March 26th, 2012

From Bits to Bodies: The Top Five Best Video Game Movies of All Time


Seacrest returns this week with an article on his top 5 favorite video game movies. 

As a life long gamer I can say that my love of all things video games has bled into my other loves. One of my other biggest loves is movies. The video game movie adaptation is an area of great debate for most nerds. Which are good? Which are faithful to the core material? Which are giant shame marks on the culture? Well today I’d like to educate you on what I believe to be the top five best video game movies. These movies best encapsulate the source material, and are also just damn good movies that are always a blast to watch.

5 The Prince of Persia

Before you say anything, shut up and listen to me for a second. For some reason there is a 50/50 split on this movie. I don’t even know why. This is a fantastic blockbuster, backed by a lot of Disney money, filled with awesome action, and a very faithful plot. Prince Dastan finds the Sands of Time, giving him the power to rewind time itself, and uses it to fight a force trying to overthrow his kingdom. Some people had a problem with Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan, but I thought he was perfect. In the movie he was portrayed as a street rat who proved his worth and was adopted by the king. Gyllenhall pulled this off perfectly portraying Dastan as a modern day Aladdin post-marrying Jasmine. Gemma Arterton was a great female lead, and Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina rounded out a great cast. The action never lets up, the plot is tight, sound was sharp and it was awesome. If you haven’t seen this great movie and love the Prince of Persia series, give this one a watch. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

4 Silent Hill

Silent Hill has always been a series synonymous with creepy as hell shit. The first two games were perfect in truly engulfing you in a world born of fear. People were truly too terrified to play the game alone at night with the lights off (myself included). The Silent Hill movie does all the right things to perfectly put you in this same world. Taking the plots of Silent Hill 1 and 2, Silent Hill is the story of rose, a mother who’s young daughter Sharon is kept up at every night in fear screaming the words SILENT HILL. In an act of desperation, Rose takes Sharon and drives to the secluded town of Silent Hill. But once they get there, Sharon disappears and Rose is trapped in the town as it slowly shifts in and out of pure living hell. As Rose searched for her missing child she encounters all the greatest terrible things that the Silent Hill franchise has offered gamers for years. Creatures that would make H.P. Lovecraft scream in terror, buildings shifting in and out of hell, even SH2 staple, Pyramid Head shows up to the party. The special effects are fantastically terrifying, the plot is solid and it’s a movie with Sean Bean where he finally doesn’t die!(spoilers) If you want a great scare and love survival horror, this is a must see.

3 Tekken

Fighting games are one of the biggest categories to be adapted into movies. Most are terrible, but a select few are fantastic. Tekken is one of those gems. Now I’m not talking about the anime Tekken movie, this is all about the live action adaptation. The live action Tekken, while made here in America, was only theatrically released in Japan, then came here direct to dvd. It takes some major liberties with the story of Tekken, but in ways also stays true. Tekken is the story of the world after society has collapsed. Governments have been replaced with corporations, eight of which banded together to take over the globe and split it up fairly. Now they control their territories with an Iron Fist (get it?). North America was claimed by Haihachi Mishima and Tekken, the strongest of all the corporations. Every year one of the eight corporations hosts the King of Iron Fist, and this year it’s in Tekken City. A kid living in the burned out slums around the glorious utopia, Jin Kazama, makes his way into the tourney to avenge the death of his mother at the hands of Tekken corp agents. The fight scenes are amazing, the acting is surprisingly good, and this movie never lets up. If you’re in an action mood, this movie will not disappoint.

2 Resident Evil

Just the first one. One of the few good Paul W.S. Anderson movies, the first Resident Evil was in my mind a masterpiece of video game adaptations. Taking the basis of the Umbrella Corp mythos and putting a new spin on it, Alice, an amnesiac awakens in a mansion deep in the mountains above Raccoon City. This mansion however is the secret entrance to Umbrella’s top secret underground laboratory complex, The Hive. The Hive has recently been contaminated with an experimental bioweapon known as The T-Virus, animating dead flesh to walk again. Now Alice and a group of Umbrella commandos are entering The Hive to find out what happened and contain a possible outbreak. This movie has no flaws. The plot is brilliant, the action is amazing, and the movie is scary as well as explosive. It has all the best elements of that survival horror, by yourself creepiness that the Resident Evil series is known for, while also applying the correct action beats to make it feel like a roller coaster ride of awesome.

1 Mortal Kombat

The other good Paul W.S. Anderson movie. Mortal Kombat is 100% the same story line as the game. This movie is a PERFECT adaptation. Taking no creative license, Mortal Kombat is the quintessential fighting tournament movie. Earthrealm must defend itself from Outworld by sending its greatest fighters to face one another in mortal kombat. Robin Shou and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa play off each other sublimely as Liu Kang and Shang Tsung. Johnny Cage is the perfect cocky asshole, but can handle himself in a fight, even if some four armed half-dragon man breaks his 500 dollar sunglasses. No video game movie has so well stood the test of time, that now almost 20 years later it is still regarded as the best adaptation. If you’re a gamer and you don’t own this movie in your dvd collection, may I suggest you fix that immediately.

So there you have it, in my humble opinion the top five video game movies. Next week we look at the flip side of this coin and talk about the five worst video game movies to disgrace the silver screen, and no they won’t all be from Uwe Boll.

Seacrest out

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