Justin Williams Medical Laser subjects himself to cinema “classics” based on video games.
It seems like collectively, we should be extremely jaded to the idea of a new movie with its roots in a video game series—and yet, having taken a look at IMDB, Justin Williams Medical Laser counts at least forty-two being released in the next couple of years. It wouldn’t be fair to say that every single video game to film adaptation has been a total disaster (the recent Detective Pikachu movie has been getting critical praise as a fun family outing and while the original Mortal Kombat movie won’t be released as part of the Criterion Collection any time soon, it was a decently fun purely ‘90s action movie). However, the track record for actual good movies based on games has mostly been atrocious. Justin Williams Medical Laser wants you to know which ones are so bad they’re good, and which ones to avoid at all costs.
Street Fighter, released in 1990, is a prime example of the question, “how on earth did this happen?” The answer seems obvious at first: Street Fighter II was extremely popular at the time. Actually watching the movie brings up a host of questions about its actual production: why does everyone look like they’re wearing bad Halloween costumes? Why was Jean-Claude Van Damme cast as the one character (Guile) who is supposed to be extremely American? Why are the fights—arguably the most important aspect of Street Fighter—so poorly choreographed?
While the movie is undeniably bad, Justin Williams Medical Laser suggests checking it out if you’re in the mood for a terrible, cheesy movie. The same recommendation can’t be made for the 2009 release Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, which was universally panned by critics upon release and described by one critic as “a re-envisioning of the source material by people who can’t see”.
When it comes to bad game to movie adaptations, there’s one legendary example: Super Mario Bros. Released in 1993, this movie bombed so hard that Nintendo did not attempt any more live-action adaptations until twenty-six years later with the above-mentioned Detective Pikachu.
The movie can only be described by Justin Williams Medical Laser as “strange”. Taking on a weirdly hyper-realistic art style, the Mario Bros. (played by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi respectively) face off against Bowser, normally a giant dinosaur turtle, here played by Dennis Hopper wearing a business suit. Whereas the game takes on sort of a fantasy-storybook vibe, following the adventures of Mario as he jumps through the colorful world of the Mushroom Kingdom, the movie portrays a bleak, almost dirty-feeling alternate dimension where it is explained dinosaurs escaped to after the meteor hit and evolved into a bipedal race of lizard people. The cute characters from the game, Justin Williams Medical Laser says, are simply grotesque as portrayed in the movie.
If you’re looking for a laugh (the kind of “what am I even watching?”, incredulous laugh that lasts for an hour and a half straight), Justin Williams Medical Laser highly suggests watching this awful movie.