It seems like a good year for the normally jinxed video-game movies. Well, at least in terms of box-office performances so far seen in “Uncharted” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”. The latter has already made its mark in the US with the highest-grossing opening weekend ever for a video game movie. This time, the sequel brings more fan-favourite characters from the Sega game including Tails and Knuckles.
If you’re a fan of the genre, you’re in luck! Here’s our handpicked list of 10 Entertaining Video Game Movies to Watch Before you check out Sonic the Hedgehog 2!
1) Mortal Kombat (1995)
It’s easy to forget that pre-“Resident Evil” helmer Paul W.S. Anderson first broke the video game movie curse in “Mortal Kombat”. It was a big hit at the time of its release, earning over USD120 million against a USD20 million budget. Some of the special effects may be awfully dated and it was a missed opportunity that should-have-been-gory “Mortal Kombat” got a scaled-down, audience-friendly film rating instead. But this 1995 video game movie remains a genre classic. It features a top-notch fight choreography, where most of the actors performed their own stunts. The effect-heavy moment, where Sub-Zero’s (Francois Petit) ability to manipulate ice still holds up even today. The actors even look the part in the respective roles, notably Robin Shou as Liu Kang and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa’s incomparable antagonist turn as Shang Tsung. And of course, who could forget the incredibly catchy theme song?
2) Silent Hill (2006)
“Silent Hill” may feel overlong while the movie is somewhat lacking the necessary heart and soul. But visionary French director Christophe Gans’ big-screen take on Konami’s popular survival-horror video game franchise of the same name remains a first-rate visual feast. He successfully captured the game’s ominous dread and creepy atmosphere. Not to forget a memorable scene where Rose (Radha Mitchell) must make her way carefully past a group of monstrous, scalpel-wielding nurses without touching them. The less said about the inferior 2012 sequel of “Silent Hill: Revelation” the better.
3) Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Personally, I’m not a fan of the Milla Jovovich-led “Resident Evil” franchise. Well, for most of the movies anyway with the exception of the third instalment called “Resident Evil: Extinction”. It certainly helps that “Highlander” helmer Russell Mulcahy is in charge here. He’s a genre specialist who knows what it takes to make an entertaining and creepy action-packed zombie movie. The story remains wafer-thin but the overall brisk pace, coupled with Mulcahy’s stunning visual prowess (the Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”-like homage moment is worth mentioning here) elevates the third “Resident Evil” movie from mediocrity. Even the gore effects are vastly improved compared to the first two movies while Milla Jovovich brings an A-game to her physically-demanding role as Alice.
4) Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010)
Jake Gyllenhaal may look like an odd choice to play the titular role. But this expensive big-screen adaptation of Ubisoft’s popular video game series of the same name has its fair share of fun and entertaining moments. This includes the thrillingly-staged action sequences (love the parkour jumps and some of the hand-to-hand combats). Then, there’s Harry Gregson-Williams’ catchy Middle Eastern-inspired music score while the movie is blessed with above-average supporting turns, notably Gemma Atherton and Alfred Molina as Princess Tamina and Sheik Amar respectively.
5) Need For Speed (2014)
Kudos goes to “Act of Valor” helmer Scott Waugh for insisting to film the car stunts as practical as possible with minimum CGI assistance. The movie sure lives up to its title’s promise, despite its unnecessarily 130-minute length plagued by overly melodramatic moments. The impeccable sound design and stunning cinematography are all worth mentioning here. The car chase, of course, is both thrilling and cinematic best experienced on the big screen.
6) The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
I must admit I was sceptical at first when the popular Rovio video game got the big-screen treatment. I mean, the game itself is basically about catapulting flightless birds using a giant slingshot to take down the green pigs and their building structures! But surprisingly, “The Angry Birds Movie” turns out to be an enjoyable one, thanks to its vibrant candy-coloured animation and brisk pacing. The voice cast is just as good, notably with Jason Sudeikis as the grumpy bird Red and Josh Gad as the hyperactive yellow bird, Chuck.
7) Rampage (2018)
Dwayne Johnson got his first taste of acting in an… unfortunately ill-fated video-game movie called “Doom” back in 2005. Thankfully, his second video-game movie outing in “Rampage” fares better by comparison. Here, he reunites with his “San Andreas” director Brad Peyton, filling in the movie with enough large-scale destruction moments. It was nevertheless fun watching the CG-heavy mutated animal beasts tearing the Chicago city apart and destroying the helicopters. Then, there’s Dwayne Johnson, who brings a likeable charm to his primatologist character as Davis Okoye.
8) Tomb Raider (2018)
The Angelina Jolie-led “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” may be more popular because you know, sex sells. It’s a shame that the rebooted “Tomb Raider”, based on the 2013 gritty video-game reboot of the same name is more of an underrated effort. Sure, the movie suffers from uneven pacing and the story feels like a second-rate “Indiana Jones”. But Alicia Vikander steals the show as Lara Croft while Norwegian director Roar Uthaug does a good job in the action department (the elaborate moment involving a waterfall and plane wreckage comes to mind).
9) Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)
Here’s a charming ode to Robert Zemeckis’ “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, complete with an old-school film noir and detective genre threw in altogether. The result is a fun-filled “Pokémon Detective Pikachu”, where Ryan Reynolds steals most of the show voicing the snarky Sherlock Holmes-like Pikachu. The live-action/CG hybrid looks stunning and so do some of the action sequences.
10) Sonic The Hedgehog (2020)
I still remember how Sonic’s original design was revealed back in 2019 and the fans, well, were pretty outspoken about it. Thankfully, the studio (Paramount) actually rectified the problem and later gave us the Sonic we all deserved. The game-accurate character design, that is. Ben Schwartz brings sufficient goofy charm and energy as the voice of the title character. “Sonic the Hedgehog” also gets an extra boost from Jim Carrey as the entertainingly over-the-top main antagonist, Dr Robotnik.
Enjoyed the article? You might like this one as well: