Movies based on video games are famously known to be shockingly disappointing. Many have tried and failed to transfer the magic of beloved video games to the silver screen, and although there have been a couple of adequate attempts, few have exceeded expectations. However, in recent years we’ve actually seen the occasional video game movie that has been watchable, which gives us some hope about what the future will bring.
Here are three of our favourite video game movies from the last couple of years:
Tomb Raider (2018)
Tomb Raider, not one of those with Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, but the newer one with Alicia Vikander as the lead, is actually a decent film. The Swedish actor managed to breathe some new life into the character of Lara Croft, and there is no doubt a bunch of Swedes must have gone online to find a stream with Swesub to watch Vikander’s performance as an action star.
The movie is far from perfect, but the acting is excellent, they have done a well enough job for us to care about the characters, and there are, of course, some exciting action sequences in the movie to enjoy.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)
A lot of fun – that’s the best way to describe Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. This odd movie, with Ryan Reynolds being the voice of Pikachu, is both thoughtful and funny enough to entertain even those who aren’t fans of the franchise.
Some smart choices have been made in the creation of Detective Pikachu, such as the evolved relationship between human and pokémon. The creative freedom the director and writers have been given enables even the biggest fan to rediscover the fantastic world of Pokémon.
In the end, Detective Pikachu will probably not enter the list of your favourite movies, but the mixing and matching of genres make it a fun and heartfelt journey from beginning to end.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Sonic the Hedgehog has a lot in common with Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. Both movies are enjoyable for the entire family, filled with humour, heart, and some genuinely suspenseful moments. And both movies do of course feature a cute, yet slightly wild little creature with powers, as one of the main characters.
Ben Schwartz does an excellent job voicing the character of Sonic, and Jim Carrey is all that you could wish for in the role of Dr. Robotnik.
Again, as with Detective Pikachu, this movie is both funny and has a lot of heart.
What Do These Movies Have in Common?
Although none of the above movies are masterpieces, they are delightful to watch, and they have proved that it is possible to make decent films based on video games.
Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog obviously have a lot in common, and they may have an advantage in their targeting of a younger and broader audience than many other video game movies. The quirky aspects of the two movies work as safety from taking themselves too seriously, and the fantasy elements add to the suspension of disbelief within the audience.
What all three movies have successfully done is to do the groundwork by carefully developing the characters and giving them a solid backstory. If that is the key to success for video game movies, we will leave unsaid, but either way, these films have instilled hope into the genre.