Matthew J.R. Kohler
Over the last twenty years, Hollywood has tried to crack the code for successfully adapting video games to film. Their latest attempt is called Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender. Once again, this is a disaster waiting to happen onscreen.
When the popularity of video games exploded in the 90s, movies were coming out left and right. Now, are any of these movies good? In this era, favorites such as Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation killed any Hollywood desire to make movies based off of video games, for a few years anyway. But there is one film from that era that came close to cracking the code. In fact, it is the closest we have ever seen—Mortal Kombat.
Not even close.
No, Mortal Kombat is not good in terms of quality, but it IS fun. Not only were the action scenes enjoyable, but also the music added a new (and memorable) layer to the characters. Aside from “Get over here!”, the Mortal Kombat theme song has become the most popular part of the movie. Mortal Kombat gave hope to us all that video game adaptations could be at least entertaining, and, of course, make a lot of money to guarantee more of such movies. Granted, a lot of its financial success was due to timing.
In the mid 90s, the “Mortal Kombat” franchise was at its peak. Many other video game films, such as Street Fighter and Prince of Persia, failed mainly because they came out long after their respective franchises left the spotlight (and because they were not good films). Sadly, even though Mortal Kombat succeeded at the box office, Hollywood could not build on the momentum. Now, let’s jump back to present day, with “Assassin’s Creed”.
Pictured: franchises NOT at their peaks
It is one of the biggest games of the last ten years. Ever since “Assassin’s Creed II”, the games have received mainstream success. But, after that game, the momentum went downhill. The Assassin’s Creed movie could still be a huge success, but I think Hollywood waited too long after the franchise’s peak to make it. By comparison, the second “Mortal Kombat” game came out at the same time as the first Mortal Kombat movie.
Most people have complained about everything with the present era of “Assassin’s Creed”. In this game, you are a character who is related to past assassins. You have to be “plugged in” to become whichever past character is necessary for a certain mission. These scenes were atrocious, and I continued to despise these scenes after every ensuing game. Once again, we will have to watch scenes just like that in the upcoming movie.
So can Assassin’s Creed be an excellent film? In light of recent history of the franchise and video game adaptations, I say no. Example: the new Ratchet and Clank film, I bet nobody even knew this happened. It came out less than a month ago and did nothing at the box office. It was intended for families—but THEY didn’t go see it! This summer, Angry Birds and Warcraft will hit theaters. If they flop, don’t ignore that as signs that Assassin’s Creed will too.
Finally! The future of video game movies is here!