It’s no stranger to us that movies being made into video games and vice versa is a common trend of making money. I mean, look at GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64, it was first a successful box office hit and two years later became the benchmark for FPS and multiplayer-based games.
The latter is known as video game-based movies, where movies are made based off of a video game, like Doom, which starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Another example is set in the Assassin’s Creed lore. Assassin’s Creed Lineage was a short film set before the events of Assassin’s Creed II. It turned out to be a TV mini-series and as of right now, it holds a 7.3 on IMDB.
Even before the 2000s and into the 2000s, video game-based movies were common for Hollywood to produce, and quickly became a rusty staple for both the film and video game industry, as most of these attempts failed at the box office. A few examples of these botched lobotomies include Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, the Resident Evil films, and Max Payne.
While Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic labeled all of these as failures for different reasons, I’m going to take a look at why this concept as a whole fails and why Sony’s acquisition of a potential BioShock movie may kill it’s legacy.
Okay, for the obvious reason, Hollywood wants a quick buck, and we all know, money is the root of evil, at least in my opinion. Pumping out video game-based movies is all a money ploy because that’s all triple-A directors see. They don’t see an opportunity to make a good film, unless you come across one of those rare directors/producers, and even if one of these films tops the box office, it’s still reveled in crap by reviewers.
The long story and more complicated reason means analyzing the some of the provided examples individually to figure out why they each failed in my opinion.
Okay, Max Payne is on the chopping block first. While the film stayed true to the game’s premise, to Max discovering who killed his wife and child, there are at least two problems I have. First, why Mark Wahlberg as Max? Were Matt Damon anyone else too busy? Secondly, why in ungodly hell did the film have winged shadow creatures? Were they supposed to represent Max’s inner demons? If so, they did a terrible job of it, because they had no place in the game and weren’t needed in the film for any convoluted reason at all.
Secondly, while I won’t discuss the obvious fail that was Street Fighter in 1994, mainly because it was Raul Julia’s last film before he died, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li dives backwards into a pool being filled with cement and gets its head stuck. First off, how can the film explain that M. Bison is now Irish? So Bison goes from being a badass bent on world domination to being Irish? Who wrote this script? The whole premise of the film is that Chun-Li witnesses her mother being given “punch cancer” and yes I’m not kidding, if you want more validation, go watch The Rageaholic movie review. If I could convince anyone Bison was Irish, I’d ask for raining hundred dollar bills at the drop of a hat. It’s like Kevin Nash trying to portray a convincing Super Shredder.
Now that the shovel ware is out of the way, it’s time to answer the question that this centers around: Will BioShock suffer the same fate as the rest of the video game-based movies have? As sad as it may be, I think it will.
In some recent news, Sony registered different domains for a BioShock film. While Ken Levine wants nothing to do with this, and I wouldn’t blame him, as Burial At Sea: Episode 2 is the final nail in the coffin for Ken Levine’s vision as he wants to move onto other projects.
I foresee a lot of problems that have already occurred with this if it goes forward. While it may stick strictly to the source material, advertising it to the general audience with the amount of violence the game has is difficult because I’m sure the Hollywood suits are sure going to force a lot of editing to appease not only the general audience that the suits want to appeal to, but editing a portion of the violence to just get approved by the MPAA.
The other major problem I foresee is that many people who love the series don’t actually want a film because of Hollywood’s reputation with turning video games into films and how bad it is. Now what do I mean? I mean that they could take this and lobotomize it as bad as Resident Evil, which could mean that the main character of the first BioShock game, may not even be in it, because some producer/director has “their vision” and they’re sticking to it, even amidst potential backlash of hardcore fans.
While the series means a lot to me, I don’t want to see it resurrected and then buried at sea again by the nomenclature of Hollywood’s money seeking drivels of failure and see it suffer the same fate as other video game-based movies have. Hollywood needs to stop these abortions from ever making it past the cutting room floor, but since all they see is money, we need to stop these abortions from making it. So to any producer or director wishing to turn a video game into a movie, you’ve been pipe bombed.