episode 5 (tomorrow, 8pm) which promises some goodness looking at 2016 – 2020. Within that time period we get a new reboot of “Tomb Raider“; we get a new menace on Mars in “Doom: Annihilation“; and we’ll get a swan song from “Resident Evil“. With that in mind, come back tomorrow and enjoy a bit more of a drive on this nostalgic journey looking at games that were turned into films.
Before I go, in case you missed them, below are links to previous parts of the journey.