Video game movies have… an interesting history.
By that I mean all video game movies up until now have sucked; from Super Mario to Mortal Kombat to Max Payne. All of them have managed to be disappointing films that ride off of the popularity of their game counterparts alone and leave everyone with a sour taste in their mouths afterward. That’s not just my opinion either. They have all been universally panned by critics as well.
Now the Grand Theft Auto movie is looking to become a reality. (source) Eminem apparently may star in it if it’s created at all. Hurray?
I am not excited about this whatsoever. I’m certainly not against it as I always support gaming making its way even further into the media spotlight but I guarantee you if this movie is made it will suck. I saw Max Payne in theaters hoping it would actually turn out well and I pretty much vowed to never see another game based movie after that. It was that disappointing.
There are two exceptions to that though. The upcoming Halo film, although just as likely to suck as it is likely to be great, is one I am looking forward to only because of the people who are currently working on it. The other exception is the upcoming Uncharted movie but only if they cast Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake like everyone wants. Mark Wahlberg was offered the role but he hasn’t formally accepted it yet. If he does I may not even see the movie as Mark Wahlberg is not half the actor that Nathan Fillion is and he does not fit the role of Nathan Drake nearly as well.
Anyway, my first thoughts for this GTA movie are obviously that it will be garbage but my reason behind this is that the GTA series has nothing unique about it. The game itself was unique back when it was first created but the series is popular nowadays because it’s well made, not because it’s unique. A movie however cannot hope to be successful when there is nothing unique about it. A GTA game directly translated to film would just be a protagonist centered shoot-em-up; a concept that has been done in cinema so many times that it’s wearing a hole in the floor. All the movie could hope to be is a generic action flick. That’s all Max Payne ended up being anyway. At least the uncharted movie might offer something new and unique to cinema and the Halo universe is unique in of itself so that movie won’t have any issues with originality whatsoever.
At the same time if this movie ends up being made and turns out well, I’ll be happy. It’s time game based movies got a change for the better after how many flops.