Welcome back to Prolific Ranker, the segment where I rank things prolifically. Ironically, I haven’t ranked anything in a while so figured I needed to smash something out. And what better place to look than video game movies.
There have been quite a few video game movies over the years, but not one is considered good enough to be a classic, or hell, even a “good movie.” With adaptations becoming more commonplace than ever, with Uncharted and Mortal Kombat getting new movies, Tomb Raider and Sonic The Hedgehog getting sequels, and TV shows for The Last Of Us and Resident Evil on their way, now is the time for me to chuck up my top ten. To be clear, I am talking about movies adapted from video games, not movies about video games, so don’t expect to see Wreck-It Ralph or Ready Player One on here. With that being said, let’s do this.
Warcraft is not a great movie. Hell, I’d struggle to call it a good one, but that is the nature of this kind of list. But what I can call Warcraft is a beautiful looking movie. The effects in this are really top notch. The acting performances are mostly good, although maybe a couple of the stars weren’t on the same page as to how to act in this. Most of the stars play this pretty straight-laced, but Ben Foster (who I really like) is so over-the-top, compared to the rest of the cast, it’s jarring. Fun fact on this one, it is directed by Duncan Jones, whose father was Rock legend, David Bowie.
You’re going to notice a pattern here, but this isn’t a good movie. But it is a really fun movie. You know what you’re getting with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson involved; a shallow plot and lots of action. The CGI of the animals is mostly pretty good here and they get to do some really cool shit when they all finally cross paths. The worst part of this, other than the shallow story (if that bothers you) is that the movie can’t seem to make it’s mind up on what it wants to be. The opening sequence is basically a horror movie with an Alien-esque vibe to it. There are scenes that are completely serious and there are scenes that are completely over-the-top. A movie about giant apes, wolves and alligators shouldn’t be completely serious.
8. The Angry Birds Movie
See, when you do a Top Ten Video Games Movie list, this is the type of shit you get in here. Now, nobody knew how the Angry Birds Movie was going to go when it was announced. It could’ve been anywhere from The Lego Movie (incredible) to The Emoji Movie (horrible, shameless cash grab). I’d say it fell somewhere in the middle. The first thing that stands out is the animation, which is truly stunning. Not to mention the story itself is…fine. In fact, the best thing I can say about this movie is that it’s entirely fine. It does push the boundaries of adult jokes for a kids movie though.
7. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
This one is a tough one. I love Final Fantasy VII. Seriously, one of my favourite games of all-time. And this movie adds to the lore of that world, while also maintaining beautiful graphics and incredible action sequences. The problem with it as a whole is it acts as though everybody has played the game. There is no character development to speak of in this, so if I showed this to someone who hasn’t played the game, they wouldn’t know what was going on. Still a decent watch for us FF7 fans though.
6. Sonic The Hedgehog
I have to give full credit to the cast and crew on this one. When the first trailer released, Sonic looked AWFUL. He had human teeth. It made me feel weird. But after the internet collectively complained to the manager, the crew took it as constructive criticism and delayed the film so they could change Sonic’s look to his more “traditional” look. Not only that, but there is a lot of attention paid to the history and lore of the games. So while this is a very basic movie in terms of plot and whatnot, it’s enjoyable because the crew genuinely cared about the IP and it shows.
5. Resident Evil
Resident Evil probably follows the story of it’s respective game the least, which is funny when you remember The Angry Birds game is literally just throwing birds at pigs. While I think not following the plot of the game is stupid and this movie is stupid, it’s still really fun. The lickers also make an appearance and they’re gangster as hell too.
4. Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time
It’s surprising that this one didn’t start a massive wave of Video Game movies as it made a ton of money for Disney ($336m). In fact, until Warcraft released in 2016, this was the highest grossing Video Game movie of all-time. It features great performances by it’s cast, particularly Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular hero, creative action sequences filled with parkour (the rage at the time) and a wonderful score by Harry Gregson-Williams. Admittedly, the script doesn’t hold up well and the movie falls apart in the final act, but it’s still enjoyable. The worst thing this movie did, and it’s pretty egregious, is completely whitewash the Persian characters by casting the likes of Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Alfred Molina.
3. Tomb Raider (2018)
Notice that neither of the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raiders crack my top ten, and that’s because I think they’re hot garbage. I was expecting the same with this one, especially when that first trailer was released and it had the cliche slow-mo dive and everything. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I watched it. It’s pretty faithful to the rebooted game of 2014(ish). It starts off slow but a fantastic performance by Alicia Vikander (who embodies Lara Croft) carries it through. Then the second half is very action-packed, so while that means the pacing is off a little, I still really liked this one.
2. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Confession time; I was a huge Pokemon fan all through high school. Not to the extent where I’d wear the merch or anything. I guess you could say I was a closet fan. But I played ALL of the games, and loved them all. It’s been a minute since I’ve followed the series or whatever but I took my son to the movies to see this and I had a blast. It brought back all these memories from these games I spent a lot of time with and to finally see 3D renditions of some of these pokemon was really cool. Ryan Reynolds is funny voicing Pikachu, but there is no getting past the fact that it’s just Ryan Reynolds being Ryan Reynolds under the guise of Pikachu, but that’s more a criticism of Reynolds than this movie. Simple story but good laughs and solid CGI make this worth a watch.
1. Mortal Kombat
There are two types of people in the world. Those that realise that Mortal Kombat is a cinematic treasure and a masterpiece, and those that are wrong. Seriously though, it has cheesy acting, weakish fights and the odd decision to make a Mortal Kombat movie PG-13, but it doesn’t matter. It’s awesome. It does feature a pretty faithful retelling of the story which is always nice. Also, this has THE BEST original song for a movie ever, and when I say ever, I mean EVER.
Well, there is my top ten. There might be a couple I missed as I haven’t seen a few of these (Silent Hill, Resident Evil sequels amongst others) but it is what it is. Tweet me (@onpointayden) and tell me how right or wrong I am.