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1. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
Kudos to the makers of this film for taking one of the oldest, most plotless games in history and turning it into a good movie with an entire script behind it! What was a video game about a blue, super-fast hedgehog collecting gold rings and battling a demented robot-inventing doctor is now . . . a movie about a blue, super-fast hedgehog collecting gold rings and battling a demented robot-inventing doctor. Still, to make such nonsense resonate on the big screen and entertain spectators, both old and young alike, is a feat of which to be proud. This film drew the biggest opening weekend for a video game adaptation in the United States and Canada. And Jim Carrey proved he's still pretty darn funny.
2. WARCRAFT Warcraft was destined to be hated as a movie. After all, fans of the franchise, which includes the most popular and beloved MMORPG of all time, World of Warcraft, are rabidly protective of the universe in which they spend most of their time. Still, even though the games fanbase and the critics were displeased with the final product, those of us just looking for a fun, action-heavy fantasy film backed by a huge budget and a very competent director/writer in the form of Duncan Jones, will find plenty of entertainment bang for their buck here.
3. RESIDENT EVIL: DAMNATION
While the live-action Resident Evil movies were something of an abomination, the animated films have proven to be both more true to the games from which they're adapted, and of higher quality all-around. Resident Evil: Damnation is the best of these so far. It was written as a prequel to Resident Evil 6 and stars video game mainstay, Leon Kennedy, as its protagonist. Set during a European civil war in which bio-organic weapons (a/k/a Resident Evil monsters) are being utilized, the movie has better action set pieces, better special effects, and yes, better acting than its live-action counterparts.
4. MORTAL KOMBAT (1995)
A brand new Mortal Kombat movie hits theaters and HBO Max on April 23, but in the meantime, there's still the 1995 version to enjoy. It may be the very first decent video game adaptation in history. And this is probably because the filmmakers focused on the special effects and stellar fight choreography, instead of trying to weave a relatable plot out of the game's absurd story. Sprinkle in a bit of the Highlander (Christopher Lambert as Raiden), and you've got yourself one sweet guilty pleasure of a film.
5. MONSTER HUNTER
While this is a Paul W.S. Anderson / Milla Jovovich home video movie, it's not quite as atrocious as the live-action Resident Evil films that came before it. Maybe they learned something while making the half dozen or so movies that have been released over the years. Or maybe it's just more fun to watch Milla fight big monsters instead of smaller ones. The inclusion of famed martial artist Tony Jaa doesn't hurt, although his Muay Thai prowess is mostly wasted here. After all, a roundhouse kick to a dinosaur's schnoz isn't going to do much. Whatever the case, the monster CG is done quite well, and they're ripped straight from the video games. Watching them is the real entertainment value here.
6. BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM
Assault on Arkham isn't a direct video game adaptation. Rather, it sits as part of the universe created by the Batman Arkham video games, taking place roughly two years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Like the games, the setting is the interior of Arkham Asylum itself, although Batman takes something of a back seat to the Suicide Squad here. Needless to say, it's far better than the first live-action Suicide Squad movie, racking up a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE / THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2
This may be the best entry on this list, which is saying a lot, considering the filmmakers had little to no plot from which to jump off. How do you take a tower offense game in which you catapult birds at pigs for no particular reason, and turn it into a movie? Apparently by injecting a heartfelt story of an outcast into it, and mixing it with some great supporting characters and a ton of hilarious, but kid-friendly, sarcasm, and wit. Add an all-star voice cast, and you've got yourself a winning franchise.
8. TOMB RAIDER (2018)
After Square Enix rebooted the Tomb Raider franchise in 2013, giving it a much-needed facelift complete with complex storytelling, killer action set pieces, and a new, more vulnerable, more relatable Lara Croft, Hollywood felt it needed to do the same on the big screen. And they were right. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. didn't step up their game quite as successfully as Square Enix. Still, the script is head and shoulders above the 2001 incarnation, features a terrifically talented actress in Alicia Vikander, and includes plenty of exciting action. Hopefully, the sequel, if they ever make one, will be able to tell a more compelling story, having moved past the trappings of the franchise's origin.
9. MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE
This one is for the true MK fans out there. Although animated, it is an R-rated, truly bloody, ultra-violent descent into the world of Mortal Kombat, just as the games themselves are. And it tells the story of one of the franchise's most popular, although not particularly chatty, combatants. There's not much else to say. You've got to see it to appreciate it.
Another movie that basically needed its entire plot written up from scratch. After all, its video game counterpart just had you choosing between a giant ape, lizard, or wolf, and then pounding buildings to ash until you died. This movie benefits greatly from a protagonist in the form of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who tends to be either beloved by audiences or terribly undervalued. While the story isn't Academy Award-worthy, it's pretty decent for a giant monster genre film, and the CG and action are top-notch. Enjoy at your own discretion.
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