Top Ten Worst Video Game Movies (Part 2)
As you probably know, today is the last day for Project-Nerd. So here it is, my final article, the follow up to the Top Ten Worst Video Game Movies (Part One). Hopefully you have enjoyed these and all the other content the Gaming team has put out over the years. I’m not much for long goodbyes, so I’m just going to leave you with the rest of the worst:
5.) Max Payne (2008)
Max Payne opens with Mark Wahlburg saying “I don’t believe in heaven…I believe in pain.” After watching this movie, I completely agree. In a role like nothing he’s ever done, Marky Mark plays the brooding, tough-guy cop protagonist. The second best Bridges (of The Wizard fame) plays the villain and the role of Mona Sax, the stone cold killer from the video game is played by, you guessed it, Mila……Mila Kunis? Ok, who cast this thing?
I’m not convinced “Jackie” could punch through a wet paper sack, much less be the leader of some badass Russian gang. I don’t even buy that she’s from Russia, and Mila Kunis was born in the Ukraine. Why do her sister and henchmen have accents and she doesn’t? Couldn’t she at least, ya know, act like she had an accent? Is no one even trying?
So the story, if there is one, centers on Max and Mona hunting down bad guys who have a super-serum that gives them demon hallucinations…or something like that. This movie has more plot holes than plot so it’s hard to keep up. Now that I think about it, I feel like the bad guys also killed Max’s family…and there’s some connection to Norse gods I didn’t really understand…Look, I don’t know what’s going on in this OK! You try to figure it out!
The two or three times there actually is movement in the story, it’s so ham-fisted it looks like a hand made out of bacon. For example, Max and Mona go to a local tattoo parlor to ask about an image they found. The tattooist is not only an expert in Norse mythology who recognizes the symbol immediately, he even has an old tome on the subject (complete with an illustration) right in front of him. This is either because A.) Max Payne takes place in the city of incalculable coincidence, B.) Everyone assumed you would be too dumb to question it, or C.) The writers of this movie gave less of a shit than the casting director. If you guessed D.) All of the above, you have obviously seen this movie before.
Aside from the disjointed plot, cardboard acting and endless clichés, there is one cool action scene where Max takes the magic drugs and goes bullet-time Super Saiyan. This scene kicks ass. But a couple minutes of passable action doesn’t make up for the other 99 minutes of watching Boogie Nights sulk and throw temper tantrums.
For all of Max Payne’s disappointments, the shoot-out finale is probably the biggest let down, especially when you realize Mona’s henchmen disappeared about half-way through the movie and nobody thought to call the five or six big Russian soldiers when taking on the bad guy army. My best guess is that the writers were playing FoldingStory when creating this movie’s garbled, barely intelligible turd of a script, which I guess means it’s actually pretty impressive.
4.) Need for Speed (2014)
Was the Fast & Furious series seriously not enough car porn for the cinematic world? And if you thought Vin Diesel was hard to watch, wait till you meet these guys. Aaron Paul delivers his lines like he heard somebody be cool once and he’s trying his best to sound like him. Aaron Paul plays Toby; he and his friends are supposed to be poor mechanics, but not only do they have access to some of the most valuable cars in existence, their eye-in-the-sky pilot has a plane, magically acquires a news chopper and eventually pilots an Apache helicopter. In case you didn’t know, aircraft don’t work that way. News companies and army sergeants don’t just loan out their heinously expensive equipment.
To sum up the one-dimensional plot, the black turtleneck sporting villain pits out Toby’s friend during a race, causing him to crash and die. Sorry, spoiler alert: racing down a four-lane freeway at 200mph is dangerous. This kicks off the cliché “dead friend/pay-back” plot complete with all the other clichés you already expected if you saw the trailer.
Michael Keaton (you were Batman Michael…what happened?) plays an eccentric millionaire who hosts a prestigious private race that awards the victor with a sizable prize. Toby needs the money and the driver who killed his friend is going to be there and…you see where this is going. The entire rest of the movie involves Aaron Paull driving like a mad man and breaking every traffic law ever invented.
My biggest problem with this movie is how irresponsible it is. Not only is Need for Speed stupid, it glorifies reckless driving and endangering innocent pedestrians. I’ve been pulled over for going 50 in a 45, yet this guy can drift into oncoming traffic at 150mph and nobody so much as bats an eye? On a similar note, revving the engine like a maniac may seem cool in a movie, but it means you’re a jerk in real life. It’s hard to root for the kind of butthole you just know takes up two spots when he parks.
Thankfully, they all finally get arrested and go to jail for being reckless idiots. But just when you thought it was over, the movie ends with Toby’e friend Benny doing something that would probably get your ass beat in a real prison: he tries to teach his cellmates to “crunk” or whatever it’s called, putting a cringe-inducing cherry on top off the failure cake that is Need for Speed. Cool cars though.
3.) Alone in the Dark (2005)
Seriously, how does Uwe Boll get work? In what feels like the first half of Alone in the Dark, the audience is forced to sit through an opening crawl with a century worth of exposition: the Abkani made a gate to blah blah blah, demon stuff something something. It appears you will have to read the entire movie until it finally cuts to ,what I believe is, live action people. It’s hard to tell if the acting in this movie is the worst, or the absolute best acting ever put to film. If they were trying to mimic the mindless actions and expressions of video game npcs, they totally nailed it.
