The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

You’ve Played The Game, Now Ask For The Film

Posted by BigWords on August 17, 2009

Whenever I watch films based on computer games, I tend to imagine the worst before the opening credits have finished. That way I won’t be so disappointed when some talentless hack strips every last bit of dignity from the franchise… But, despite this fact, there have been a couple of films that managed to bring something new to the screen. Silent Hill wasn’t a particularly bad film, and Final Fantasy was beautiful to look at. Goodness can come in films taken from games.

It is somewhat surprising, given the steady stream of films based on computer games, that nobody has thought to make a film based on The Operative: No One Lives Forever. The franchise has spies, explosions, a freakin’ tornado, and more monkeys than you could ever want in a game. Yet it has, thus far, been ignored. Is it too intelligent for Hollywood?

I used to think that the reason there had never been a follow-up to the games was because of the female lead character, but the fact that Lara Croft – one of the most two-dimensional characters ever pixelated – had been such a success negates that idea. It might be the humor, or the ‘look’ which runs deep into classic Bond territory. I never liked the Bond films as much as I did (and do) love NOLF, because it brims with ideas.

So consider this my vote for a film with Cate Archer kickin’ ass.

Lets just forget about Super Mario Bros. And Hitman. And Street Fighter …and even Max Payne, which should – and could – have been brilliant.

The forthcoming releases seem to centre on games I thought were mostly meh. Prince Of Persia was fine, but once the acrobatics and time-play had been played with for a few hours I was bored. There wasn’t as great a sense of wonder as I should have felt, and the game seriously let me down. The film will probably do well, despite films based on games not having a good track record, but do I really want to see it?

The new BloodRayne film – yes, I am as surprised as anyone it got greenlit – shows the lack of imagination when it comes to choosing properties. How the hell do producers sleep at night when they inflict such tortures onto the world? Is there anything left in the franchise to flog to unsuspecting viewers? The painful truth of the film’s existence probably rests in the financial rather than artistic arena.

Looking farther into the release schedules, there is yet another Resident Evil film looming. I’m sure the deviations from the game have benefited the producers, but I can’t help wondering what a more respectful and accurate version would have been like. What are we getting in the new film? Zombie tortoises? Mice? How badly does the director have to mess up before the property is taken away from the studio? I wish this would get canned…

When real directors who are interested in games – like, y’know… Peter Jackson – begin creating amazing films, then the stakes will be raised and Uwe Boll and his like will be forced to seek other media to mangle in poor adaptations. We won’t put up with second-best when we will be getting entertainment (a word not normally used in the same paragraph as Uwe Boll’s name) and value for money.

I still want a No One Lives Forever film…

Image taken from


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