By Redd (courtesy http://www.magmablizzard.blogspot.com/)
Anyone who’s not an accountant for any of the major studios (or Uwe Boll) can tell you that the quality of Video Game based films is not something most people look forward to in a film (B-movie or otherwise). While there are several people (like Roger Ebert) who claim that video games are not a part of the art community or art in general, the real reasons for this diminished quality in video game adaptations deals more with the age of the video game medium itself.
Think about it, how long did it take to make a good Batman film that was true to the tone of an actual Batman comic book?
How long did it take to make a film like The Dark Knight that was actually true to the source material? Well, it would be seventy years if you count from the beginning of the Batman comics as a whole, or twenty years starting from The Dark Knight Returns.
The sheer critical failure of video game related films deals more with the esoteric quality of video games in the psyche of older film executives who often are uninformed of the content of the video games they are adapting.
Video games perceived in the media are the modern day equivalent of an old episode of Dragnet attempting to negatively portray drug use by showing a “juvenile delinquent” attempting to climb a wall as a side effect of “the uppers”. The sheer uninformed status of these directors and studio executives is the main cause for the abuse most of these video game franchises receive.
To use comic books as another example, look at the successes of films like 300 and Sin City and how the respected directors felt about the source material. Both Zack Snyder and Robert Rodriguez really attempted to treat the source material with respect and their films flourished due to that integrity, which is ironic, considering the changes Frank Miller made to his interpretation of The Spirit.
This is not to say that video games as a whole should not be changed for the better. A lot of video games do not really have any character development due to the dependence on the player’s interaction with the game’s characters and a good screenwriter can find a way to develop these characters. But at the same time, if I said I was going to make an adaptation of X-Men that had nothing to do with any of the original comic book characters, and starred Milla Jovovich as a stand alone new main character, I am going to have a film that the respected fanboys and X-Men enthusiasts are going to hate (more than Brett Ratner’s film, that’s for sure).