Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The History of Video Game Movies (Part 2: 2000-2004)

You can watch a video version of this article here.

The 1990s saw the beginning of video game adaptation to film and had a couple big hits such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. However, in the next decade video game movies saw an increased mainstream acceptance with huge hits from equally big gaming franchises like Resident Evil and Tomb Raider. The early half of the 2000s doesn't feature the glut of game adaptations that we saw in later years, but it definitely set the course for what was to come.

The first one of the decade was in 2000, with Pokemon: The Movie 2000, an animated version of the incredibly popular RPG series published by Nintendo and developed by Game Freak. It was the second animated film based on Pokemon. In Japan, the film was released in 1999, but it came out in American theaters on July 21, 2000. Kunihiko Yuyama was the director and he was mainly known for his work in the Pokemon franchise.

The first live-action video game adaptation came in 2001, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie in the title role. Tomb Raider also featured her father, Jon Voight, and Iain Glen, who later played Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones. Daniel Craig also appeared in one of his earlier roles.

At the time, Tomb Raider was the highest grossing action film with a female lead, unless you count Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The movie made $274 million worldwide on a budget of $115 million, easily making it a success.

Despite the film's financial success, the critical reception was much worse. On Rotten Tomatoes, its score is currently at a rather low 19 percent, and it was even nominated for a Razzie award for Worst Actress.

As far as video game adaptations go, it was one of the better ones. It was decently entertaining as a summer popcorn flick and that's all it ever intended to be.