Three video game movies that are surprisingly ok


With the recent release of Tomb Raider, let’s take a look at some video game movies that aren’t half-bad. 

It’s no secret that video game to movie adaptations have been fairly disastrous. Whether its the shlockiness of Super Mario Bros or the disappointment factor of Assassins Creed, most video game movies are flat out inept, boring film fans and enraging fans of the game.

While there isn’t a single video game movie that has a “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, here are three video game flicks that will adequately please fans of the respective game…

#1 Tomb Raider (2001) 

Lara Croft may have been on the big-screen before, but neither of the Angelina Jolie vehicles did the series justice. Tomb Raider is about as conventional one could get with an origin story, but its infused with far more life than its predecessors. Credit to Alicia Vikander, who gives a wonderfully charismatic performance as Lara. She commands the screen from start to finish and brings Lara’s fearless persona to life.

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Unlike most video game movies, Tomb Raider is self-aware of what it is. The story is middling at best, but the film smartly focuses more on its dynamic lead character and the fun that comes from her wild travels. Director Roar Uthaug keeps the pace moving at a fast clip, going from setpiece to setpiece with a great sense of momentum. The action scenes in the film, including its dynamic labyrinth-like finale, are a joy to watch.

Ultimately though, it’s a shame that this film couldn’t be more than just a good time. The film’s presentation lacks personality, and its attempts at creating more effective pathos fall by the wayside. Still, this is a satisfying blockbuster that will give fans the swashbuckling action they crave.

Photo courtesy Gramercy Pictures
Photo courtesy Gramercy Pictures /

#2 Ratchet and Clank (2016) 

This movie (and the game that came along with it) did ruffle the feathers of many fans of the original. As a fan myself, it is frustrating how sanitized Ratchet and Clank has become, but I still found enjoyment out of this adaptation.

Ratchet and Clank is the ultimate Saturday morning cartoon, engaging audiences with its high-flying action and quick-witted gags.  It’s weightless, with the story not packing an ounce of substance throughout its duration, however, that its fitting to the game, so that’s not a huge problem. What’s more of a problem is the uninspired story and even more uninspired animation, as the film looks worse than the video game cutscenes. It’s clear corners were cut, but I think the filmmakers still were able to achieve the charm of the games.

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#3 The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Disney has had a lot of live-action adventure films over the years, some working more than the others. The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time lands somewhere in the middle, but there’s still a fun time to be had with it. Much of the credit is due to star Jake Gyllenhaal for carrying this film on his shoulders, as he has become almost incapable of giving a bad performance.

The story is fairly generic, but the movie moves at a good pace throughout. Director Mike Newell proves to be a competent director, as the director especially thrives when it comes to the action setpieces. They are fun and still hold up visually today, which can’t be said for most nearly ten-year old movies. Prince of Persia is certainly nothing special, but its a fun matinee type movie that delivers what fans of the games want.

Which video game movie have you enjoyed the most?