10 Terrible Video Game Movies That Ruined Iconic Characters

Why is it so hard to do these characters justice?

Resident Evil Wesker
Sony Pictures Releasing/Capcom

When Tom Holland was cast as Nathan Drake in the live-action adaptation of Uncharted, fans were furious, saying he was completely miscast. Gamers reacted similarly when it was announced Chris Pratt would provide the voice of Mario in the upcoming Super Mario movie.

Even though it seems unfair to dismiss casting choices like this before the movies are released, fans do have a right to be skeptical. Time after time, we've seen globally recognised gaming characters being ruined when they transition to the big screen. For nearly 30 years, our favourite platformers, beat-em-ups, and third-person shooters have been getting the live-action treatment, and yet they almost never live up to their potential.

Although many iconic video game heroes and villains are archetypal, most film adaptations manage to make them even less three-dimensional. Even worse, the characters themselves often have no resemblance to their video game counterparts, save for a name.

Of course, gamers don't want to be cynical. Nothing would make diehard fans happier than seeing Donkey Kong, Samus Aran, or Master Chief done justice in an awesome movie. But as this list proves, it rarely, if ever, turns out that way.

10. Max Payne - Max Payne

Resident Evil Wesker
20th Century Fox

Max Payne is a third-person shooter which centres around a NYPD cop who's trying to track down his family's killers. The original two games were highly praised for their bloody, bullet-time action sequences and noir-styled form of storytelling. The titular character also became an instant icon due to his dark wit and effortless magnetism, thanks in no small part to gruff voice actor James McCaffrey.

Mark Wahlberg's casting as the lead in the film adaptation was something of a mixed bag with fans. He looked the part, and because Wahlberg is an action star that can imbue humour with menace (see his role in The Departed), to many he sounded like the perfect choice for the role. Fans assumed the movie would suck but were at least reassured the Hollywood star would have a lot of fun as the badass detective.

Despite the fact the noir style and cheeky wit helped defined the game, the adaptation removed these elements, turning the movie into a dreary mess without even the violent action of the games.

Even though Wahlberg is charismatic, the dull script doesn't give him a chance to do anything with the character. Because the filmmakers only paid lip service to the the game's look, style, tone, and removed so much of the protagonist's personality, one questions why they were so eager to adapt the film in the first place.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85