These seem to be the times of comic-book and video game big screen adaptations. Leave it to Hollywood to find sources of inspiration for the large number of movies being made every year. Few get the critical acclaim, many get the box-office gross, and some get both. But sadly most disappoint when it comes down to comparison between the raw material and the cinematic product.
The “why” is simple enough to answer. Most of these comics or video games already have an established fanbase that will go to see them no matter what. A lot of the time this just results in shock and awe tactics. The movie will come out, people will line up to see it, then the interest in it will drop suddenly, once the realization of its flaws dawns in people. But still, tapping into a fanbase as large as Tomb Raider’s franchise’s is worth it.
The “how” on the other hand is the problem. While comic books seem to find some degree of balance when it comes to translation to the big screen (be it frame by frame, as it was with 300 or from the director’s own unique perspective, as with the newly rebooted Batman), video games rarely achieve such success.
And it is understandable once you think about it for a second. Translating an interactive experience to the big screen is a challenge. To the point where the finished product bares little resemblance to the original. Or in other cases, the process results in an mildly entertaining movie, but sorely lacking the joy of playing it. It’s not as fun watching Alice shoot up zombies, as doing it yourself while playing the game.
Furthermore, some video games have an innate cinematic property, enough so that the idea of a movie based on them seems preposterous. I’m talking about the upcoming Max Payne that is sure to disappoint me in every way.
All in all, the best way to see a comic or video game adaptation is to not have been privy to its inspiration.
Posted on August 26th, 2008 by MrWiseguy
Filed under: Movies