Video Games Turned Into Feature Films
By Caitlyn Trudnich
In celebration of the release of Need For Speed, starring Aaron Paul, AMP Radio is hooking you up with tickets to the red carpet premiere of the film. Enter here for a chance to win.
Need For Speed is adapted from the highly successful car racing video game of the same name, originally released in 1994. But this isn’t the only video game to be made into a feature film. Remember these?
Super Mario Bros.
The 90’s provided lots of video game to film adaptations. The first was a 1993 film based on the legendary Nintendo game, starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the brotherly duo, Mario and Luigi. The two Brooklyn plumbers find themselves in an alternate universe, where they must rescue Princess Daisy (Peach in the video games) and defeat the monstrous King Koopa. Panned by both the critics and the actors, the film didn’t live up to the amazing world of Super Mario.
Based off of the “beat ‘em up” fighter game from Japan, this 1994 film starred Party of Five‘s Scott Wolf and Iron Chef America‘s “Chairman” Mark Dacascos as brothers Jimmy and Billy Lee. Taking place in the year 2007, in post-apocalyptic “New Angeles,” where crime boss Koga Shuko (played by Terminator 2‘s Robert Patrick) is determined to get in his possession both pieces of the magical Double Dragon medallion, in order to obtain ultimate power against his enemies. 90’s bombshell Alyssa Milano also stars as heroine Marian Delario.
This 1994 cult-classic, starred fighter-film legend Jean-Claude Van Damme as Allied Nations regional commander and Colonel William F. Guile, who must save hostages taken by the evil General M. Bison, played by Addams Family‘s Raul Julia. Though it received negative reviews from critics, and some fans of the original video game were not pleased with its adaptation, the film was a box office success. This would also be Julia’s last film, as he died from cancer right before the film’s release. In 2009 another Street Fighter film was released starring Smallville‘s Kristin Kreuk as female fighter Chun-Li.
One of the most successful fighter video games, Mortal Kombat was brought to the big screens in 1995. The film features Kombat characters, warrior Liu Kang (Robin Shou), actor Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), and soldier Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras aka Ms. Veronica Vaughn). They fight in a tournament of the realms to defeat evil sorcerer of the Outerworld, Shang Tsung and his forces in order to protect Earthrealm. The film was successful enough that it garnered a sequel in 1997, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and later a short-lived television series, and a current webseries, Mortal Kombat: Legacy. New Line cinema has announced plans to film a MK reboot, however no official filming date has been released.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
The most beautiful woman in the world, Angelina Jolie, brought video game archaeologist Lara Croft to the big screens in 2001. Like a modern day, female Indiana Jones, Croft searches for ancient and powerful artifacts, and attempts to make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. Although critics did not sing her praises, box offices worldwide did – it became the top grossing video game to film! (Until 2010, when another video game to film, Prince Of Persia, took the top spot) The film also produced a sequel two years later, Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life.
One of the biggest video game to film franchises is Resident Evil. In 2002, the sci-fi/horror action film was released, starring Mila Jovoich as the gutsy heroin, Alice. Alice has been affected by the dreaded T-virus, which has killed and “zombified” many, but has given her special superhuman abilities. The action packed film was a commercial success, and in turn, resulted in four more films! The latest one, Resident Evil: Retribution,was released in 2012. It has been officially confirmed by Sony that a sixth film will be released in 2015.
In 2008, Mark Wahlberg starred as title character Max Payne – a NYPD detective who searches to avenge the murder of his family. The neo-noir, first person shooter game, released in 2001, received critical acclaim. The film, also featuring actress Mila Kunis, was criticized by fans for not being as accurate to the actual video game, including differences in the story, as well as visual effects. However, it did quite well at the box office, opening at number one!
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2010, the action-adventure video game was made into a motion picture, starring the handsome Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan. Dastan obtains the powerful Dagger of Time during a battle, and is then later framed for the King’s murder by his evil brother Nizam, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. Dastan and beautiful princess Tamina must flee and stop Nizam’s plan of releasing the Sands of Time and destroying the universe. Critics has mixed reviews on the film, but it proved to be both entertaining and adventure-filled for audiences around the world – as it became the top grossing video game to film ever.
Need for Speed is in theaters March 14th.