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Tomb Raider: Dressing Angelina Jolie up in form-fitting Lara Croft cosplay turned out to be a fantastic idea. Building whole movies around it? Not so much. And as we won't likely see another uniquely sexy/deep beauty like Jolie for a long time, there's no reason to try this again anytime soon.
Monkey Island: There. This is for everyone whose already halfway through the snarky retort about "only 'attacking' modern games." Yes, Monkey Island rules. Yes, it'd be interesting to see who could pull off GuyBrush Threepwood. But a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean already kind of sounds like a mistake, and what could only end up being a POTC wannabe would probably face similar hurdles. Sometimes it's just not meant to be.
God of War: I'll stipulate this: a faithful God of War movie could be fun. An R-rated cousin to Clash of The Titans with a $200 million+ budget to realize all the creatures and locales of the games? Sure, sounds like fun. Probably can't do much to make Kratos even passably interesting as a lead character, but probably fun, sure.
That movie isn't going to get made. The only way to finance what it would cost to faithfully translate even a fraction of GoW's tapestry would be to shoot for a box office-friendly PG-13, at which point you lose the already shaky incentive to do this instead of Clash of The Titans 2. And in either case, I have profound doubts about building a whole movie around one-note badass characters like Kratos.
Final Fantasy: Not that anyone has any reason to try again...
At this point, trying to base a movie on Final Fantasy - unless you're basing it on a specific entry in the series, and even that only came out semi-good - is like trying to base a movie on a scented candle: The appeal isn't really a story or even an idea, but a particular mood. Final Fantasy games from about VII on have mostly been selling a branded aura: "Buy this game and we'll garauntee lots and lots of turn-based progression through a mist of new-agey techno-fantasy gobbledygook." Some people still dig this, and that's fine. But it ain't a movie.
Monster Hunter: I like dinosaur movies better when the dinosaurs get to win. That's the beginning and end of my argument on this one.
Halo: Oh, don't act like you're even a little surprised.
Back when I reviewed Halo Legends, I made my feelings about this franchise pretty plain: So far as I can see, the only way to make a decent movie of Halo is to throw out everything but the basic backstory and visuals and build something worthwhile from scratch.
No, not even one based on Fall of Reach.
Now, I stress I'm not saying that there isn't an audience for what amounts to fetishized military hardware porn in sci fi trappings staffed by a roster of faceless, defiantly one-dimensional badasses. Clearly, there's certainly a big enough audience for the games. I'm just saying I'd rather not see it taking up space at the multiplex. Could a good movie be made out of Halo? Sure, but you'd have to find a more interesting protagonist than Master Chief, and have more than just gratuitous alien fragging going on. In fact, it's highly probable that you'd have to turn it into something that a majority of Halo fans would outright despise or order to come even close to a good movie, and even then, you'd still probably only wind up with a 2nd rate Starship Troopers.
To be continued on a more positive note, next week in
Part II" "Film These Games!"
P.S. Yes, I've seen that Mortal Kombat Rebirth thing, and I think it looks like ass. Yeah, the MK franchise could use some improvement. Y'know what improvement doesn't look like? A Saw knockoff.
Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.