5. Tomb Raider (2018)
Hoping to capitalise on the recent new incarnation of Lara Croft in the gaming world, 2018’s Tomb Raider sought to breathe new life into the franchise, giving audiences a younger, more contemporary and more grounded interpretation of the thrill-seeking heroine.
Nine years after believing her father died on an archaeological mission, a young Lara Croft travels to a long-hidden island south of Japan in order to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance and stop a deadly plague from being unleashed upon the Earth.
Gone are the twin pistols and Bond-style gadgets of the Angelina Jolie era with Academy Award winning actress Alicia Vikander stepping into the role with nothing but a bow, arrow, and plenty of pluck.
Taking some hits for being a little light on action and not spending enough time developing the character of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider still ranks as one of the best video game movies in recent memory.
4. Warcraft (2016)
With a budget of $160 million, a fantastic ensemble cast and a talented director in Duncan Jones (Moon; Source Code), as well as a built-in gaming audience of millions across the globe, Warcraft was poised to be a juggernaut of a film in 2016.
It is odd, then, that the movie only made $47 million at the North American box office and was set to be one of the biggest flops in motion picture history until a massive boost from the Chinese box office notched the overall takings to a much more acceptable $433million – the highest gross for a video-game-to-film adaptation ever.
Originally set up to be the first in a series of films, Warcraft (alternately known as Warcraft: The Beginning) tells the story of a race of Orcs opening a portal to the Human realm in an attempt to claim it as their own. As war breaks out, leaders on both sides begin to question if there may be a better solution.
Visually stunning and attempting to tell a large story on such a grand scale make this one of the better game adaptations despite its failings to provide memorable characters and an engaging plot.
3. Resident Evil (2002)
After a deadly virus causes the employees of a secret underground experimental research facility to get a sudden appetite for human flesh, an amnesiac woman known only as Alice and a team of private commandos are forced to fight for their lives against hordes of the undead.
When Resident Evil shuffled its way into cinemas back in 2002, audiences may have groaned at another computer game getting the silver screen treatment, but this zombie-riddled action/horror proved a huge leap forward in quality for video game adaptations and, along with its many sequels, would go on to take a massive bite out of the worldwide box office.
Going on to become the highest earning video game movie franchise in history with a total of six films and an announced reboot and TV series in the offing, Resident Evil is a no-brainer (sorry) for the number three spot on the list.
2. Rampage (2018)
As one of the more ludicrous entries on this list, Rampage sure does make the most of its goofy premise and city-shattering finale to serve up a brainless thrill-ride that ultimately wins you over with sheer stubbornness.
When a genetic experiment turns a rare albino ape, a wolf and an alligator into giant rampaging monsters, a Primatologist played by Dwayne Johnson must find an antidote, put a stop to the rogue animals and save his silver-backed friend in the process.
It’s The Rock, a giant Ape and a whole lot of buildings getting turned to rubble. What’s not to like?
File under “dumb but fun”.
1. Mortal Kombat (1995)
Knocking out the competition with a decapitating uppercut to the senses is this Paul W. S. Anderson directed Beat ‘Em Up blockbuster – a film that isn’t afraid to punch a four-armed monster in the nuts and bicycle-kick a reptile through a brick wall.
Welcome to Mortal Kombat.
To save Earth from falling into the hands of the evil Shao Kahn, ruler of Outworld, Earth’s greatest fighters are invited to duke it out for the fate of the planet in an ancient tournament overseen by the villainous Shang Tsung.
Taking the number one spot at the North American box office for three weeks upon its release, this wire-work heavy, dialogue-impaired actioner is regularly considered one of the most beloved video game adaptations out there, wearing its cheesy, B-Movie grade reputation as a badge of honour and delivering a fan favourite popcorn flick in the process.
Made all the sweeter by a great soundtrack (including one of the best theme songs to any film, ever) and all your favourite fighters, Mortal Kombat doubles down on the over the top action and atmospheric set design for an end product as gloriously satisfying as Christopher Lambert in a flowing white wig.
I write film articles, sketch comedy and prose fiction.
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