Video Games and Movies: Dear God, Why?

For some ungodly reason, there is one lesson Hollywood continuously seems to ignore: video games never make good movies. Even the “best” video game movies are okay at best. They tend to be campy, cheesy, but bearable and even fun sometimes. While that’s not always a bad thing, it does not, by any means, make movies such as Mortal Kombat actually good. Fun? Yes. Good? No.

When video game-based movies are released, the best the public can really hope for at this point is “not THAT bad” as opposed to hoping for a movie that will actually be any good. We probably know better at this point. Despite growing production value since the original video game movie Super Mario Bros. was released in 1993, and ended up being described by lead Bob Hoskins as “the worst thing [he] ever did,” many aspects of these films have remained unchanged.

Lead roles such as Michael Fassbender in Assassin’s Creed and raised production values through the years never make up for good movies, or anything more than mediocre films that, at best, go on to become “cult classics” that are simply revered for being enjoyable despite still being bad movies. In a medium that becomes more and more similar to movies, with gorgeous cutscenes with Hollywood-caliber voice acting, there is still an insistence on bringing video game universes to the silver screen, though the results always seem to disappoint. Any movie that isn’t considered to be flaming hot garbage is viewed as a success, as directors such as the infamous Uve Bolle set the bar so low that writers and directors would have to shrink to a subatomic level to be able to pass underneath it.

Though, someway, somehow, they still do. The bar has been set so low that we now somehow are getting ourselves excited over a recently released trailer for yet another video game movie that features nightmare-inducing CGI renditions of well-known Pokemon such as Jigglypuff, Mr. Mime, and, of course, Pikachu. Despite nothing actually indicating that it won’t be a waste of time, the excitement for the upcoming release of Detective Pikachu still somehow exists.

Movies based on video games are essentially pointless. They don’t appeal to people that don’t play the games that they’re based on, and they don’t ever live up to the standards set by the games themselves. It makes it difficult to understand the point of making the movies in the first place, considering no one would be left with any sort of positive moviegoing experience, having wasted the money on the movie ticket, and about two hours worth of time that could have easily be spent doing literally anything else.

So when Detective Pikachu releases in 2019, a movie based on a quickly forgotten Nintendo 3DS game released in 2016, do not be surprised if history repeats itself yet again, and the movie is as bland and forgettable as all of the video game-based movies that came before it, Ryan Reynolds or not.

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Carlos Flores

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