Video game movies have… an interesting history.
Almost all video game movie adaptations up until now have been universally panned by critics as well; 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.
Now the Grand Theft Auto movie is looking to become a reality. (source via MTV) It may star Eminem in it allegedly if it is created at all. Hurray or boo? Time will tell in the end but many GTA fans and movie critics are already none too happy about this concept. It is good to support gaming making its way even further into the media spotlight but based on the factors involved here the GTA movie would have to defy some tremendous odds. Max Payne, when it had its film adaptation made in 2008, looked rather promising at first considering the success of its game franchise but turned out to be another nail in the coffin for gaming movies. GTA 5 mod menu may look very interesting today as one of the most popular games, but it has some negative reviews about its movie.
There are two exceptions to this that may end up revolutionizing the game movie industry. The upcoming Halo film, although just as likely to flop as it is to be great, is one many are looking forward to only because of the people who are currently involved with it (namely Peter Jackson). The other exception is the upcoming Uncharted movie (but only if they cast Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake-like everyone wants.) Both these games contain enough uniquely solid storylines and characters to justify a potentially great movie if it is executed properly. At least the uncharted movie might offer something new and unique to the cinema and the Halo universe is unique in itself so that movie won’t have any issues with originality whatsoever.
The question is will this film end up being garbage? One thing to consider 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 is well made, not because it is 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. Rockstar, the creators of the GTA series, have already started back in 2009 that they weren’t interested in a GTA movie. All it could hope to be is a generic action flick (That’s all Max Payne ended up being anyway) and that’s not what people are looking for right now.