The five worst game-to-film adaptations

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Director J J Abrams is set to adapt first-person shooter Half Life to the big screen, but will it be a flop like these other adaptations?

Blockbuster film director J. J. Abrams is on a hot streak right now, from his muscular Star Trek reboot to being anointed as director of the Star Wars revival.  But, in less well-publicised news, he has also agreed to adapt a video game – the ground-breaking 1998 first-person shooter Half Life.

One look at the wreckage of previous video-game adaptations that litter the movie landscape and it might appear to be a foolish quest. Which brings us on to our own endeavour: to find the five worst computer-game adaptations (like hitting a barn door with a plasma rifle).

Click here to view the gallery of worst game-to-film adaptations.

Click here to view the gallery of best game-to-film adaptations.

Five worst film adaptations:

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Motonori Sakakibara

The first film to attempt photorealistic computer animation hasn’t aged well, but its failure is on a more basic level: plot. It may have portrayed a beautifully rendered, post-apocalyptic landscape, but when you’re spending more time fixating on the way the characters’ strands of digital hair billow in the wind then following the incoherent plot about vengeful extraterrestrial spirits, then the film has failed. 

Super Mario Bros. (1993), directed by Annabel Jankeland Rocky Morton

Two Italian plumbers jumping, climbing and bouncing their way around a colourful fantasy world may be the perfect recipe for a computer-game franchise but it’s an awful premise for a movie. A ridiculous gurning Bob Hoskins and his charisma-free side kick are transported to a dino-themed world beneath the streets of Brooklyn. Narrative and character development gets left in Brokklyn, along with Luigi's tool belt, as the bungling plumbers search for Dennis Hopper’s evil lizard King Koopa. “It’s the worst thing I ever did” admits a chastened Bob Hoskins.

Street Fighter (1994) , directed by Steven E. de Souza

When the Hollywood scribe behind action blockbuster Die Hard decided to try his hand at directing an action spectacle of his own, the film world waited with baited breath. But this appalling action flick was the result. Jean Claude Van Damme plays Street Fighter 2 character Guile, head of a task force sent to penetrate the hideout of renegade warlord, General Bison. Sadly Van Damme has an ear for dialogue like co-star Kylie Minogue has a fist for martial arts.  De Souza has since quit directing films.

Wing Commander (1999), directed by Chris Roberts

Should video game creators direct movies? If you’re Wing Commander video game creator Chris Roberts, the answer is a resounding no. Freddie Prinze Jr plays a cocky young space fighter pilot in this Lucas-lite sci-fi adaption that pits a marauding alien race against a ragtag fleet of pilots. What's remarkable about the film is how the cast’s performance is easily eclipsed by the original video-game actors, with Mark Hamill playing the titular role with significantly more charisma in the game’s cut-scenes.

Alone in the Dark (2005), directed by Uwe Boll

This cataclysmically bad fantasy-horror thriller stars Christian Slater as a paranormal investigator with a secret past. It’s helmed by German director Uwe Boll who has hit a run of form as the world’s most atrocious video-game adaptor, spewing out about one critically panned cinema-nasty a year. This appalling adaptation doesn’t have anything resembling a narrative. Rather, we get an unholy mess of rampaging CGI monsters, random scene switching, a lot of flickering darkness and an aching desire to be left alone.

Do you agree with the selection? Comment below or tweet Adam Jacques.

Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
Life and Style
food + drink
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer

    £250 - £300 per day: Orgtel: Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer Berkshir...

    Software Developer - Newcastle - £30,000 - £37,000 + benefits

    £30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Digital Project Manager/BA

    £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home