Slater mopes through his role like an actor who realized his career ended ten years ago and his night shift at Denny’s isn’t paying the rent. Tara Reid plays (don’t laugh) an intelligent archeologist and museum curator. Remember when that James Bond movie tried to convince us Denise Richards was a nuclear physicist? This is even harder to swallow. To round out this roster of talent, Stephen Dorf plays Slater’s rival, so you can expect a lot of intense yelling while looking handsome for a guy his age.
As mentioned, Christian Slater (of The Wizard fame) is our protagonist Edward Carnby, a paranormal investigator who I guess knows about the Abkani guys and the demon whatsits. I’ve seen this movie twice and I still don’t understand more than this. Generously speaking, the plot is a few globs of stringy Elmer’s Glue barely holding together a bunch of terrible action scenes and low-budget special effects. And the effects in this movie are “special” in the same way my cousin Jim is ever since he got kicked by that mule. The demon thingies mentioned in the first fifty pages of the opening novel end up being horribly-rendered CGI monster-dogs that look like Clash of the Titans mixed with a mailman’s fever dream.
To sum up the quality of the action scenes, during his first fight Slater lifts his leg up in what is presumably a kick and sends a guy twice his size sailing through a store-front window. Crappy CGI dogs are terrorizing the city? Fine. Tara Reid is a genius? Sure, whatever movie. But you’re telling me Christian Slater’s feeble little baby foot booted a line-backer through tempered glass? How dare you insult me Boll! This movie would be at home airing among the bland, low-budget tripe the SyFy channel pumps out each week. I would say Alone in the Dark is up there with Sharknado, but that would be, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, an INSULT TO SHARKNADO.
2.) Street Fighter (1994)
Casting Director: I think we should get Jean-Claude Van Damme to portray Guile.
Exec: Guile…the most American American ever? The guy with two American flag tattoos?
Exec: And you want to get Van Damme? The guy with the thickest Belgian-French accent in history?
Exec: …You’re a genius.
This and many decisions of a similar quality constitute what is the Street Fighter movie. The worst part is they dragged poor Raul Julia into it. After a career of amazing performances, Street Fighter was the last movie before his untimely death…let that sink in for a second. Once you get over your crippling depression, maybe go back and watch Adam’s Family again to get that taste out of your mouth.
The studio must have blown all their money on JCVD and Julia because the rest of the cast is unrecognizable, the costumes look like Walmart Halloween costumes, and the special effects look as fake as my wife’s headache. Worst of all, for a game based on spectacular combat, the action in this movie is atrocious. Watching Raul Julia slowly swing from a wire until he bumps into Guile does not qualify as an action sequence. This is based on a fighting game, arguably the best one! Can we get some choreography please?
Then there’s the script. Characters have matching names and their costumes approximate their in-game look, but these are the only similarities to the beloved fighting franchise. The movie features a ton of characters from the game, but they are all completely off. To give you some examples, Dhalsim (the shirtless, stretchy-armed Yoga master who wears a necklace of skulls) is a scientist. Balrog, the brutal thug boxer, plays a news cameraman who’s a good guy, Blanka is a lab experiment and Guile is friggin’ Belgian. The movie never even mentions a fighting tournament either, the single plot thread of the Street Fighter series. You would think this is as bad as it gets…
1.) Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Here it is: the only movie that could ever be at the top of this list. What can be said about this movie that hasn’t already been said about the Challenger launch and syphilis? Belched from the darkest pits of the underworld, this movie sows the insidious seeds of hate; hatred between the directors and the actors, hatred toward the audience and hatred of mankind on an evolutionary level. Out of what must have been pure spite, co-directors Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton turned the bright, colorful world of Mario into a dark dystopia called…sonuvabitch…“Dinohattan”, which looks like dime-store Bladerunner covered in mucus.
Because the movie’s writers are nourished by tears, Dinohattan is cursed and all the people are turning into literal fungus, meaning the ugly brown snot covering the city is actually people. Remember when you ate a cute little red mushroom and you powered up in the game? It’s like that, only now the mushroom looks like a stringy booger, it’s people, and eating it just makes you feel sad. Good use of the source material you evil, evil bastards.
Instead of describing this movie, it’s easier to let those involved speak for themselves. In his 2007 autobiography, Jon Leguizamo said he and Bob Hoskins had to get drunk almost every day just to make it through their scenes. Dennis Hopper once told his son he made Super Mario Bros. so the boy could have shoes, to which his six-year-old son said, “Dad, I don’t need shoes that badly.” In an interview for the Guardian, Bob Hoskins called working on the movie a nightmare and said “It had a husband-and-wife team directing, whose arrogance had been mistaken for talent”. I tried to find a quote from Jankel and Morton, but they were too busy feeding on the dreams of children to comment.
There are some who say Super Mario Bros. would be a good movie if not for its connection to the game; one of your friends might say, “It’s entertaining in its own right and people only hate it because it’s not like the game”. This person is NOT your friend! They most likely hate you. This movie’s not even so bad it’s good, it’s so bad it’s worse. Watching it will bring you nothing but disappointment in yourself and the future of humanity as a whole. It’s a must watch.