Whether you talk about the 2007 film starring Timothy Olyphant or the 2015 reboot starring Rupert Friend, the conclusion is going to be the same – both movies were a bit crap. The video game plot revolves around Agent 47 – usually simply referred to as ‘47’ – a cloned assassin-for-hire, whose flawless record places him in high demand among the wealthy and elite. In the game, the player controls 47 as he carries out numerous contracts assigned to him by a secret organisation named ‘the Agency’.
The film – as usual – changes the plot. In the film, the Agency is replaced by ‘The Organization’ and unlike the game – where 47 is a genetically-enhanced clone – the Organization instead recruits orphans, training them to become super assassins from an early age. Unsurprisingly – as it’s on this list – the critical reception was poor, with critics finding fault with several aspects of the film, including a weak and often confusing plot, dry acting, and extreme violence.
4. Max Payne
Maybe the best example of taking a great story and messing it up – Max Payne is a neo-noir action game which tells the story of a renegade DEA agent and former NYPD officer, who attempts to hunt down the people responsible for murdering his wife and child, as well as framing him for the murder of his partner.
The film was universally panned by both critics and fans of the game. One of the biggest criticisms of the film when compared to the game, was the decision to take the games powerful opening – where the titular character arrives home to discover his wife and child have been murdered – and move it to the middle of the film – a decision which led Scott Miller – one of the game’s producers – to make a public statement about the film. Miller did not approve of the fact that the film’s audience does not know why Max is seeking revenge, stating ‘that had me shaking my head in bewilderment’.
Doom is a 2005 science-fiction action horror film that was loosely based on the 1993 pioneering first-person shooter video game of the same name. Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak – and starring Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson – the film follows a group of marines who after arriving at a research facility on Mars to conduct a rescue mission, find themselves facing off against a hoard of genetically engineered monsters that are plaguing the facility.
One of the major issues that fans of the video game had with the film was the decision to change the origin of the monsters. In the game, a teleportation experiment on mars goes horribly wrong and results in the accidental creation of a gateway to hell – from which the monsters and demons spawn. In the movie however, the creatures are humans from the facility, who have become mutated by the addition of a Martian chromosome after coming in contact with fossilised bones that were discovered on Mars.
The film was destroyed by critics, bombed hard at the box office and had arguably the most ridiculous attempt at cashing in on a game by having cheesy a scene where the camera angle mimics the first person view used by the games, while the main character (Karl Urban) shoots his way through waves of monsters.
2. Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 film based on arguably the most popular and influential video game franchise of all time and holds the distinction of being the first ever film to be based on a video game. Unfortunately, that’s where the accolades end – While the game series would go on to sell hundreds of millions of copies, the film was a complete failure both critically and financially.
Some leeway can be given, due to the fact that it cannot be an easy task to create a 90 minute movie out of a video game story centred around an Italian plumber who head-butts bricks, eats mushrooms to grow larger and saves a princess from a castle guarded by a dinosaur – Did I mention that the dinosaur is also a king? But some of the decisions made by the studio were baffling, to say the least, such as Dennis Hopper being cast as King Koopa (the dinosaur) and the Mario Bros. wearing mechanical boots – to explain how they jump so high.
Instead of being a fun movie for kids, the film ended up being a nothing more than a disappointing cash-in on the game. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo – who played the titular characters – were highly critical of the movie and in 2007 Leguizamo even admitted that both he and Bob Hoskins would frequently get drunk on set, knowing that it would turn out bad –yikes!
1. Street Fighter
The decisions made during the development of this movie were so bizarre that it made the Mario film decisions look logical by comparison. The video game is a competitive fighting game which pits different characters against each other, in a best of three falls fight – with the victor progressing to the next round. The game offered players a selection of multiple playable characters from different countries around the world to choose from – each with a unique fighting style.
Rather than base the plot around a fighting tournament like the game – and alo like the Mortal Kombat movie, which was also based on a fighting game – The films plot was an over convoluted mess centred on Guile – one of the games playable characters – a military commander who is sent by an international organization to fight a psychotic dictator who is holding the world ransom. In order to shoe-horn in all the characters from the game, the writers assigned random jobs to the games playable characters, such as Chun-Li being made a reporter, E Honda a Camera Man and Dhalsim a scientist.
In the end, nothing about the movie made much sense but maybe the strangest decision of all was the decision to cast Jean-Claude Van Damme – with his thick Belgian accent – as the American soldier Guile, complete with a tattoo of the United States flag on his arm.
Author Bio: Jason has only recently entered the world of freelance writing and as well as Taste of Cinema, currently contributes to CulturedVultures.com where he writes about film, video games and sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Scarface_Jase.